It sounds like a possible good idea, on paper at least: a client wants to rename all their online properties due to a negative online reputation.
They are hounded by several damaging links, unfortunately posted by a competitor, which are showing up on the top of the first page of Google searches. They want to change their business brand because they are moving into several new ventures, but more importantly, they see it as a opportunity to make those damaging articles to go away.
While this might seem like a viable option, however, their negative online reputation could continue to haunt them, even with a new online identity, website, and social platforms.
Here’s seven reasons why.
Both Reputations Could be Damaged
When searching for the new company name, Google will probably still serve up links to to the old site and previous social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. If–or when–this happens, both the new and the old brand will be tainted, doubling the problem.
Appear to Hide Bad Reputation, Leading to More Negative Comments
Switching to a new name can make the business appear trying to hide the negative reputation or appears to be culpable. This would generate additional negative online press, comments, and blog posts, especially if the original writer or competitor or others see this.
Old Brand Is Still Vulnerable
Some people, users, and clients will still be searching for the old business name, and will easily find the negative articles. The more they click on the links, the more they will move up in Google searches.
No Defensive “Reputation Firewall”
When the old content creation and other activities will cease, the multiple negative links to move up, becoming more visible on top pages. Since the business has moved on to the new platform, the old one is left extremely vulnerable. Left unattended with no defensive “reputation firewall,” the negative links will rise quickly.
Redirection to Old Site Still Makes it Visible
Since the old website will probably redirected to the new site, the original name will still be searched for, and will thus uncover the negative links.
Google’s Auto-Complete still will display the old site and brand in searches–possibly when searching for the new name.
Original Author Could Write Additional Negative Articles
With the new name, the original writer might feel emboldened to write additional negative content, or feel liberated from legal constraints, and spread additional damaging information online.
So while it might seem logical to just change the old online brand to a new one, it probably will still continue to be damaging.
The solution is to conduct an online reputation repair solution, made up of excellent content creation and share very frequently on targeted industry-related platforms.