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  • When Good Networking Goes Bad – How to Save Your Online Reputation


    Sometimes you mess up. Sometimes you tick someone off. Sometimes people just decide to take you down a peg. That’s where forums , blogs and sites like “So and so” come from. Almost any company, you can type in “This company” and find a list of complainants.

    If you can do this with your own company site, you need to try to address whatever issue people are having If it is a legitimate beef, do your best to fix it and have a solid online presence to show you are actively disputing information that is misleading and taking action on any real grievances.

    If the site is actually ranking high on the SERPs for your company name, it is time to do some serious damage control. It is important to focus on ranking for your keywords when starting up a site with an unknown brand, but if you get ambushed you have to address the issue of your brand getting put down and try to salvage what you can.

    You can achieve this the same way you achieve ranking for your main keyword phrases – optimization. You just have to substitute your company name and try to inundate the SERPs with your own content to bump down the biased attacks.

    You can do this by providing highly optimized content that is keyed to your company name. Start a blog, issue a press release, write articles for submission to directories, and do anything else you can think of to get each result listed in Google’s results. This is not the same as simply trying to drive traffic – this is about holding spots one through five (or better yet, one through ten) and bumping your bad press off the radar.

    If you can get enough positive content into the mix, strengthened with links running to each result, you should be able to deal with sneak attacks and divert the blow so it is harmless.

    This method can be used whenever there is something you would rather not see there lurking in the upper echelons of the SERPs. Simply decide to beat them, and after you do, beat them again, and again, until they fade off the page to be replaced by your positive spin.

    All it takes is one bad word to ruin a reputation. You must be vigilant to avoid getting sideswiped by a disgruntled or deranged person. You should optimize forcefully to ensure that any time your company is searched for, positive stuff is all your potential customer sees.

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