Reverse SEO and Online Reputation Management

by on August 9, 2010

Carrotcreative

Online reputation By: Miklos Teknos

“Any press is good press”, right? Not necessarily. Bad press – negative publicity – is becoming a prevalent problem for online companies. Anybody can write something about your company, from anywhere, about anything. They don’t have to have a name; “Anonymous” is a very popular identity for posting on forums, sites and blogs.

Is Bad Press a Problem for you?

It may be time for reverse SEO. With the Internet and social media, bad press can turn into a public relations nightmare. How do you control the damage?

A while back, I had a run-in with a potential client. He didn’t like my prices and, although we had no contract, he somehow felt he’d been gypped. He chose a well-known complaint site and posted a complaint against me for “how poorly I treated clients”. For a month, anytime someone searched for my name, one of the first things they saw was the complaint. Now, granted, some of my actual clients came to bat for me, but the damage was done.

In this case, reputation management was easy – sort of. I contacted the complaint site, showed them the correspondence and they took the complaint down. However, it took another month for the complaint to disappear from the SERPs; it was listed, but when you clicked on the link it redirected to the home page of the complaint site.

For those two months, there’s no telling how many potential clients I may have lost from that one untrue complaint.

Controlling Negative Publicity

Reverse SEO pushes the bad press from the front page of the SERPs, lowering its exposure to the general populace and cutting down on the potential impact to your business. It might take everything from creating social media profiles to optimized press releases to high-quality link building, but suppressing negative publicity can be done.

It’s very seldom that a company manages to go through the business cycle of life untouched and pristine. It happens to everyone, whether the claims are legitimate or not: resentful employees, competitors, etc. can quickly destroy your online reputation. Because these complaints are easy to make anonymously, they’re hard to control, and harder to take care of in a private setting.

So tell me readers have you been in a similar situation? Maybe you can share with us how you handled it or what you would suggest… If you have a suspicion that negative publicity may be coming, don’t hesitate to take on reverse SEO. A little bit of preparation goes a long way!



{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

jonny54 September 4, 2012 at 4:46 am

It is true that, in order to rank high in search engines, it is important for websites to incorporate the right SEO plan and strategies. Although businesses can implement the SEO techniques and strategies on their own but it is advisable to hire a knowledgeable SEO company to make the things easier and faster. I am totally agree with that.senoir living fresno

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jak55 June 24, 2012 at 11:36 am

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elizabeth April 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

So, I have something negative under my name when using my middle initial that I want to bury. I added a linken account and want to add others, but I see that my lindened in account and facebook are showing up under just my first and last name with NO middle initial. How do I get them to show up under my name WITH my middle initial so I can start burying the bad content

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Level343 Team April 12, 2012 at 8:42 am

Elizabeth – Rather than offer vague advice here on the blog, may we suggest that you contact us to provide more details? Frankly, it’s hard to give sound advice on something as sticky as online reputation based on a a few sentences. Please feel free to contact us at 1.888.666.4180 to discuss. Thank you!

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mojaffor68 March 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Oh! Its really a helpful post for all.I think for every online business, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the core mantra of success in the business. It is the process by which a search engine optimizer brings a business website to rank highly among major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. The process of SEO is very beneficial to drive more and more traffic to a website and that turns in to revenue. Unique content, relevant keywords and link popularity are the major factors to provide high rank in any search engine.

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josefjohn110 December 26, 2011 at 5:11 am

Very good info. Some of the stuff has been in Science Magazine since the 60ies, but now anyone can do these projects and cheap!
josefjohn110
Scottsdale real estate

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Guysmith65 December 11, 2011 at 7:39 am

Excellent overview, it pointed me out something I didn’t realize before. I should encourage for your wonderful work. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

Guysmith65
School Holidays 2012 , Anzac Day

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John doe October 24, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Nowadays, having an online management reputation is really important especially to an online business so that that there will be a regular monitoring of feed backs from the visitors whether it might be negative or positive.By this, businesses could easily point out and determine their weak points that needs to be improved and at the same time to be aware of their edge with other competitors.

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Greg Habstritt October 21, 2011 at 2:54 am

Yes, it’s very important that every online businesses should have their own online management reputation that that would regularly monitor any feed backs from the visitors whether it might be negative or positive. Through this, businesses could easily point out and determine their weak points that needs to be improved and at the same time to be aware of their edge with other competitors. Anyway, that just my opinion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Keep going!

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steveplunkett April 6, 2011 at 9:38 am

having advance notice is definitely a plus – it allows you to seed content to push authoritative pages up and and non-authoritative pages down.

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Timothy Weissbrot March 30, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Yes, google alert is essential indeed. 
Bing also is on the rise and should not be neglected .

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Timothy Weissbrot March 30, 2011 at 6:12 am

I fully agree with all the information has been presented here , everybody today has to take into consideration that their reputation is in danger over the net , each and every single day !  I suggest that at least once a week , everybody will google his name and the name of his company , just to check if there are any negative posts on the first two pages of google .

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Gabriella March 30, 2011 at 3:28 pm

A quicker way rather than try to add (1) more thing on your to do list is add Google Alert on any brand names or keyword you are monitoring. Let Google do the work for you… ;)

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Trinity Vanproosdy January 29, 2011 at 11:31 pm

This website is awesome. I constantly come across something new & different right here. Thank you for the great information.

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Jerrick December 26, 2010 at 11:57 pm

bad press always the most had the most view. Once people say something about bad toward some product or company, everyone would like to know what happening. Prevent something happen , if not you will have a real nightmare that need sometime to solve it.

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Enioa Calgary Web December 9, 2010 at 3:26 pm

There is a guy up in Edmonton that has gotten a lot of bad press for his online antics. What he did was just dominate Google with his own press.

