Online Reputation Management Webcide.com

Online Reputation Management Webcide.com can guarantee your positive online reputation . We know how to clean up your negative search results , and solve your reputation problems forever .

 

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This is because Webcide.com is the World's Number one authority in the field of Negative Online PR and we know how to handle negative publicity and bury negative search results .

 

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When we want to learn more about another person, the first place we turn is the Internet and Google is the top search engine to do so. Every day, over one billion names are searched on Google and 77% of job recruiters are required to Google potential employees during the hiring process. While you may not have Googled yourself, it's certain that someone else has - and they are making judgments about you based on what they find. 45% of people have found something in a Google search that made them decide NOT to do business with someone.

 

Ultimately, it's your responsibility to ensure you make a good impression when someone Googles you and this guide is here to help. We'll take you through the steps involved in assessing your current online reputation and what you can do to manage it.

 

Basically, online reputation management is the process of controlling what shows up when someone Googles your name. We'll show you how to promote positive content to the top of your search results and push unwanted content (negative, irrelevant or competition) farther down to ensure that when someone Googles you, their results are populated with positive, relevant content about you.

 

The first step to controlling any situation is determining whether or not you have a problem and, if so, how bad the problem really is. In the first part of this guide, we'll help you diagnose your Google ranking, or, what shows up in the search results for your name and in what order they appear. Based on how your name ranks, we'll help you determine what corrective action you need to take.

 

The very first thing you need to do is go to Google and type your name into the search bar.

 

Make sure to:

 

  • Sign out of your Google Account. Google employs personalized and local searches when you are signed into your account. In other words, Google will slightly alter your results to make them more relevant to you based on your location and what they know about you through your Google account. The person searching you won't have the same customizations for your name, so make sure you sign out before searching to get a true snapshot of how your results look to others.

  • Search for the name people will actually use to search you: Do you use your middle name or initial on your resume? Do you go by a nickname that most people call you? Did you recently acquire a hyphenated last name? When you search for yourself online, make sure you use the name that people are going to be searching for you with. Also, search for any variations of your name or common misspellings. In the same vein, make sure you are consistent with your name. Be sure you are using the same name on your resume, social media profiles, website, etc. (and make sure that it's the one that you want to show up in Google results.)

 

Once you have your search results in front of you, it's time to figure out which category your Google rank and overall online reputation falls under. Decide which of these categories best represents your first page of search results for your name (it may even be a combination of them all!)

 

Tip: Concentrate on the first page of your Google results - 93% of searchers never go past the first page and use the first 10 search results to form their impression.

 

  • Negative: This is the worst category to be in because it means you have one or more negative search results representing you. However, this category is not just reserved for criminals and bad people. In today's world of social networking and anonymous sharing, it is disturbingly easy to have your reputation tarnished. It takes only one status update, tagged photo or blog post from an angry ex, rant by a former employee, false accusation or wild friend to put you in this negative online reputation category.

  • Irrelevant: The results are about you, but they don't really help or hurt you. These results are completely outdated or irrelevant. Instead of finding out you are one of the most well-respected doctors in Boston, the person finds out you finished 120th in a 5k you ran three years ago.

  • "Hey That's Not Me!": In this case, your results are dominated by somebody or even multiple people with your name. This person's results are forming your first impression for you - for better or worse. In a best case scenario, they simply prevent the searcher from finding anything meaningful about you. In a worst case scenario, they might actually mistake you for someone else, who has a negative online reputation.

  • Positive & Relevant: This means your search results are full of positive, well-branded content that is actually about you. If you don't fall into this category, don't worry, the purpose of this guide is to help you get there.

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The category you land in can have a big impact on the impression you make with people searching for you online. Take the following job applicants for example - who comes across the best to a potential employer Googling each candidate during the application process?

 

Once you know where you stand, it's time to be proactive and start improving your search results. Your goal is to fill your first page with as many positive results as possible. Depending on your web presence, you can figure out how much work lays ahead and plan accordingly. We'll cover how to tackle each situation in the next few sections of the guide.

 

  • I Have No Web Presence, and No Content: The first thing you need to do is build your online presence for Google. Quite simply, if you don't have any positive content, there is no way for it to show up on your first page.

  • I Have Specific Content I Want to BURY: Perhaps you have something unflattering out there about you, or you're being mistaken for an ex-con of the same name. You'll want to create content to bury the negative result(s) down.

