Whether businesses like it or not, the average customer, prospect or the internet user relies heavily on what search engines tell them. The first page is considered a hub for reputed websites. You might think page one is the most comfortable seat in the gallery but even something as insignificant as a negative tweet gone viral, could undo all the good work done to bag the top spot. While an information embargo is not possible, proactive and reactive Online Reputation Management strategies can go a long way in keeping a business’s online reputation intact.
Pitfalls to reputation
Online reputation management involves determining bad links, addressing over optimization, tackling negative press that may have arisen out of many anticipated and unforeseen factors. Unethical optimization is frowned upon by search engines and page rankings obtained by such practices have to be evaluated to prevent penalization. Social media and blogs can make bad press go viral. Intense competition result in competitors kindling negative press. Such efforts can be thwarted if reputation is constantly monitored. As part of monitoring exercises, back link profiles are analyzed and reported. The sources of negative press are traced to address any discontent.
Positive image reinforcement
Landing on the first page of search engine can guarantee good traffic and sales. Over a period of time this helps a website build trust and credibility. The website then gains reputation. Besides ranking high, it is also essential to reinforce image built. Social media should be actively used for circulating positive news. Creating a wiki article is essential. Information seekers heavily rely on Wikipedia and trust information supplied through wiki. It is also beneficial as wiki articles can be easily found through search engines. A comprehensive wiki page can go a long way in generating publicity free of cost. Social media use is often integrated with Search Engine Reputation Management in crisis situations.
Negative press once generated will easily find its way to front pages of search engines. Akin to traditional media like newspapers where anything controversial, sensational and negative finds front page lead spots, negative press on the Internet too finds prominence. While proactive reputation monitoring will help locate problems, generation of negative feedback cannot be controlled. Negative press through Twitter or YouTube will go viral in no time. Organizations should be prepared with a strategy to tackle them. As part of search engine reputation management reverse SEO can be employed at the time of crisis to delink your website from damaging links. By culling links that are not beneficial, you would also eliminate loose ends that could prove a future threat to reputation.
Handling reputation with care - proactive and reactive onlin