Brand reputation management is becoming increasingly critical with time. Today, everything is available online, at our fingertips. A basic web search pulls out heaps of information pertaining to the searched topic. Millions of page load up in a few seconds! So, it is almost certain that a potential customer will look you up before approaching you directly.
In such a scenario, a negative story about you on the trending list, will no doubt turn them away. In fact, even a single negative comment or review can bring your hard-earned reputation built over the years, and come crashing down in seconds. It will jeopardize your company’s future and your only online brand reputation management techniques. Naturally, you wouldn’t want that to happen. So, how does one remove or prevent harmful listings?
To answer this, first, let us try to understand why such stories are ranked so high on Google listings and why these damaging reviews will likely snowball and escalate, if left unchecked.
Google aims to provide a balanced search result for any query. The absence of different perspectives could lead to one view dominating the results. If a prominent site puts out a negative story, it appears on the first page and has most page visits. This further aggravates the situation.
Google’s algorithm also shows fresher items first. So, if such a story is recently published, then it’s more likely to find a higher listing. Besides, the reason for negative content ranking higher on Google is quite simple. People are more inclined to click on a negative story. They are also shared more and linked to blogs and forums.
Hence, it is important to remove fake reviews through brand reputation management .
Moreover, an undesirable narrative has more potential to go viral because of negative-bias. People, blogs, and forums alike tend to share negative stories more. So, how can you reverse the damage done? By applying some simple but effective brand reputation management techniques.
The most common mistake leaders often make, is to wait for a crisis. A dire situation needs immediate pre-planned action. Creating and applying a brand reputation management strategy in an ongoing emergency is challenging. Although mid-crisis is the precise scenario it needs instant implementation. The first step to undoing the damage, like always, is to acknowledge the problem and find its roots. That makes it easier to prevent similar episodes in the future.
It is possible to remove cynical listings. However, the process is a long, time-consuming, and complicated process. Additionally, you may try communicating with Google. There is an option to remove stories if they violate the terms – or even the writer or publisher. This is, again, even more complicated. The reason being that whoever wrote that story wrote it so that it is seen. Hence, most, would not take it down. Even if the publisher does take the story down, it could stay in the search engine results for months. Hence, search engine optimization is essential for brand reputation management .
So, the best course here is to push down the negative stories. By using some intelligent SEO work you can remove them from the spotlight. Use the fresher-story-first priority of google, and post new positive content regarding your business. Also, post positive stories on other social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn as well. Another way to make your stories a priority for google is using pay per click ads. This will make your content rank above the regular ones. All this will help to push the offensive content down on Google’s search result page. To bring back the audiences’ attention to your company’s positives.
Of course, in the case of highly offensive or in-factual stories, you may take legal help and consider a defamation case. However, it is advisable to avert all this with brand reputation management techniques. You can use expert advice to build a rock-solid image early-on. This way, you constantly monitor and manage your reputation while quashing any trouble in its early stages.
Originally published here.