  • I Have Specific Content I Want to Push Higher: You might already have a personal website, a LinkedIn profile, an article written about you or other content you want people to find, but they just aren't showing up high in search results. There are specific steps you can take to boost them higher in Google search results for your name.

 

You spend a lot of time building your reputation—you work hard, treat others well, follow through on duties and show up on time. Now it's time to apply that same discipline to your online presence. The rest of this series will cover everything from the basics to advanced tactics for controlling your search results.

 

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You've diagnosed your Google presence and learned the basics behind Personal Search Engine Optimization. Now it's time to actually start building the foundation of your Google presence with these basic steps everybody should follow to get started. The idea behind this part is simple: you can't make your google results look better if you don't have any good content in the first place. So let's get the basics in place.

 

Purchasing your domain name is quite possibly the most important step you can take if you want to show up on the first page of Google. It's roughly a $10/year investment and incredibly easy. You can buy your domain at any number of registrars .

Now that you have your domain, it's time to build a personal hub on the web where you can display everything from your work history to your personal interests. Today, anybody can create their own personal website, without having any technical knowledge. There are a lot of options out there but we usually recommend WordPress. It's easy to get set up, but also allows for a lot of customizing as you develop your personal identity online and get more comfortable (or if you're interested in tweaking your design, etc.).

 

Search engines tend to rank social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ high, and for good reason: They require some sort of authentication to create, so search engines view them as more credible. Also important, they are constantly updating, making them extremely relevant due to their "timely" content (which we covered in SEO basics). In short, if you're trying to show up higher in Google, creating professional social media profiles is essential.

 

Joining social networks is a good first step by itself, but the true power of these services doesn't come through until you completely fill out your profile. You want Google to find your profile, so give it as much relevant info as you can. Be sure to add links to your other social profiles as well.

 

Depending how competitive your name is, you could very well start seeing many of these places populate your first page of Google after only a week or two. Remember, social media may seem all fun and games, but these profiles are essential for the foundation of your online presence.

 

 We mentioned that your goal is to let search engines know this is the most comprehensive source on the web about you, so its important to fill it with as much information as you can. Here are some important things to keep in mind when creating your site to ensure it is as search engine friendly as possible:

 

  • Create Relevant Pages: If you want your site to show up high, you want to make sure it's filled with as much relevant, updated content as possible. Here are the pages you need to include:

    • About Me: This is your chance to fill your site with all the information you'd want someone to know about you. Include your personal bio, education, your work experience and your personal interests. If you have any examples of your work, upload them here. This is the page that lets search engines know there is a lot of relevant information about Your Name.Tip: Use your name wherever possible. For example, instead of "I am a marketing professional……", say "Pete Kistler is a marketing professional……"

    • My Links: This is where you should link to all the other places someone can find you online. This includes your social media profiles, online directories, and everything else we suggested you build in part 3. This sends search engines to even more content about you, making your site that much more credible. Links are an important factor in search engine rankings. The more credible pages about you that your site links to (and vice versa), the higher it will rank for your name.

    • Social Stream: Add a feed of your most recent updates from networks like LinkedIn and facebook so visitors see all of your social activity in one place. More importantly, this also keeps your website constantly updated and relevant, which is a very important part of its search engine ranking.

  • Create a Blog: Blogging serves two functions that help your site show up higher. First, it's another easy way to keep your site updated and relevant.

  • Second, every post you write is a potential result that can show up on your first page. T

  • The more content you create and share, the more chances you have to be indexed, linked to, and of course, ranked by search engines. Here are some things to keep in mind to get the most out of blogging:

    • 1 hr a month: You don't need to be a professional blogger to blog. Write one post a month. It's as simple as reading an industry article or op-ed and writing a brief summary and reaction to it.

  • Keyword Placement: There are certain places on a page search engines consider more important than others. Once you've finished building all of your pages, you want to make sure you include "Your Name" in each of these places:

    • Navigation: By including your name in the navigation (think "About Pete Kistler" instead of "About Me") you let search engines know Your Name is one of the most important elements on the page.

