One of the most common questions small businesses have when dealing with online reputation management is "how do I make bad results go away?" The bad news is you usually can't. The good news is you can often push them far enough down the search results they don't get looked at. That's why it's essential to capture as many of the top listings on your own as possible. Andy Beal over at Marketing Pilgrim offers up a great post today with information about protecting your brand and your name in Google.
Google is no longer just a search engine. With your potential customers, future employers, and members of the media turning to Google for information about your business, Google has become a reputation engine.
In helping clients with their online reputation, I'm consistently asked how they can push out negative content that appears on the first page of Google for a search for their name. Whether they were fined by the SEC, ridiculed by an ex-employee, or investigated by their local newspaper, they share one common goal: get that negative result off of the first page!
Of course, it's near on impossible to make a negative Google result simply disappear—although there are some black-hat SEOs that claim to have that gift. Instead, your best approach is to provide Googlebot with a healthier diet of web content that shows your reputation in a positive light.
Andy goes on to outline ten options that should give you a great chance at capturing more of the top ten listing. He offers up advice on launching your own web site, building a blog, using subdomains and leveraging various types of social media sites. He also offers a warning or two (don't try to submit a personal profile to Wikipedia) and reminds site owners to start using these tactics BEFORE they run into trouble.
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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