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Using Internet Reputation Management Techniques To Counter Negative Attacks

Apr 9, 2008
In today's world of push button publishing, any company can become the victim of an online attack from any disgruntled customer or competitor with a computer and an internet connection. Because of the nature of online search, negative blog posts, comments, and press can quickly tarnish a company's reputation when potential customers find harsh criticisms when conducting a search for your company's name.

These types of attacks can be extremely damaging to your reputation and profitability - especially when they appear on the first page of search results. However, there are ways to counter them using the same techniques applied by top Internet reputation management experts.

#1 Monitor Your Online Presence

A key component in any Internet reputation management campaign is to continuously monitor what others are saying about you online. When and if negative information is published about your company, you'll want to be aware of it quickly in order to take action. The simplest way to do this is to set up a Google Alert for your name and your company name, as well as any other key terms associated with your line of business.

#2 Think Carefully Before You Retort

Unlike a conversation you may have with someone in person, a dialog carried out in the comments section of a blog or online forum will be recorded and leave a footprint online for years to come. If you learn that someone has posted a negative comment about you or your business, your first instinct may be to type out a heated retort. Instead of replying immediately, give yourself time to calm down and clearly think through your message before you reply.

Once you calm down, you will likely regret what you may have said in the heat of the moment and worse, possibly enabled the negative publicity to rise in search results.

#3 Ask Content Publishers to Remove Vicious Attacks

Internet reputation management experts will tell you that you can remove some blatantly slanderous results by contacting the content publishers where the comments are posted. This is usually only the case when the comments are overtly slanderous and unfounded. However, many content publishers will not remove material once it has been published. Once you've attempted to remove as much of the negative commentary as possible, your next plan of action should be to push the negative dialog as far back in the search engine results as possible. While quite time-consuming, it is a key component.

#4 Continuously Grow Your Presence on Search Engines

More relevant positive information, properly created, in the search engines related to you or your company will dilute the negative information and push it further back in the search engine results. The most effective way to accomplish this is by publishing more valuable content online through user-generated content sites or by building optimized profiles on various social media sites. Remember, the vast majority of people only search the first page of search results.

Companies and individuals may need to rely on Internet reputation management experts to push negative queries back from the first or second page of search results to a distant place where they will seldom if ever be seen. Professional internet reputation management experts use techniques that include building entire sites, massive article publication and distribution, press release generation and distribution, worldwide blogging and more. In addition, Internet reputation management experts are skilled in search engine optimization techniques and understand how and why search engines rank pages, thus making their efforts even more effective.
About the Author
Kent Campbell is the CEO of Kent Campbell.com, a search engine optimization firm offering competitive SEO rates that specializes in Internet reputation management.
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