    • Headings: Make sure you include Your Name in the heading whenever you start a new section. For example, there should be a heading over your work history, labeled "Pete Kistler's Work Experience" depending on which sitebuilder you used, there will either be an option to make a heading, or you can do it manually in the html using the <h1>Your Name</h1> tags.Tip: Only include one H1 heading per page

    • Anchor Text: Anchor text refers to the underlined text that indicates that text is a link (example: The anchor text for Pete Kistler: Personal Website is "Pete Kistler: Personal Website"). Since links are such an important part of the algorithm, you want to make sure search engines know what the links are about. On you're "My Links Page", make sure you label each link with your name such as "Pete Kistler Twitter" rather than just "Twitter."***There are many other places you can include your name within the HTML , like your page Title Tag. By using a service like BrandYourself, you can ensure your site is automatically as search engine friendly as possible.

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The "big four" of social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. These sites rank high in search results, so if you haven't done so already, make sure to create profiles for these sites.

 

The following tips will help you ensure they are as SEO friendly as possible:

 

  • Keep it clean or keep it private: Before you start promoting a social network, it's important to remember that everything you post is public and can be seen by everyone. For example, if you use your Facebook profile to post wild photos or political comments, you might not be putting your best foot forward. Some people opt to keep their profiles private, but keep in mind, nothing is really private. Updates can still find their way into search results and into the wrong hands. Keep your profiles professional.

  • Make sure you use your actual name: If you want your Twitter profile, or any other social profile for that matter, to show up high for your name, make sure your username is petekistler or Pete_Kistler, not Chilldude33.Tip: If your username is already taken, simply use some variation that still includes your full name, like PRPeteKistler or Pete_Kistler.

  • Link to all your other content: Make sure you include a link back to your website and as many other profiles as they'll let you include, as we mentioned before links are a very important factor in search engine rankings. The more credible pages your site links to about you (and vice versa), the higher it will rank for your name.

 

You are now well on your way to having a great first page of Google! However, in some cases there is something specific you need off the first page.

 

Even if you've gotten your Google diagnosis, setup your basic presence for Google and used our advanced SEO techniques to raise them to the top, sometimes it's just not enough. This part of the guide is meant to provide effective tactics for people who have negative or unflattering content on the first page of their results.

 

 

While this section may seem like it's only relevant to politicians or criminals, negative content is something that can happen to anyone. All it takes is one bad blog post or status update from a pissed off ex, one disgruntled former client or employee, or one photo tagged in bad judgement after a night out with a friend. The point is, bad results can happen to good people, and this guide is meant to walk you through the emergency tactics you can use to salvage your reputation.

 

This option is often the first step people take. In some cases it's worth it to try and have the content removed (although there are a few issues with this route which we'll discuss later on). If choose this route, there's a few steps you can take:

 

  • Ask to have it removed: Find the source of the person who posted the content (article author, social media account owner, website owner, etc.) and approach them about having it taken down. If you approach the owner professionally and explain why you need the content to be taken down, they may oblige. If politeness doesn't work, go the hardball approach and explain that the content is defamatory and will take any necessary actions, if need be. And cue the necessary actions

  • Submit a legal complain to Google It is very difficult to have Google remove content from its search results, but it can be done. If the content is defamatory or contains personal information such as your social security number or credit card information, you can file the legal complaint.

  • Have the the website removed: Find out the company who hosts the site (try whois.net) and look up their Terms of Service Agreement. If the site is in violation of the agreement, you can file a formal complaint to the company.

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These methods can frequently prove time-consuming, frustrating and, at times, expensive. And what's worse, at the end of the day, they may not even work:

  • The person who posted it doesn't have to take it down: Even if you ask nicely, the person doesn't have to take it down. Chances are there's a reason the other person put it up in the first place, and they have no intention of removing it. If you do decide to take legal action, it can prove to be a long, drawn-out process that is difficult to undertake - The Internet is like the Wild West when it comes to content.

  • The result is always archived: Secondly, even if the persona does remove the content, that doesn't necessarily remove it from search engines. Search engines archive (or cache) search results. This means the result still frequently shows up and people can read about the content right from the result page in Google.

 

 

This exemplifies the main concept of this guide: raise positive content higher in search engines, essentially burying content farther down the page. While this doesn't technically remove it from search engines, it does drastically decrease the chances someone searching for you finds it. In fact, 93% of people don't even go past the first page, and even if they do, they've just gone through an entire page of positive content that lets them know who you really are. This means, you don't only need one or two results on the first page, you need enough to bury the other content.

 

  • Basic Tactics

    Make sure you have the basics covered that we discussed earlier in the guide before jumping to the more advanced tactics:

    Create a basic online presence: This includes buying your domain name, building a personal website, creating social media profiles and joining online directories.

