Today your online presence and reputation are just as important as those in real life. In the past 10 years, Google has changed the way people search for information and also how people go about making decisions based on the results they find on search engines. Because of the overwhelming amount of information now available to search engines, it is getting harder to filter that information in order to give the end user the best results possible. Spam, blogs, social networks, and forums all factor in to the ever-changing algorithm of a search engine, and the content on such platforms can have an adverse effect on you and your business if the post is meant to disparage or portray you in a negative light.
If someone has taken the time to mount a personal attack on your reputation, it isn’t too hard for their work to start showing up on Google’s coveted first page. This means when someone is searching for you by name or business name, they can find not only your business, but also negative content that has been posted about you via a blog, contact forum, or chat room. This can have a detrimental effect on whether or not a prospect chooses to call on you based on the negative comments that are being displayed on Google’s search results. That’s where reputation management comes in.
Methods to Reputation Management
Reputation management involves several methods of search engine optimization and content development that act to push the negative comments off the first page and away from people who are researching you or your business. Some of the tools one can use to fight back against slander and libel on the web are to join social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn or start up a personal blog and begin pumping positive feedback and comments about you and your business to combat the negative content that already exists. Google holds sites like Facebook and Twitter in high regard, and the more positive information you have about yourself or your business via these two social media platforms, the better your chance to knock down the negative comments.
People consider online reputation management for one of two reasons: 1) to combat a negative post that is damaging to a person’s or business’s reputation, or 2) to take a proactive step in building a positive profile online. People want to look as good as possible, and with online reputation management you can effectively manage what is being said about you and whether or not that information is visible on the top pages of a Google search result.
Ethical SEO: Get Your Reputation Back
While there are plenty of spam and black hat techniques that can be deployed to knock a negative post off Google’s first page, there are also many ethical SEO tactics that can be used to achieve the same result, but one that lasts longer and won’t be removed should Google determine the practice to be unethical. If you try to spam a negative post off Google, you could just as easily be called out for what Google deems to be unethical manipulation of its search results. This means you could get banned from Google, and the bad post could stay. However, when you take the time to mount an effective reputation management campaign using ethical SEO techniques, you can get rid of negative content and build an online profile that will solidify your search position in a positive manner.