When dealing with negative sentiment online, what are you supposed to do? It can be increasingly complex to battle negativity coming at you from all sides, all the while trying to run a successful and profitable business. Newpath WEB offers succinct and effective online reputation management in the heart of Melbourne, Australia for companies across the globe.
While many agencies offer ethically-questionable practices towards combatting negative online sentiment (fake reviews, coercion of positive feedback, etc.), we wholly embrace a process of Reverse-SEO. Not to be mistaken with negative SEO (illegal or frowned-upon approaches to SEO undertaken with the goal of removing your competitors from lofty positions), Reverse-SEO is designed to move particularly negative links down from high positions on Google and other search engine rankings by positively promoting new content ahead of them.
The first step of online reputation management is to talk to the offended customer. Most big businesses can have immediate success by simply asking their users to remove negative content. Users are generally fairly reasonable individuals, simply wanting their voice to be heard and to have their wrongs righted. While you might not agree with their version of events, it is critical to recognise the power of their voice all the same.
If users are unable to be contacted, satisfied, or generally encouraged to remove the offending content, the next step is to contact the website that hosts the content. This can be less successful, with websites often having very specific rules about what can and can’t be said, which means that your business typically has no ability to influence whether the content is posted or not.
Having failed at those two points, the next best solution is to run a reverse-SEO campaign, pushing your positive links up to supersede the negative results. This rarely differs from a traditional SEO campaign in its application, but the end goal is different in that you need a large number of links to rank well, not just one. Essentially, you’re pushing a lot of links for one keyword, as opposed to a lot of keywords for one link.
The most important point to keep in mind though, is that negative ranks are incredibly volatile and uncontrollable, and while Reverse-SEO does everything it can to move them downwards, the power of these links can often grow as the campaign progresses, making the process more difficult to complete effectively.
If negative links have been present for a long time, it takes an even longer time to move them. We all recognise that the age of a particular website is accounted for when it comes to its SEO rank, and if the negative link has months or even years of high rank and activity, it can take a long time to quell the fire and move it downwards.
In the increasing prevalence of Web 2.0 behaviour (with user-generated content becoming king), most negative sentiment online is generated by users experiencing the problems first-hand. There is no benefit to conducting Reverse-SEO if you haven’t fixed (or set up safeguards to remedy) your real-world issues. By fixing these, you eliminate these problems before they spread onto the internet where they really become a problem.
Don’t come into a Reverse-SEO campaign expecting a quick-and-easy fix. Normal SEO takes months to even gain traction, let alone deliver tremendous results, and online reputation management can take even longer. Recognise the inherent difference (and indeed, difficulty) of pushing down ranks passively as opposed to pulling them down actively. If we could pull them down (i.e. the first two steps outlined above), Reverse-SEO wouldn’t be needed.
Online reputation management will be an increasingly important service that companies will need to engage in. Newpath WEB is based in Melbourne, Australia but we can assist with any organisation from across the globe. Our tried and true methods have shown themselves to be extremely efficient at reducing the impact that negative online opinion has had on a variety of businesses. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit our ORM services page, or contact us today to find out more.