  • Make sure that content is search engine optimized: There are certain things you SEO tactics you can implement with your content to make sure they are as search engine friendly as possible, which we covered in parts 2 and 4.

  • Additional Content That Shows Up High

    Sometimes, a well-optimized, basic online presence (as outlined above) is not enough to bury something off the first page. Depending on how high the unwanted results shows up and how credible it is, you may need to get as much high-ranking content on the first page as possible.

 

Comment on news articles: As you can imagine, any results coming from a domain like the NYTimes is considered highly credible by Google. Commenting on articles in places like these is an effective way to get a high ranking result. While they aren't the best possible results about you, at least they aren't negative. Make sure you link to your personal website, this way when someone finds it, you can direct them to more positive information.

 

Create profiles on your schools website, or local gov't website (like the library): As we mentioned earlier, search engines consider .gov and .edu the most credible on the web, and rank them accordingly. If you want to get content on the first page quickly you should create as many profiles on .gov or .edu sites as possible. Here are some places that you can create .gov or .edu content:

  • Check Your Local Government: Browse every single website your local government offers, from town hall to the local library). There is a good chance there is some place that will allow you to create a profile, or comment on an article.

  • Write a guest blog post for your local government or local college: If all else fails, most government sites and college programs have blogs. Figure out an article you could write that would be relevant and reach out and offer to write it. For example, if a college has a program for your field, volunteer to write an advice piece

  • Write an article for a major blog or news site: This is an easy way to get a result on the first page. Contact your local newspaper and offer to write a piece on your expertise. There are also blogs that allow people to blog for free as long as the content is quality such as the Huffingtonpost.com and Examiner.com

 

While entirely possible, it's obvious that burying something off the first page requires a lot of time. There is a little known, but very valuable piece of information when you find yourself in this situation that could save you a lot of time: Google only likes to rank one result on the first page per domain.

 

What does that mean? Let's pretend someone wrote an op-ed bashing you in the Huffington Post, and it shows up as your number one result. It's going to be a lot of work and a lot of time to get ten other results to rank higher than the Huffington Post and push it off the first page.

 

It would be easier if you simply bumped it off by replacing another result on the Huffington Post in your top ten. While this may seem like a tall order, you'd be surprised how easy it is to create a well optimized result on almost any domain.You just need to figure out how you can publish something on the site. For example, poking around the Huffington Post, you would realize they allow you to create your own profile on the site (huffingtonpost.com/myname).

 

All you need to do is create a profile that is more relevant to your name than the bad article. A few things to remember when making your profile:

  • Include your full name: Make sure you use Your Name (i.e. John Smith) in the profile. This will be included in the URL and the title-tags, which is must if you want to beat the article

  • Fill it out with as much information as they let you: The more information you can include about yourself, the more relevant it will seem to Google. Remember, talk in the third person. You want Your Name to appear several times throughout the profile.

  • Link to as many other profiles as possible: As you've read in our SEO basics section, the more places that a profile links to about a certain keyword the higher it will rank. Link to other definitive sources about you–your website, your facebook, etc–and google will value it more. Remember, use Your Name in the link text.

  • Keep that profile Active: Eventually the article will get old, which give your profile an edge. Keep commenting on the article and doing anything else that keeps your profile updated

  • Link to it and share it everywhere: If you've built a basic online presence, make sure you link to your profile from everywhere–personal website, social media, etc. The more links this profile has, the better chance it will outrank the negative article.

 

A picture says a thousand words. Whether it's a mugshot or an unsavory party picture with friends, if you have a negative photo showing up online, Google image results for your name may not be saying what you want (especially with Google displaying the top image results for a corresponding web search right right on the first page). The good news is that you can take similar tactics with your Google image results. While the concept of "burying" bad content with good content is the same, we'll tackle specific steps you can take to improve your Google image results in this last section of the guide. Frequently, negative images rise to the top of image searches simply because of a lack of content.

 

 

The first thing you should do is join a few sites that will enable you to post some images online. There are plenty of services available, but we recommend signing up for at least three of the following accounts (remember to file out the profiles completely, with your name and relevant info).

  • Google+

  • Flickr

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

  • Pinterest

  • WordPress

  • Photobucket

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

 

Now that you have methods to post the pictures, you'll need to collect a few photos of yourself that you don't mind having online (we're talking professional photos and G-rated activities). If you don't have any, start snapping some. The more photos you have the better - there are many more image results generated than a basic web search. To be safe, you should have a few dozen on hand to post.

