• Google and Online Reputation Management for Professionals and Business

    How can Google help your business reputation?  Know how Google works and what they are looking for is a great way to help your reputation.

    I’ve visited the behemoth that is Google—the building in New York, at least—in the past when I working for Lifetime Television, whose broadcast facilities moved from the Kaufman Astoria Studios.

    This time, it was for a general talk about some of their tools and approaches.  Although the seminar didn’t go into any subject in depth (and didn’t even mention online reputation management and brand management at all), it still provided some excellent insights into how to best approach a negative posting when showing up in a Google search.

    First, a one interesting fact: 97% of online consumers research products before buying (BIA/Kelsey Group).

    1. Content is Key to Repairing Your Reputation
      A Community Affairs Manager mentioned that content is key to Google, and their Panda update reflects this.  They are looking for great, original, and well positioned content and will rank it higher than plagiarized, or obvious attempts at “jonesing” the search engine algorithm.What does that mean for repairing a business or personal reputation?  It means writing great blogs, articles or press releases are effective in pushing down negative information.I’ve seen this personally many times in action.  I was working for a client who had a post from ComplaintBoard.com that was lingering at the some of the search results.  After I did some careful keyword search and produced some excellent content around subjects people wanted to read about, I was able to burry that post to page ten in a few weeks!
    2. Find Key Search Terms
      Also mentioned was getting great search terms were important to Google.  Search terms are crucial to driving traffic to a web site, and is a major component to search engine optimization.For online reputations, knowing effective search terms is very important to pushing down negative posts.For example, if someone was a photographer and competitor wrote a poor false review somewhere, researching a realistic search term is crucial.  Generating content with the term, “Photographer,” could be nearly useless because there are so many searches for it.  Maybe, “Fashion Photographer NYC,” would be much better.
    3. Keep Content Fresh
      Finally, writing adding information often is important.  That means publishing maybe weekly or monthly but possibly daily.  Google will see a blog or a site that has been untouched for months, and will think that its inactive, underused or not important, and might lower the place it appears in the search results.What does that mean for your reputation?  Keep publishing!  The more active a professional, business or individual is, the easier it will be to repair your online reputation.
    4. Be Local
      One major recent shift is local search.  Keep the focus where you live, your city, even your neighborhood and spread the word on local-oriented sites.  This helps your online reputation as well as builds your brand.

    Google wants users to find great, fresh content based on what people are searching for.  Following these basic principles, it’s possible to recover and repair a businesses online reputation.


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