Google's Tips for Online Reputation Monitoring & Management

Susan Moskwa, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google recently wrote about ways to manage your reputation through search results.

It is great to see Google offering practical tips to people or companies looking to improve their online reputation. As an online reputation monitoring strategist I am encouraged that Google is taking steps to educate their audience on this topic. Reputation management can be a daunting task for any company or search engine marketer looking to repair or improve upon negative publicity.

Susan approaches the problem at hand with three strategies. Here are some additional tips to help with your online reputation management campaign:

Think twice
If you decide to put your information online, it is crucial to determine the right keywords to use. Whether it is the name of a company, product, or individual – the key to success is to remain consistent. URLs for online profiles are typically derived from the user name you select, so be mindful of your final choice. Your Facebook, Twitter or YouTube account can rank right behind your website on a search for your company name.

Tackle it at the source
You noticed a forum post from 2004 ranking #57 on a search for your company name. If you are trying to get this post removed from a site to lower the ranking, the worst thing you can do is reply to the thread. Adding new content to the thread can increase the chance that Google will re-crawl this page and increase the ranking of the forum post. Leave it alone!

Proactively publish information
Be very careful to the way you go about responding to any reputation issues. If not handled correctly, a small campfire can turn into a raging forest fire. Don’t add more fuel to the fire if you can help it. If a blogger is not responsive to your rebuttal of false claims, consider taking the conversation offline with a phone call. Some journalists strive to post controversial topics, but make sure they aren’t denying your right to respond. I have seen a well written response denied by the journalist because they don’t want to cater to the reasoning of the company they slammed. As unfair as it is, it is a reality for a blog that has comment moderation.

Publishing new and positive content across the web is the best thing you can do to improve your online reputation. There are numerous social networks, wikis, article and press release websites that can be used to spread your name and positive image, along with improving your inbound links as entrance points to your website.

View more reputation monitoring articles by Fathom.

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