Somehow you’ve found yourself with something negative in your search results. Perhaps a news article, an arrest record, or a disciplinary action made public. Even though it may be meritless, it’s still hurting your reputation and thus causing you lost business or perhaps just lost sleep at night.
Chris Hinman, Reputation Management Expert, dives into what a successful reputation management campaign would look like for most people. “First and foremost, we need to ensure the negative content is pushed far enough down to where people won’t come across it.” says Chris Hinman. “This means to page two or three of Google, as studies show less than 5% of people reach page two and less than one percent of people reach page one when searching for something or someone online.”
Chris goes on to state “We do this by creating a positive presence; by creating and publishing content that is going to rank above the negative content that currently exists.” He goes on to say “However, we don’t want to create any nonsense at all. This is your reputation we are talking about. Anyone looking you up is going to see whatever it is that you have worked to create. Therefore, since your reputation is obviously important to you, why not ensure it’s the best one possible?”
“I’ve seen it all.” says Chris Hinman. “Reputation Management companies that outsource content overseas and use “spray and pray” techniques, where they create hundreds of profiles in broken English that not only look terrible, but don’t actually outrank the negative content at all.”
Chris continues “A proper reputation management campaign has several parts to the content creation portion. You want to start with a home for your content. This is usually a website that you completely control, like a professional blog site. You will backlink your other created content to this home which tells Google that everything is connected.”
“You absolutely do want to create professional profiles as well that show who you are, but it needs to be done correctly. The profile creation itself is only half the process. These sites include profile sites, social media sites, connotation sites, etc. Not only should your bios be accurate and SEO optimized for your name, but you want to ensure they are uniform across the web and that they are backlinking to your home site. This will help with Search Engine Optimization.” Chris Hinman says.
Chris tells us that one of the main components that is extremely important are the high-ranking media sites. “You need high-authority sites to combat high-authority sites.” states Chris. “It’s a crucial factor to a successful campaign. A proper campaign should have many articles published in the media either discussing current topics related to you, discussing recent events that portray you as an authority figure in your industry, or something else that may be deemed newsworthy enough to be published online.”
With a reputation management strategy such as this, it should be easy for most reputation management companies to replicate these results. But Chris Hinman warns us of some obvious red flags. “Any reputation management company that tries to lock you into a long-term contract should be an immediate red flag. While SEO does take time, a company’s results should speak for itself and you should be seeing progress along the way. A company trying to get you to sign anything where you cannot cancel at any point in time should make you question why they would feel the need to push something like that.” says Hinman. “If a company has explained the process and that results will take time, why on earth would they feel the need to try and lock you in?” he continues. With that being said, Chris goes on to say that you should still see progress along the way. If you aren’t seeing results within the first 30 days of the campaign, you probably are with the wrong company.
So is this something any individual can do themselves? “Probably not.” explains Chris Hinman. “There are many intricate details related to a proper reputation management campaign that I could talk about forever. A proper campaign should have professional writers and SEO experts that have a ton of experience in their field. Otherwise you risk getting penalized and undoing or even making things worse than when you began.” he explains.
To summarize, a solid reputation management strategy is simple enough on the surface, consisting of many complex details throughout that is unfortunately not typically done correctly by most reputation management companies. “It certainly makes it difficult for those looking for proper guidance.” concludes Hinman.
If you liked this article, feel free to follow Chris Hinman at chrishinman.com, where he currently writes about SEO and Reputation Management for businesses and individuals.