Repairing or removing damaging search results is the most common inquiry we receive from individuals. Most often, they will have been the target of criminal or civil investigation or litigation, been attacked by organized opposition or a gadfly, or in other ways found their reputation damaged when people search for them on the Internet. Many have turned to “Reputation Management” organizations, and spent a lot of money, only to find that their solutions don’t work. We have a different approach, and our solutions work, but understanding that means really understanding the problem first.
Google results are based on what interests the most people for the longest time. We can make it more complicated, but that one sentence addresses 90% of the problem. When there are negative media stories or salacious gossip about you on major media websites, it will get lots of traffic, and lots of interest. Depending on the specifics, it may be credible and factual, or a complete fiction. Remediating it starts with a strategy, and then rolls out through an execution plan.
Elements of a Reputation Strategy
The strategy behind your reputation plan will have three components: removal, remediation, and rehabilitation. These are the building blocks upon which an execution plan is built.
“Removal” is the process of looking for content that violates the terms of service of the platform where it is located. It may be libelous, out may be harassing, or it may be false. But the first step in a reputation plan is to look for negative content we can simply remove from the Internet entirely.
“Remediation” is the next step, and the most time consuming. This is the process of balancing negative stories with more accurate ones, through media placements, establishing you as a subject matter expert, a personal website, social media, op-eds and other material that will one, over time, to outweigh the rank of the negative article or articles.
We recognize that in certain circumstances, negative articles will always persist in search results for a variety of reasons. When we can’t remove or remediate search results, we “rehabilitate” your public persona, by developing and distributing content that tells a fuller, more accurate portrait of who you are. Some years ago, we represented a CEO who had been involved in a s series of salacious and heavily reported incidents, triggered by substance abuse, that were widely reported in the largest publications in the world. Knowing we would never remove them entirely, and with our client well into recovery, he became a voice for the special issues of business leaders struggling with addiction, became a subject matter authority, and is now frequently quoted in both print & broadcast media. In so doing, he rehabilitated his reputation, and turned his history into something that’s meaningful and positive for his future.
How the Execution Plan Works
When executing the strategy for improving search results, we work in three areas of tactics. Our technology team builds the software, websites, social media platforms and other elements that you need to achieve maximum search results. This is much more than just building a website. We measure and optimize against over 1000 search engine signals, both in the initial development phase, and then every week thereafter. Think of it as analogous to mowing a lawn; it looks perfect when it’s finished, but a week later it simply needs to be done again.
If technology is the engine that drives our tactical execution, then content is the fuel that propels it. Most of our clients believe that they can remediate their reputation posting to social media and a personal website several times a week. Our research indicates, however, that the most successful efforts require posting an average of 5-7 times a day, with stories, short pieces, links, and images. That’s why we employ teams of content curators and writers… to get the content you need to your network with maximum speed and efficiency.
Finally, a smart search engine results plan always contains the work of media pitching at it’s core. We want to make your subject matter expert in your field of work or philanthropy, and tell the gatekeepers to newspapers and broadcast about you, so that the next times they need comment, they will turn to you.
We once handled the reputation work of a client who had a huge body of expertise in a particular area of real estate that was frequently covered by financial news networks and newspapers. We built strategy around highlighting his expertise, and within months, we was called on almost weekly to appear or comment on new issues around the U.S., and later worldwide. His popularity in this area was so great that our technology group build a small broadcast studio in his home so that eh could be “on the air” in minutes when needed. To this day, were you to search for him online, his reputation is structured around hundreds of stories that firmly establish him as an expert in his field. This notoriety has not only erased the negative elements of his past, but propelled him to new heights in his field.
That is the work of Search Engine Results Management. Please contact Brian Glicklich, our CEO, at 818-444-7160 for a personal and confidential consultation. .