This is a guest post by David Smith. He works for a conversion rate optimization company. David enjoys writing on SEO, landing pages, conversion optimization and affiliate marketing.

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Search for keyword “cash4gold” or “Cooks Source Magazine”. Can you see something common in search results? Yes, the negative listings in search results. Well, we all know that both these companies are scammers and they deserved it. But sadly, many legitimate businesses are going through the similar phase. The reasons for these negative listings can be different – over demanding customers, angry employees or unethical competitors but the result is same – tarnished brand image, negative reputation and huge loss of potential customers who just go away after looking these negative listings.

If you are also stuck with negative listings that appears in search results for your company name or your own name then this article is for you. Then this article is for you, here we will cover some effective tips on dealing with such negative listings.

How To Deal With It…

  • Try to handle it diplomatically
  • The first thing you should try to do is to solve this problem diplomatically. Contact the owners/webmaster of website (where the negative review about you is published) with proper evidences (that can prove the negative review is fake) and request them to remove the review.  Try to compensate them by offering some cash (very effective) , products or anything else to make it a win-win situation for both sides. Well, honestly speaking there are very rare chances that they will remove it but still there is no harm in trying. At least, try to convince them to publish your side of the story too.

  • Identify the pages you want to promote
  • I often see business owners who just create profiles on all social media sites and then get frustrated when these profile pages don’t rank well. Building profiles on all social media and web 2.0 sites is not reputation management it is just a part of it. Before identifying the pages that you want to push upward in search results, you need to determine the authority of pages (and the overall domain authority) which need to be demoted.

    For e.g. – You can’t fight a negative article on WSJ or TechCrunch with your newly created twitter profile. (It’s not completely impossible but it will definitely take more time). To get quick results, you need to get a positive story on domains with similar authority.

  • Creating profiles and Registering exact match domains
  • This is a follow-up of the previous point. We all know that getting a positive mention on an authority site is not possible for all businesses. So you need to follow a traditional root here. Register exact match domains in all available extensions (org, net, info, my, ly, etc) if you haven’t registered them till now. Create sites with unique content on all these extensions. After that register profiles on all good websites like Linkedin, Twitter, Crunchbase etc. Do not create profiles just for the sake of creating it. Customize it and start participating in the communities.  You can also create sub-domains and optimize them like , etc

  • Prefer building links for your own properties
  • Most of the times, people prefer to build links to the sites which are directly below the negative listings or are on the second page.  Well, it is a correct approach to some extent but at the end you don’t have any control on those sites. The ideal solution will be to build links to your own properties and keep the complete control of first page of search results in your own hands.

    So these are the common tips which one needs to follow while doing reputation management. What we need to understand here is that there is no fixed formula of reputation management and you should create your strategy on the basis of authority of sites and number of sites you want to push down and the money and efforts you want to spend. Sometimes, just completely changing the business name ( in case if you are very new and do not want to invest in reputation management) makes more sense than spending thousands of dollar in doing link building for web 2.0 properties.

    Group Discussion

  • Have you ever faced a reputation management problem?
  • How you solved it?
  • Please share them with us in comments below.


    1. David


      hopefully I won’t have to deal with this anytime soon. But good to know what to do in case it ever happens.

    2. Honey from search engine company


      Very nice article. Well explained and very informative views shared. I really like it. This post brings up a really valuable point for everyone involved in SEO. Thanks for having this site. I love reading sites about internet marketing. It’s such an exciting area.
      I’ll bookmark it and visit regularly.

    3. seph from engine optimization


      Today, the internet has become a huge virtual marketplace and it is important for any business to maintain a positive feedback or image on the web in order to do well. However, it is impossible not to get some negative reviews or listings.

      It is important to improve your search listings so your website appears on the top of the page. But as much as SEO is important it does not repair the damage done by negative information. It is equally important to do this.

    4. FreeMoneyMaker


      Thanks for the article.I had a problem few days ago,I personally contact the person who had a article for me,but their was same negative sentence for me.I request him to remove those line,thanks to him ,he respond quickly.

    5. Reply

      That was an interesting read David! The so called negative listings can definitely prove a big issue for legitimate companies. I know of quite some services that are great, but at the same time are often being classified as scam or something along those lines. Being diplomatic when dealing with the problem is probably the best solution. Otherwise you can only harm your business to an even greater extent.

      • David


        Thanks Daniel ,for the comment. Most of these reviews are done by competitors or customers with only motive to do negative publicity. So solving it diplomatically has very low scope

    6. Reply

      This kind of thing never has happened to me, because i have never had a business website.

      But i guess, reviews online can be fake nowadays, since we can actually pay people for 5$ to give a good or bad review.

      I think to be confidence about ourselves is a good idea, the most important is we know our products, if they are good, sooner or later people will know the truth.

      Thanks for the post, David, and Kharim 🙂

      • David


        Hi Kimi,

        Well I think negative listings is not a problem only for Business sites. It can be for bloggers too , just imagine if a negative page from a competitive blogger ranks for your name or your blog name. I’m glad you like the article.


    7. Reply

      Thanks for the post David. I have never really given much thought to negative listing on search engines. This could affect our pagerank as well and the amount of traffic that we get from search engines. Thanks 🙂

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