I have been working with clients for many years ranging from large blue chips right through to businesses within the SME space. With this diverse client experience, there are of course a large variety of challenges that each size of business faces, but one thing that is consistent across all I have worked with over the past 11 years, is their appetite for having a positive on-line reputation. It goes without saying. On this topic, I have noticed an interesting trend that emerged after the latest round of Google Panda & Penguin updates. That is an increase in the volume of businesses using an on-line reputation management service / company.
What is On-line Reputation Management?
Managing a brands on-line reputation involves two main areas: the process of scanning the vast internet for references to a company’s brand. The second area involves engaging in a number of bespoke strategies to remove / reduce any negative references that have been uncovered, while promoting the positive references to a clients’ brand.
So why are more businesses looking for a company to help them with this now more than ever?
The reason is fairly straight forward…the latest Google releases have seen a fundamental shift towards content and away from large volumes of links being the deciding factor in search engine ranking increases. Long story short, content relating to a company’s brand is now ranking much higher than it did 12 months ago and hence any negative press has gained a much higher prominence.
In addition, Google in particular, is indexing social media sites much more accurately and more frequently – so a customer that has had a bad experience now has a VERY powerful voice where once they may not have.
How are On-line Reputation Management Companies dealing with the issue?
Unfortunately, the task of removing negative references to a clients’ brand is not as straight forward as just contacting the offending content owner and asking for its prompt removal. The skill, therefore, is to get more of the positive content out there across the various on-line news channels (Twitter, Facebook, Review websites, news websites, industry blogs e.t.c) so that the positive news about a company’s brand significantly outweighs any negative heat that is present.
If it’s that easy why don’t companies do it themselves?
Some do, but it’s all based on time. Large brands would have to build huge teams to deal with ALL the references across ALL potential on-line ‘news’ channels. So using a piece of software speeds this up and makes the scanning process much more accurate.
So do on-line brands care what you think?
YES! Large brand in particular are investing large sums of money to deal with this growing issue and is sure to be one of the hot on-line growth areas of 2013.
For information on OUR approach to On-line Reputation Management for our client base, then please visit the following page:-