 

When you upload a photo or image to any of your sites or profiles, you want to make sure Google knows the image is of you. That means you'll need to add some descriptive info to the photo:

  • Add a photo description: if you can add a photo description, don't skip this step. Instead, make sure you include your full name—something like "John Smith playing golf in Pennsylvania" or whatever it is the photo is about. The important thing is that we're letting search engines know that the photo is about John Smith.

  • Captions: Same as above. Make sure you fill this out. (e.g. "John Smith at the beach in Santa Monica, CA)

  • Tag yourself: Some sites allow you to "tag" people in the photo. This just means you're able to quickly add a visual link to a person's profile from a photo. If it's available, make sure you tag yourself in the photo. It's yet another way for search engines to recognize the photo is of you if that photo and profile are set to public.

 

Now it's time to get your image out there. Create a new post with the image on the (if available) or share the image with your social networks. This will help to create more links to the positive photo and make it search engine friendly so that it can rise above your negative images. You'll want to do this for all of your images. As with most content, you should begin to see results in 2-6 weeks and your negative image(s) will become just a bad memory.

 

What are people saying about you? Good online reputation management is not only about reacting well to what people say about you, your brand, or your products and services, but also about whether to react at all and, if so, when. Sometimes a reaction is not necessary, and sometimes a reaction that is too late can cost you millions.

 

A proactive approach to the matter consists of monitoring your public reputation on a regular basis, and not just when you come to know about a specific event to deal with. How do you do this? The magic tools invented to solve this problem fall under the name of “social media monitoring.”

Simply put, social media monitoring allows companies to gather public online content (from blog posts to tweets, from online reviews to Facebook updates), process it, and see whether something negative or positive is being said affecting their reputation.

Social media monitoring can be both DIY (Google Alert is an example of a free web monitoring tool accessible to anyone) and professional, depending on the size of the business involved.

In the online reputation management scenario, there are two types of negative content that companies should be aware of. One is represented by complaints on social networks. They need to be addressed properly, but unless your company has serious problems, they do not pose a real challenge to your business.

 

The other is what I define as “online reputation bombs,” which affect your reputation and sales long term and can severely damage a business. They are very powerful because, unlike social network content, they are prominent in search engine results. What if someone googles your brand name and finds defamatory content? Let’s see what they are:

  • Negative reviews: Review sites allow users to express their opinion on your brand. Did they like your service/product? Would they recommend it? Negative content can affect your sales, and addressing the criticism on the site may not be enough. Websites like Ripoff Report and Pissed Consumer provide the perfect platform for this kind of negative content.

  • Hate sites: Some people go beyond simple negative reviews and create ad hoc websites with their opinions, some of them containing illegal content. So-called “hate sites” sometimes address companies and public figures with insults and false information. Needless to say, a search result like “The truth about NAMEOFYOURCOMPANY” or “NAME scam/rip off” will make your potential customers run away!

  • Negative media coverage: Phineas T. Barnum used to say “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” That may be true for controversial public figures like Paris Hilton, but many times unfavorable TV, print, and online media coverage impacts negatively on companies and brands.

 

Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:

 

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

It is obvious that everyone has the right to express their voice about your brand. There are, however, certain boundaries that need to be respected. Some of the negative content online actually is illegal. Why?

  • It uses defamatory language

  • It reports false information

  • It is aimed at damaging the company’s reputation

 

How do you react to all of this? How do you defend yourself or your company from this kind of illegal behavior? Depending on the scope of the problem, several paths can be pursued in order to restore your online reputation:

  • Aggressive SEO: If someone googles your name, appearing on page 1 and 2 of the search results will be much more important than your business card or website. They will show at a glance several high ranking web sources talking about you. If they display false information, the first thing that you or your online reputation management company should do is devise a search marketing strategy that increases the ranking of positive content, owned by either you or third parties. The search engine game is too important to be ignored, and it is the first step in restoring your image.

  • Review removal: Did that user claim something false about your company? Is that review clearly aimed at destroying your reputation rather than providing feedback? Does it contain improper language? Legal liaison and speed of reaction will make it possible to remove the negative review.

  • Online investigations: In case of serious attacks to your brand image, it may be necessary to hire skilled online analysts to investigate untraceable threats and attackers via email tracing, data cross-indexing, and other information collection techniques. Cyber investigations are the definitive path to get to the bottom of difficult reputation management cases.

 

 

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