Understanding Search Displacment

  • What if an article was published online that made you or your company look bad? 
  • Or what if a competitor was trying to hurt your business by publishing bad / negative or untrue reviews online? 
  • Or maybe a 3rd party website has published incorrect information about you or your company?

These are just some of the reasons why a business or individual might need to hire a reputation management company to manage their online reputation.

Before the advent of the Internet and review sites, reputation management was limited to public relations – to broadening or changing public perception through the media. Now that this media includes review and social media sites as well as many other online destinations, today’s reputation management specialists have adapted and taken on a different role.

In today’s Internet-savvy world, the focus of reputation management is not just on review and social media sites but the first page of the SERPs (search engine results pages) as well.

What Exactly is ORM (Online Reputation Management)?

In its simplest form, we can define online reputation management as the means by which you control your company’s reputation online or, to say it another way, the understanding and influencing of your business’ reputation online.

Although your company’s online business reputation is equally (if not more) important than your offline reputation, it’s a much-neglected area in today’s world. Often this is because business owners are simply unaware that people are leaving reviews and otherwise talking about their company online.

There are really two different but related types of reputation management. The first type of online reputation management is the kind that revolves around reviews. These reviews come by way of review sites such as YellowPages, Yelp and TripAdvisor as well as through your businesses’ Google My Business Page (aka Google Places, Google+ Local).

The second type is closer to what people might called PR or public relations – but with more of an online element to it. This is where a company has received some type of negative news that is showing up on the first page of the SERPs (search engine result pages).

A typical ORM client might want one or more listings that appear in the SERPs for a given keyword moved off the 1st page of the SERPs to the 2nd or 3rd page of the search results. It’s this particular form of reputation management – displacing negative listings from the SERPs and replacing them with neutral or positive listings – that’s what’s more commonly referred to when people use the term “reputation management”.

Of course, displacing listings in the SERPs is not the only approach Metamend uses to better a company’s online reputation. Here’s a list of other ORM practices that Metamend employs.

Search Displacement and other Reputation Management Methodologies

Reputation management is definitely not a one-size-fits-all type of service. And because each case is different, each approach must be tailored specifically to each client.

Metamend uses a multi-pronged approach that includes a deep analysis of the offending listing (for a given keyword or set of keywords) as well as analyzing all the listings in the top 5 pages of the SERPs.

Once we’ve analyzed all the key URLs, their backlink profiles, social signals, trust and authority scores, we develop a plan that includes introducing new company-controlled online properties and optimizing relevant web pages as well as optimizing and building out new web 2.0 properties.

Here are a couple of methods that Metamend employs to help clients achieve positive results with their reputation management campaigns.

  • Removing and / or updating any untrue or incorrect information on 3rd party sites
  • Analyzing customer feedback to improve current and future products, systems and / or services
  • Taking a proactive approach to responding to customer complaints
  • Optimizing relevant pages on company website
  • Optimizing company published content such as reports, whitepapers, customer testimonials etc
  • Optimizing all current social media channels
  • Submitting press releases to authoritative sites, online news agencies and search engines
  • Submission of legal documents such as DMCA notices, take-down requests etc
  • aining mentions and / or links from authoritative 3rd party sites
  • Claiming and updating company listings on 3rd party sites

The above tactics are ones that are considered to be moral and ethical. There are definitely some methodologies employed in the industry, however, that many (including ourselves) consider to be unethical.

Know that Metamend DOES NOT employ any of the following shady or black-hat type techniques.

  • Creating fake online properties pretending to be another person or company and using them to push down negative results
  • Offering free products / memberships so that people leave more positive and prominent reviews
  • Spamming a website using bots, bad links and denial-of-service attacks to get the sites containing the damaging content de-indexed and off the web
  • Creating fake online personas with the intent of writing fake reviews or to combat negative ones (called astroturfing)

At Metamend, we work closely with our clients to uncover a variety of different methodologies to improve their reputation online.  Every month, we assess our progress and tweak the campaigns so that they are always getting the best possible results.