09 Nov 2005

Damage Control – Online Reputation Management – Pushing the bad news down.

Damage Control, and ways to recover your Good Name through online Reputation Management.

This is on the heals of my last post called "Telling a prospective client "You’re screwed" (about a guy with bad "publicity" covering the top 10 results for his name, and him insisting on being #1 with a brand new site).

I’ve only a limited experience in working on any "damage control" campaigns (where some "negative press" page ranks in the top 10 and someone wants it "gone").  But I thought I’d give just a few things off the top of my head on ways to combat bad "press" in the top ten for your company or your name. I’m asking you the readers to give more ideas on this topic in the comments.

I’ve heard a few "blackhat" techniques for trying to make a page "dissappear", but I’ll avoid those here, and of course, PPC is an option, but that won’t remove the offending page from the first page.

Start with:
Don’t just promote your site, create, and promote your self/company on other websites
Try to make sure you have "Press" on the web to start with creating: news articles,  testamonials, press releases, Content 😉  (all on other websites).  Have positive press in place no matter what. Start by creating that, and never stop.

OK, so you ‘ve been hit with negative page in the top 10, now what?
Contact your lawyer – they should write to the web page owner and ask that it be removed. Additional steps could involve writiing to the hosting company (short term solution), as well as to Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

Now, what if you still can’t get that page down?

First method that comes to mind is to work on moving the bad page down by moving your "good" pages on other sites, up.
Get links to your best and oldest, and powerfulest "good news" pages on other websites.  Link to said pages with your search phrase your targeting (and variations of that phrase) .

Just one way to do this would be via helping to create "the neighborhood" via creating positive press pages where these pages link to the other good news pages. Just remember to keep the content different on these pages (no dup content) and then have these pages published on other related sites.

Another way is to purchase/trade/beg/borrow for "advertising" to your the good news pages (about your site, found on other websites) from related and pages on other sites. (follow?)

Do you know of any good sources of info on this topic, or do you have some ideas?

– – added – –
Todd just pointed me to these two resources pages as well.
Todd’s Public Relations and Advertising post
Search Engine Watch’s "Using Search for Public Relations and Reputation Management"