We’ve worked with a number of businesses to assist with their search engine reputation management, so we’ve clearly got a good grasp of what works and what doesn’t work.
However, what can be especially difficult to deal with are the false expectations that a number of businesses have about the service.
The process of search engine reputation management (SERM) is already difficult enough without dealing with external noise about various practices, so we’ve summarised a few points that we think might help you understand why we do what we do!
Mistake #1 – Let’s create lots of links and profiles!
Outlined previously, SERM can be defined as Reverse-SEO, where instead of trying to improve one link with lots of keywords, we’re try to improve one keyword with lots of links.
The difficulty is that external expectation of this is we simply build hundreds and hundreds of links, in the hope that the sheer volume pushes us over the ledge and delivers us with top rankings. Of course, that’s completely wrong!
In essence, we need to perform typical SEO activities on all the links we create (backlinking, content creation, optimisation, etc.) and that takes time.
Yes, initially we’ll create social media profiles, business listings and other backlinking profiles, but then we need to populate them with content, to make each of them just as valuable as the main website we’re working on.
If we sat there just creating link after link after link, we might improve one website (the main one), but if the top ten results for a certain keyword contain five negative links, how are we going to move them all down with only one strong website?
It just doesn’t add up.
Mistake #2 – Let’s build a Wikipedia page!
So yeah, it’s cool to have a Wikipedia page, right?! That’s really going to help build backlinks to our website, and it gives us some prestige, you know? Because, we’re so big we’ve got our own Wikipedia page, right?
Well, yes and no. Yes, Wikipedia offers fantastic backlinking opportunities, is a strong reflection on the business, and is something to be proud of.
There are two issues though.
One, not any random business, CEO or other corporate figure can just have a listing on Wikipedia. You need to be newsworthy and have done something important and of value. Very few tick those boxes.
Two, while you might be able to craft the content to the exacting standards of Wikipedia’s editors, once it’s up there, it isn’t frozen in time. Wikipedia’s great strength is the crowd-sourced editing of posts. I mean, Wikipedia was the great burgeoning of user-driven Web 2.0 practices.
This means that if you’re struggling with negative reputation, do you not think that disgruntled customers might want to jump up on Wikipedia and call you nasty words, and let the whole world find out about you?
Look, it might not even be straight away. You could go years without incident, all the while pushing the Wikipedia link higher and higher, until one day, someone says no more, and defaces your whole biography and potential causes a greater issue than previously encountered.
A very hypothetical incident, I know. But don’t be so hasty to build something so out of your control, you know?
Mistake #3 – SERM is more important than my SEO
I know how daunting it can be to stare down a barrel of some really nasty online sentiment. You’re concerned that every customer under the sun can see the spiteful, seething negativity, and are purposely avoiding you like the plague.
And I know that you want to do everything in your power to destroy these links, so let’s hijack the SEO to focus on this right now, and then once it’s resolved we’ll get back to the other campaign.
But it is never that bad.
Yes, people do trust online sentiment more than almost any other source of information they hear. But, it’s still only at 60-odd percent. Typically, people do like to find out things for themselves, so the negative online sentiment might not be as bad as you expect.
I mean, it’s not great, and you do need to fix both your in-house offering to customers, and the negative sentiment, but not at the expense of your whole business plan. That ends up being a very narrow minded view of the situation, and can really hamstring your efforts once you’ve rebounded from the issue.
Just Keep Calm and Let SERM Take Its Course
Search engine reputation management can take time, but it is well worth the hassle in the end. Trust in our team of experts to do a fantastic job of reasonably building a set of quality links that can overcome the negativity. No, we can’t turn it around overnight, but neither does SEO. All search engine practices are like building a tower: you’ve got to start at the bottom and work your way up to the top.