Why do companies need online reputation management? Julie Ross, President of Rostin Ventures notes recent SEO industry news,"After the New York Times story about black-hat SEO tactics for JCPenney broke on February 12th, more attention than ever has been directed toward SEO companies' practices in helping their clients' websites climb to the top of the search engines. The Times asked an SEO expert to research why JCPenney held ultra-high online rankings for nearly every category, who later revealed that literally hundreds of unrelated backlinks to irrelevant sites had been deployed to pull JCPenney.com to the top.
Google responded to the Times story by severely penalizing JCPenney's site, and subsequently changed their search engine algorithm. Although the improved Google algorithm initially affected 11.8% of the queries, its changes reward websites with high-quality, original content and links to related content -- and reduce the rankings of poor-quality sites with unrelated backlinks generated by link farms. This is great news for Rostin Ventures' clients, because that's precisely what we do: As part of our White-Hat strategy for bringing relevance and high online visibility for our clients, we produce quality online content and blogs with industry-related content that links to other industry-relevant sites."
Twenty years ago, negative press rarely gained traction. If a disgruntled customer or an irritated employee wanted to vent their frustrations, they were limited to writing letters to newspapers and magazines. Both were forgotten by the time new editions hit the store shelves. The Internet changed everything.
Today, social media profiles, blog and forum posts, and entire websites devoted to publishing negative commentary about others, remain online. They gain traction in Google, YouTube, Yahoo, and Bing, Facebook, Wordpress, Blogger and thousands of other social platforms and online sites. Once they do, they can gain momentum in your market. This is the core reason to maintain an online reputation management strategy.
By vigilantly monitoring every mention of your company's name, you can identify issues that threaten to tarnish your reputation. If you discover a public relations disaster in the making, you can immediately respond. You might decide to open a dialogue to present the facts. Or, you might launch a reverse SEO campaign to remove bad press from the search engines. The goal of online reputation management is to prevent negative commentary from gaining momentum.
There has never been a greater need for using best practices in SEO for online reputation management. Angry customers, annoyed employees, and even disingenuous competitors can spread damaging rumors about you and your company with a few clicks. If the bad publicity gains traction in the search engines, it can spread quickly. Online reputation management is the most effective solution for controlling the message.
The question is, are you using online reputation management through effective SEO consulting practices?