What is Search Reputation Management?
Search Reputation Management represents a practice of influencing the results which are displayed in SERP (search engine results page). This kind of SEO service can be used both for individuals and brands that are interested about their online image.
Initially, it was associated with the public relations domain, but today it is considered to be a part of Search Engine Optimization, Social Media and Online Marketing.
Why do you need this kind of service?
A lot of individuals and brands start using this service when their image is suffering from negative reviews.
Many people would say they don’t care what other people think about them. But when it comes about your job, your business or your personal life, you would like that only good and positive results will talk about you when somebody searches your name on the internet.
You should be more aware about your online image, considering that a study made by Microsoft and Cross – Tab Market Research revealed that 70% of companies have eliminated candidates for a job position based on their online reputation.
Also, business area and brands are strongly affected by their image on the internet. Today, customers can easily complain on a personal or collective blog, forum or social media networks when they are not satisfied with a service or product. It’s easy to understand that is much more tempting to say what bothers you than to praise something or somebody.
Many brands and companies suffered from a bad image, coming through a crisis situation, because they ignored different signals of dissatisfaction. And from here to a lower profit or even the collapse of the company is only one step.
How does Search Reputation Management work?
It usually consists in pushing up the good ones and “hiding” the negative ones.
There are three types of Search Reputation Management:
Building – when a new business is at his start, it needs a good one. That’s why it’s important to build a positive reputation from the beginning.
Maintenance – after everything is settled, it is recommended to maintain the company’s good image for their existing customers and the potential ones.
Recovery – this occurs when a brand has problems with the way people perceive it. Now, the image of that company must be “repaired”, so positive results must be placed on the first search engine results page.
What are the tactics used on Search Reputation Management strategy?
1. Publishing good, informative materials about the company / person / brand. Here we talk about white papers, positive customer testimonials or long and interesting articles.
2. Creating positive content websites and social media profiles on which to have total control.
3. Publishing press releases on high ranked and authoritative websites, which will exceed the negative results when a search is performed.
4. Submitting a right of reply on the same online newspaper where was published a negative review or article.
5. Requesting legal takedown of a negative material on a particular website (if possible).
6. Creating fake profiles with the same name as the public person which has a bad reputation, in order to distract the attention from the original person.
7. Maintaining a good relation with customers and trying to resolve problems and complaints. It is possible that a dissatisfied client who feels listened to and helped will later on become one of the best ambassadors for that brand.
Search Reputation Management – how ethical is it?
Since Search Reputation Management techniques manipulate search engine results, there exists a lot of discussions concerning how ethical they are.
An official position in this matter is available from Google, which can be read here: http://googleblog.blogspot.ro/2009/10/managing-your-reputation-through-search.html
In conclusion, there are good reputation management techniques and there are bad ones as well. It’s important not to make illegal moves in order to dramatically change the search results (like click fraud, DDos or XSS). Instead, you can use the steps which are mentioned above or, better yet, let the professionals to do it for you.
Picture credits: www.visualinspiration.com.