Suppress Negative Articles, Online Reputation Matters!

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Why you DON’T always want to be number one!

The beginning

Believe it or not, there can be times when you wish that your company name was totally invisible to Internet search engines!  Let me give you an example.

Imagine that a senior employee of your company was involved in a car accident, was stopped for drunken-driving or some other misdemeanour which was subsequently reported in a national newspaper. Because nowadays national newspapers tend to have a very large Internet ‘footprint’, that particular story could conceivably make it to page 1 of Google in a very short space of time, possibly losing you potential customers, and certainly damaging your company’s reputation.

Quite recently we were very happy to deal with such a case when we were approached by a client of ours after a leading news agency posted an article that reflected very negatively on them. Of course, because the newspaper is a well-known international brand it has authority in web search results, which meant that when anyone searched for our client company’s name, they were presented with the negative article.

Needless to say, sales were affected very quickly and the company came to us because damage limitation was crucial.

How we did it

Before we began working with the executors of our client’s business in order to formulate some sort of strategy to deal with the issue, our first step in managing the client’s reputation was to thoroughly research the facts within the article. It is always a good idea to thoroughly check for accuracy – not in order to begin an online counter argument but in order to prepare for a more subtle approach.

There is a saying that you fight fire with fire. So our approach was very straightforward and that was to put out as much positive information about our client as possible with a view to the articles we presented out-ranking the negative newspaper content.

The important thing to always remember in these cases is that any information that we write about the company has to be honest, as well as verifiable because creating fake articles containing flawed or inaccurate information could be very counter-productive and in fact, amplify the problem.

We then flooded the search engines results pages with high quality content  containing positive messages about our client’s business by tapping into similar search terms and keywords which had placed the negative newspaper article so high up the rankings.

Through a combination of interviews, co-worker testimonials and various other articles which highlighted the client’s strengths and achievements. We simply pushed the original negative article off page 1 and so far down the rankings that it would be unlikely for anyone making a normal search would find it. The secret was in the quality and quantity of well constructed articles delivered by us, using industry-leading techniques. That in turn ranked new content keywords which included the client’s name, well above the original troublesome article.

Where we are now

Our client’s online reputation is fully repaired and the original negative articles have been long forgotten and continue their downward journey through the rankings. Our original actions buried the article deep into the second page, and even at that stage the amount of traffic that the article generated was insignificant.

We have yet another very satisfied client whose reputation was quickly salvaged, thus regaining their brand trust, which incidentally has also resulted in the company re-establishing their original sales figures.

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