The web is an great platform for publicity; unfortunately not all of it is positive!
If you have a website that depends on traffic from search engines then your reputation is vulnerable to external forces. Negative websites whose sole purpose is to provide a platform for your disgruntled customers to malign your brand (your keyword) can show up in Google search results and invade your search real estate. These sites become popular because they use certain techniques that attract searchers who are typing in keywords associated with your brand. Potential customers who might be searching for your product or service, comparing prices, or looking for your product reviews on the web, may also come across negative publicity that is displayed on the first page of Google search results along with your legitimate website! Google search results page will list these negative sites if these sites have gained momentum and are optimized for relevant search terms/keywords.
Many big companies are regularly confronted with this Internet Reputation Management nightmare and have to employ strategies to push down negative press and relegate Google position of negative sites that malign their brands.
Online Reputation Management or counter-SEO is a specialized area that requires professional skills and tools. It focuses on systematically dealing with the threat of negative websites and devising long-term solutions to protect companies against keyword predators.
Below is a list of SEO and social media marketing techniques that you can use to ensure that the first page of Google search results for your brand related keywords does not include negative websites.
24 TECHNIQUES FOR COUNTER-SEO CAMPAIGNS:
- Create systems to monitor conversations, aggregate the results and identify common themes
- Build micro-sites on different servers optimized around the themes to index and push down negative search results
- Conduct keyword research and optimize your domains for negative, highly searched keywords
- Provide controlled platforms for consumers where they can air negative sentiment and share their experiences directly with you: Facebook, Twitter, Blog Comments, feedback webpage, complaints blog
- Create sub domains, blogs, media channels (.TV); enlist popular bloggers to avoid Google Clustering
- Use electronic and traditional PR techniques and optimized press releases
- Create Professional LinkedIn profiles with optimized links to the company website
- Use no-follow on low quality outbound links
- Use YouTube, Slide Share and social book marking sites regularly for universal search and optimize with keywords and anchor text
- Optimize Google Maps and Local searches and use enhanced listings option that allows custom anchor texts
- Analyze negative website’s backlinks and try and obtain those links for your website
- Use 301 redirects instead of 302 or Meta refresh
- Use a combination of keyword density, semantic keywords for Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) by Google, and related anchor texts on a webpage to increase page relevance
- Try and get into Google’s Onebox (Google vertical search results for a keyword) ex: Google News, Google Base, Google Product Search and other Google owned vertical search services
- Use PPC to improve traffic to domains
- Create link-bait campaigns with SEO article writing and submission to sites like Article Base and Ezine. Create Wikipedia articles, electronic press releases; leave comments on forums and blogs even those with <nofollow> attributes
- Use blogroll on company blog with link to other company domains
- Submit all company domains to free and paid directories and local search directories
- Include negative keywords
- Create a page with file-name and page title “negative keyword”
- Renew domains for as long in the future as possible (Google looks at the renew dates to gauge authority and commitment to subject matter)
- Start a corporate sponsorship campaign with high profile causes to get valuable backlinks from: .edu, .org, .gov
- Submit website to high ranked foreign or another language directories
- Make your RSS feeds seeded into the most potent feed engines and directories
Online reputation management is an increasingly important SEO function that can help counter negative search results and ensure a company’s ownership of keywords related to their company and brands. Contact Harp Social and find out how we can help you manage your online reputation.