It would fair to say that an online reputation company is the new kid on the block when it comes to online marketing. After all, this is a new type of brand management for companies – but one that is becoming increasingly important.
A lot of companies of this ilk obtain clients who are desperate to hide a negative story that is affecting their business in Google’s organic listings. It might be something as simple as a website documenting bad reviews of a company, or in some cases disgruntled customers have gone to lengths such as setting up entire websites dedicating to shaming a particular business.
Regardless of the type of content that is hurting a company, it’s something that can cause long-lasting financial effects. However, how exactly do online reputation management companies manage to sink these negative results in Google? Let’s now take a look at three of the big methods which are currently being used in the industry.
The power of social media profiles
The first method that a lot of these companies use is by no means immoral. A lot of companies working in this space will simply try and supercharge an existing social media profile, that usually belongs to them, in a bid to get this to rank as high as possible in Google and ultimately, send the negative piece further down the results.
Usually, it just takes a few links from other websites to achieve this. In some cases, companies might set up additional social media profiles for each segment of their business as well, just so that they appear as high as can be in the SERPS and again start to make the negative ones rank a lot lower.
Setting up brand new websites
Another method that is used is to set up a brand new website. Naturally, this website isn’t going to be the main page for the brand itself, but something to divert attention away from users. For example, Widget Company might be getting a lot of bad press, so they set up a website called WidgetCompanyReviews.com which attempts to steal the rankings and again send those negative URLs a lot further down in the rankings.
Again, online reputation management companies will use very similar methods as we have already spoken about to achieve this. They will look to divert links to these sites, in the hope that their link profile and relevancy makes Google view them favourably when it comes to ranking the website.
Using Web 2.0 links
Another common method adopted by agencies is to take advantage of Web 2.0 links. These can be described as sites hosted on the likes of WordPress.com and Blogger.com, all of which carry a lot of existing link weight. Sometimes these “mini sites” will be used to funnel link juice to other websites set up for reputation management purposes, but some companies will use them as their primary site to try and outrank those negative items again.