ACTION INSIGHTS : CUTTING THROUGH THE CLUTTER

Defending Against Damaging Blogs Targeting You

Social networks and blogs are reshaping thousands of communications departments around the world because of its power to help or harm businesses and individuals. Since persons may anonymously, is nearly impossible to get negative comments removed from Google search results, websites and other search engines.

However, there are ways to defend against the disgruntled employee, dissatisfied client and competitor that is blogging anonymously and damaging your reputation. If someone punches you in the nose then you have the right to punch back. I say, “Walk softly and carry a big keyboard.”

Case In Point
A yacht racing organization was getting pummeled by nasty online comments posted by a previous participate with an axe to grind. The poster making the complaints owned the blog where he was posting his comments. Every time someone Googled the name of the organization, the blog would pop up in the search results one or two positions beneath their listing. When the client came to me they wanted to know if we could somehow block the offending blog’s listing on Google.

The short answer was no. Google’s not in business to give you the truth, it’s in business to provide what you think is relevant. The same is true for Yahoo, Bing and other major search engines.

Take an Offensive Position
To combat a negative blog, a company must get Google and other search engines to list relevant sites (web site, blogs and articles) that contain positive information about your business and push the negative sites back to page 2 or 3 in the search results.

This is what VISIONEFX did for our client. Among other things, we posted positive feedback in what I refer to as “Reputable Power Ezine Websites.” We also posted positive feedback in related industry sites and blogs. After a few weeks we began to see positive results, After a few months we dominated the first page of Google with references containing positive comments.

Social Networking Sites
The proliferation of social sites and applications have created powerful tools in counteracting negative comments on the web made about you or your business. However, just building a “positive comments” website will not be enough. You need to know your way around these networks in order to attract traffic to your particular page. But it is only one of several tools that you should utilize in helping you to dominate in first page search engine results.

Shaping Google Search Listings
I recently read an article in the Washington Post about a company called Reputation Management, a company that works to rehabilitate reputations by helping shape Google search listings. The important thing to remember is that each situation should be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

A Google spokeswoman recently told the Indy Star, “Google does not object in principle to people adding positive content to outrank the negative. If you use spammy and manipulative techniques to get this positive content to rank highly, we may take action on it.”

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Visionefx President Ricardo Vidallon has been in the creative business of design advertising, branding, marketing, cable broadcast, animation and the World Wide Web for more than three decades.

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