Basic ‘Search Engine Reputation Management’
 by Ian Cook

Basic Search Engine Reputation Management
—by Stephen Mahaney, CEO Planet Ocean | Research by Casey Markee

Reputation building, managing and sometimes defending has recently vaulted from relative obscurity to the number one mission for businesses on the cutting edge of online commerce. No surprise–smart companies rightfully know that reputation is everything! ...and, without it, even the most Herculean marketing efforts and budgets are totally wasted on consumers who are simply unwilling to trust the company or person with the bad reputation. Game, set, match. You lose.

And even though you may have thousands of satisfied customers, it only takes one vocal detractor (or a single grass-roots community organization) with a blog, a website, or a forum to unravel years of positive brand management. Today's savvy consumers are increasingly using search to check YOU out before actually buying from you.

Obviously, negative comments found within the search results about your company name, brand, or trademarks will hurt your sales. And, when these negative comments become entrenched on Google's first page, the consumer backlash can be disastrous. Here are some of the best known examples of some horrific search engine reputation management calamities:

  • PayPalSucks.com — A site that attacks all things PayPal. It's been solidly fixed on the first page of Google for all "PayPal" specific searches for years. So, if you need information about how to unfreeze your account, join a lawsuit, or just want to read the "PayPal horror story of the day", this is the site for you.

  • WakeUpWalmart.com — Anyone who believes Walmart is destroying the world will be happy to know this site, with over 433,000 online supporters, has ...

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