The Internet isn’t limited to just spreading scandals about famous people. Believe it or not, waiting out there and hidden deep in the web, are a whole lot of mean-spirited people just waiting for the chance to jump on you or your brand. They wait there patiently until you make the most minimal mistake and then they go for the jugular, destroying your online reputation.
They fill the search engines with content which makes you look bad. And what if you haven’t made any mistakes? Don’t worry,- they can always invent something.
Are you interested in knowing how you can fight against a bad reputation on Google? We can help you improve your online reputation.
How do you know if you have an online reputation crisis?
The first step in solving any problem is to know the problem exists. In this case, the easiest way to find out is really quite simple: just do a search for yourself or your brand.
A reputation crisis is particularly serious when,- by just taking a quick look at the first page of the Google results, and without even going into any of the websites which appear,- the overall message is negative:
Nevertheless, reputational problems are not always found with just a quick look. Sometimes you have to go into the web pages that show up on the search engine. For example, this is one of the entries included in the top 10 when you search for a certain restaurant on Google
At first glance this might look inoffensive. But if we click on it, what shows up is content which is extremely negative.
[August 2012. It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten this badly. In fact, I can’t even remember a time when I ate this badly. And they gave out a bunch of details that I didn’t like at all, especially about the way they train their waiters. I don’t have anything against the waiters, who were always very proper, pleasant and attentive… ]
It’s very difficult to have everybody saying good things about us, but it’s always advisable that, at a minimum, the top 10 results on Google (the complete first page) be positive or neutral, since most users don’t bother to go beyond the first page to form an opinion.
What measures can be taken when faced with an Internet reputational crisis?
Making sure that the first page on the search engine doesn’t show any posts that will damage our reputation is a challenging task and, depending on the individual case, could require significant time and effort. To achieve this, you have to displace the negative content with other content which is more favorable.
Below, we’ll propose a series of ideas which can help you if your heart drops to the ground when you see what comes up when you search for your name or your brand online:
WEB / OFFICIAL BLOG:
Having a blog or a corporate website (or a personal website in the case where a problem affects someone personally) is very helpful when you need to control your online reputation.
These sites generally position themselves quite easily at the top in the searches we want to clean up. If you can manage to have one or more of these pages show up at the top of the search page, you will be ahead of the game.
PROFILES ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Using the name of the brand or the person who’s at the center of the crisis to create accounts on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook…) is also very helpful. If you can dedicate a little bit of time to these (filling in a biography, adding a photo…), you’ll get some followers and can generate a flow of activity which is more or less constant, which will let you move up into the first results on Google.
If your brand (or you personally, if you have a job position which is sufficiently important) has its own page on Wikipedia, it’s very probable that it comes up in the top 5 when we search for your name.
So, you need to be careful here. Creating an entry in this collaborative encyclopedia is only advisable when our reputation crisis originates from personal opinions, since these are not permitted under the rules of Wikipedia. If the problem comes from objective facts, then sooner or later it’s definitely going to show up here too.
To summarize: If our headache is coming from someone who said they didn’t like the food at our restaurant, go ahead. But be very careful if what happened was that a judge found us guilty of making half the city sick. Because then it’s a given that someone is going to write something about this.
MENTIONS IN THE NEWS
The websites for the news media (for the most important ones) normally enjoy a high degree of credibility. This means that their publications tend to appear in the top rankings of the search engines for a whole multitude of search terms.
Positive news, or at least, neutral news centered around a key word which we want to clean up (our name or that of our brand), is always beneficial to us, since it’s quite probable that it will displace some of the negative entries which we don’t want to have seen.
If you know a little about the SEO world, then you’ll know that links from relevant websites help improve your positioning on the search pages.
If we organize a very good link building campaign which will generate links that point toward positive or neutral content when people search for our brand, we’ll be able to give these a push and, with any luck, situate them in a good place in the ranking. By doing this, we can help send all the results which we don’t want anyone to see into oblivion.
This is just a small sample, but there are a multitude of tactics to clean up your good (or not so good) name online. If you have a problem of this kind and need something more than just a tutorial from a blog, don’t worry. At Internet Republica we are experts in Online Reputation Management. We can help you design an ORM strategy (Online Reputation Management) in order to improve your image or that of your brand on the Internet. Please contact us!
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