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Gabriella December 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm

LOLOL Perfect.. nothing like having your own press. But at this point of the game it takes more than just press, you’ve got to consider RT search, geo targeting, and lets not forget all the social media involved in Google’s SERP’s. But, hey more power to him nothing like being Random House, in-house! ;)

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CapeLinks October 4, 2010 at 10:28 am

There is much of talk about ORM for business, but recently I have seen a jump in the number of individuals looking for personal ORM services. Either due to bad press or a legal issue like a divorce, oui, etc… Many of these folks are looking for jobs and would like to hide that stuff from potential employers that may punch their name into Google. Depending on the person’s name this can be easy or very hard to take care of.

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Singapore SEO Consultant in Malaysia September 22, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Now, Google allows the first page of SERP to be dominated by one domain. So pushing bad PR website is easier than before as all you need to do is pushing up your own web pages for the target keywords.

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Online reputation management August 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Many online businesses might have experience this and don’t know what to do, and they just panicked. But, there are those who from the start have their own reputation management team to monitor their online reputation and do the necessary action, as soon as they see the negative feedback they receive. However, there are those people who are too much. They post negative feedback and build links towards it, and so it’ll really go up to SERPs, and the website’s owner will definitely have a big problem towards it as they’ll definitely loss potential customers.

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Calgary Web Design August 23, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Sometimes a bad publicity can really harm your image but let me remind the people to be cunning and don’t believe in everything they read,they could do some research about your company if they are affected by the bad publicity..

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Andy August 17, 2010 at 7:14 am

It’s just too easy for anyone with an Internet connection to start screaming hate into the ether.

There’s another search company we know. Ranking on their company name is a horrible discussion thread in which 90% of responders admit that “they’ve not signed up for the service, but HATE IT ANYWAY!”

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Musical instrument online store August 13, 2010 at 2:43 am

Right topic, reputation management is most important for SEO. what ever any cyclic mistake or not, if any completion arise reputation must gone down.

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Paul August 12, 2010 at 4:58 am

Very nice write-up, why not expand this part:

“It might take everything from creating social media profiles to optimized press releases to high-quality link building, but suppressing negative publicity can be done.”

Just for those of us who’d like to know a little bit more! :)

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Gabriella August 12, 2010 at 6:20 am

Hey Paul, you are absolutely right. I was going to (bad excuse) but then I realized I already write long posts lolol. One of my favorite things to add is Wikipedia if applicable. I’m sure we all can see how high it shows up on SERP’s when doing a search… I would even go as far as addressing the negative press with valid arguments on your blog/FB/Forums? Discuss it for arguments sake. See what others would do… Depending on your influence and engagement out there social media can be your best friend.

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SEO Doctor August 12, 2010 at 2:31 am

You also buy up different domain extensions for your brand and rank them, just to control you brand SERP.

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Gabriella August 12, 2010 at 6:27 am

LOl Hey SEO doctor now you’re talking! Creative thinking is what I love about SEO.The concern of course is
“As SEO Jedi Yoda always says:Desperation Leads to Cheating. Cheating leads to Spamming. Spamming leads to poor content, and poor content leads to the Darkside.” Do you guys remember what BMW did back in the day lolol actually I found this article from Matt Cutts about it.

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ReputationManagementConsultants.com August 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Angie, I agree that sometimes bad PR can also do good for a company. But not if you are being bashed by everyone.

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Bill August 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I was wondering if you think it is possible to lower the page the bad comments are on versus raising 15-20 pages lowering the bad page. Meaning by sending bad links to that page to lower it’s quality score in google. Not all sites will remove bad reviews even if proven wrong in court.

just wondering which direction would be easier…raising 15+ pages for couple key words or lowering 1 page for a couple key words.

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JRPittman August 12, 2010 at 5:36 am

Hi, Bill – Although the count seems good, 1 vs 15+, the chances of lowering a page’s quality score are less than raising other pages’ scores. If you can’t get the site to remove the review, I’d have to say that your best bet is to either a) beat them out in the SERPs or b) wait for the “noise” to die down. Of course, you could always get Twitter followers or people you know personally to write a bunch of rave reviews… there are plenty of options, but they all take time. Just like an SEO campaign, online reputation management takes developing a strong course of action – not just willy-nilly trying to change things. Hope this answers your question – thanks for commenting!

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steveplunkett April 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

actually, it’s easier to lower a page’s score than to raise it.

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ghd uk August 11, 2010 at 2:08 am

Article content is very interesting, very unique view, I like this article, thanks to share it with you! ~

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UK Business Directory August 10, 2010 at 11:15 pm

This is so informative post its really so much usefull to me,
I am really thankful to you guys for sharing this information with us….will be looking forward to more of those!

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dodatki krawieckie August 10, 2010 at 1:22 am

Nice post, thanks for sharing, anyway great blog

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Angie Nikoleychuk August 9, 2010 at 6:50 am

I’m still a firm believer in the concept that even bad PR can be a good thing. I had the exact same similar situation as you, so I composed: http://www.angiescopywriting.com/copywriting/why-im-not-cheap-and-why-thats-a-good-thing.html in response. (Sorry, not link dropping, but the best way to explain it.)

But yeah, I’m not sure why personal reputation management isn’t more popular. In many instances, the bad PR is caused by the individual, not others (think nekkid MySpace pics and a job interview).

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Gabriella August 9, 2010 at 7:19 am

LOLOL Hey Angie nice to see you on this side of the track :) I cannot tell you how many times we have received requests from companies to help them with reputation management. To me & the rest of the crew at Level343 it’s a matter of principle and research. We will visit the “potential” clients site then look at the bad press. Nine times out ten they deserve the bad press and unlike “lawyers” it’s not my duty to help them. That’s always bugged me but we are not discussing lawyers lolol.

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