This is a guest post by Brandon Connell, a full time blogger and internet marketing expert. His online reputation management blog can be found at http://helprepair.me which is also where you can contact him if you need these services.
You were going about your day as usual. You get your morning coffee, shower, then sit at the computer and decide to Google yourself to see what others are saying. You suddenly realize that your name is on a website claiming that you are a scam or a ripoff, or even a cheater! What do you do?
For most people over the years, they have come to me. They came to me because I am an online reputation management consultant, and my job was to improve their reputation in Google and other search engines.
There are many reasons why your reputation may need to be repaired. Those include:
- A breakup – You may be hated by an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, and they decided to get their revenge for something personal by ruining your good name online. This is the worse kind because an ex is often vengeful and very personal. They have no problem with completely making something up about you in order to hurt you.
- Job hunting – Something from your past may be on the 1st page of Google for your name, and employers are increasingly googling candidates these days before hiring them. If they find something bad, you will have some explaining to do, and chances are that you will not get the job even after you explain the situation.
- Web Opportunity – Someone may have thought that your name was worth leveraging for traffic. So they decided to defame you on their website, and try to get it ranked in order to trickle some of your brand traffic.
- Competition is bad – You shouldn’t be surprised to find out that competitors can be jerks sometimes. They will do anything to steal your business, and that includes fouling your brand in Google while they remain squeeky clean. Then when a client mentions you to them, all they have to do is go to Google and show the client. On another note, many clients can and will find that information for themselves, and not sign up with you because of it.
- Court case – You may have been a part of a high profile court case. That court case has been publicized all over the internet, and it’s ruining your business, job, or relationship. MANY of my clients have had this issue. I have even managed celebrities because of this, and it is a major issue these days.
- Blogger woes – A controversial blogger may have decided to rip you a new one, and for some reason their blog ranks very well for your name. Unfortunately, these kinds of bloggers are out there. They usually do these things because they have nothing better to do than experiment with your life.
These are just the main reasons for needed online reputation management, but they are not the least by far. You may have your own reasons. Regardless of what they are, it is important to control your internet brand.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management is none other than reverse search engine optimization (seo). The seo you do is designed to push down other sites by proving to Google that they are not as relevant as the positive sites you want on the first page. A good reputation management campaign would include blog participation, guest posting, article publishing, social media interaction, and press releases. While I may have summed it up in a short sentence, it is by no means an easy job. It can take months, and in some cases it can take years to take control of your brand online.
Proving to Google that your content is what’s relevant takes consistency. This means that you can’t just create a social media profile and submit it to Google in the hopes that it gets ranked. Regular updates to these social media profiles shows Google that the profile is in use by the person. It then becomes more relevant. In addition, guest posting on large blogs that have been established can help leverage their relevance in Google and benefit you. The same goes with article and press release websites.
Why Hire a Professional
Chances are that you do not have the amount of time online that a professional does. In addition, you are not likely to have a database of resources at their disposal, and they are very efficient when using them.
Another good reason not to do this yourself is that you may go about it wrong. I have seen some people decide that reverse seo was not enough, and they decided to contact the offending site personally. This often resulted in more bad press due to the website wanting to exploit the communication. Some people think that bribes will work, but that often gets published as well and will solidify a bad name in Google. It isn’t until you accept that everything remains online, that you realize the only way to fix it is to push down the bad and replace it with good.
What if You Don’t Have Bad Press?
Even if the things above has not happened to you doesn’t mean that they can’t in an instant. It is still wise to take control of your brand right away, and be prepared just in case something bad gets published. You can actually help your chances of keeping customers by getting a head start. If you do it right and with enough time to spare, then a bad review wouldn’t even show up anywhere near the top of Google.