Search engine reputation management is one of the most challenging and difficult tasks a seasoned SEO professional can take on. It’s not like regular SEO. In fact, standard search engine optimization seems almost easy in comparison. With standard SEO the practitioner is attempting to make one individual website appear as high in a search engine as possible. With search engine reputation management the practitioner is trying to push negative or malicious search results off of the first page and on to the second, third or even fourth by optimizing several of the results below it and/or creating new content to trump the negative or malicious search results.
Even more challenging than that is trying to control the words that appear in Google’s drop down search recommendations. I’ve spoken with some of the top SEO experts in the field about this challenge and how to fix it for clients. So far, I’ve been able to figure out that the core of this algorithm is centered on original, secondary and tertiary keyword searches. Meaning, Google tracks the first, second and third searches we make. So, if you are doing a search for “Flat Screen TV” and you don’t like the results, you may do a secondary search for “Samsung Flat Screen TV.” It’s these secondary and tertiary searches that Google uses to determine what phrases to recommend in the drop down box.
However, this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. By Google suggesting a particular phrase to a person in its drop down the suggested phrase is much more likely to be clicked on. This process can wreak havoc on a business’s reputation when the keyword suggestions are negative in nature. I hope this is something you or your company will never have to deal with. You should put a plan in place today just in case you find yourself in need of search engine reputation management.
If you ever find yourself the victim of a malicious attack on the internet that smears you or your company’s name you can ask Google for help. If you can show Google that the smears are spammy Google may eliminate them from its drop down recommendations and search engine results. However, they must be spammy in nature. So, if someone posts the exact same malicious content on a dozen websites you can report it as spam. Make sure the content fits Google’s definition of spam. You can submit a report and find Google’s reporting requirements here.
Thursday November 18, 2010 @ 2PM EDT
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