Online shoppers have become pretty smart. Before making a purchase with a new company, many shoppers will perform a quick Google search of the company to make sure they’re legitimate. Most people won’t go past the first page of the search results, so it’s those top 10 results that are most important.
When a customer searches for your company, what do they find? If negative publicity has found its way onto the first page of the SERPs (search engine results pages), you need to take action immediately to try to flush those results away. Keep in mind, this can be a slow process, but it’s one worth doing.
1. Resolve the problem and contact the webmaster – If the negative publicity comes from someone complaining about a bad experience with your company, see if you can track the bitter customer down to resolve their problem. It might be a long shot, but there could be a chance you can patch things up with them and have the negative content removed from the web. It’s definitely worth a shot.
2. Create social networking profiles – There are dozens of websites that allow you to create profiles for your company. You can sign up for Twitter, create a company page on Facebook, build a LinkedIn profile, and even sign up on sites like Digg, ReddIt, Mixx, etc. Social networking profiles tend to rank well over time, so optimizing these for your company name can help you own the search results.
3. Comment regularly on other blogs – Blog commenting gives you another way to get your name out there. Comments on quality blogs that rank well have a chance of showing up in the SERPs. Of course, if you’re going to comment on other blogs, make sure you actually leave comments that add to the conversation. You don’t want to do more damage to your name by coming across as a spammer.
4. Get listed in relevant directories – The internet is full of business directories where you can list your company information. Make sure you get listed in trusted directories that have a decent PageRank. These listings can help you get your name ranked higher, and they’re good for building links to your website as well.
5. Send out press releases on a regular basis – Getting press for your company is truly one of the best ways to wash away negative front page publicity. By committing to regular press release distribution, you can get your company coverage on news websites, blogs, and elsewhere.
6. Leverage the power of article marketing – With article marketing, you can attach your name to every article you submit. I regularly see top search results for various keywords from article directories like ezinearticles.com and articlesbase.com. Submit quality articles on a regular basis to trusted directories, and you could start to see a shift in the search results.
7. Become a guest blogger – Guest blogging allows you to build name recognition, and by getting your name out there, you can work to flush those negative search results off the first page. Follow these tips for getting more guest blogging opportunities.
Go ahead, do a quick search of your company. Does anything negative pop up?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (https://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: https://www.ereleases.com/free-offer/big-press-release-samples-book/
Thanks for the valuable advice.
The 7 steps outlined are definitely sound advice. However, requesting the removal of the negative information from the offending site might not be the best thing if you’re looking at multiple negative reviews, ratings, or feedback. It’s an all or none decision. If you can’t have them all removed, then it doesn’t make sense to spend your valuable time chasing one or more of them. Even if the information is removed, it might still appear on the search engines for some time.
The best long term strategy is to immediately start a reputation management strategy to mitigate the influence of the offending search result. It might be helpful to respond perhaps if the responses can bury the negative information within the forum or listing site itself.
We recently wrote an article on how to bury negative search results.