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…
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.
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.
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 blog.companyname.com , guides.companyname.com etc
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.
Please share them with us in comments below.