Reputation management and search engine optimization are two different fields with different goals, but there is definitely some overlap between them. Both reputation management and SEO are about showing your company in the best possible light to as many users as possible, using the reputation-building power of the Internet.
With that in mind, here are some SEO techniques that are also helpful for reputation management–either for your brand or for yourself personally.
What to do about negative or personal content
When there is negative or outdated information about your brand on the Interwebs and you’d like it to stop showing up on web searches, you can try asking the website owners to remove it. If could be inaccurate information, the remnants of an old black hat SEO campaign from years past that involved a link farm, or personal information. Whatever it is, you’d like that bad content and/or bad links to go away.
If the link farms don’t respond to your request to take down the links to your site, you can disavow bad links at the domain level using Google Webmaster Tools. And if the content contains personal information about an individual (you, or someone else in your company), you can ask Google to remove that information from search results.
However, if the webmaster(s) won’t take down the content or don’t respond, and it isn’t linked to your website but does show up in searches for your name or your brand, there’s not a lot you can do to make it go away…except to make it old news.
Play up the positive
Populating the web with positive content about yourself or your business is a great way to overwhelm whatever negative content is out there. And as it becomes older, it should begin slipping in the search results. There are several ways you can do your part to make sure people see more of your good side than the bad news:
Post more blog entries, especially about your industry and your or your company’s leading role in it (without sounding overly boastful)..
Keep your social media profiles and accounts, such as Facebook, linkedIn and Twitter, updated.
Issue press releases about your new products or services, awards and accomplishments, volunteer activities in your community, or any other news that shows you in a positive light.
Interact with your customers and colleagues on forums and in blog comment sections.
Do what you can to get inbound links from well-known and respected sites. If you guest blog on an important site such as Entrepreneur or the Huffington Post, be sure to write a great bio with a link to your site.
It may seem like a lot of work, but these tips for improving your online image can really help you drown out the negative press about your brand and improve your reputation, generally with just a few minutes of work per day. And these tips are definitely worth the effort, even if you don’t have negative content on the Internet to deal with.