Nothing is more frustrating than finding your name or your company's name displayed in a negative light on the internet. You would be shocked to discover how easy it is for some disgruntled customer to ruin your online reputation, a reputation you may have painstakingly built over many years. Millions of internet users use search engines like Google, Bing, MSN, and Yahoo to research individuals or companies before they decide whether to do business with them. They type in your name or your company's name and all public information will then be displayed to them. If this information is negative, even if it is untrue, it can cause serious damage to your business or your personal life.
How is your reputation being ruined?
Negative comments or complaints can be posted on blogs or forums but what seems to be the most damaging is having a bad report created by "Complaint websites". These websites claim that they are doing an important service on behalf of consumers in that they allow consumers to file complaints/negative comments anonymously in the guise of protecting other consumers from what they deem as a bad company. In reality, these "Complaint websites" are well documented as companies that commit outright blackmail and slander. Complaint reports are not investigated to verify their validity so anyone can make up anything about a person or company and have it posted on these websites. Unfortunately, many people will err on the side of caution and not take the chance of doing business with you if they run across one of these false reports online. Aside from the "Complaint websites", here are other avenues where your online reputation can take a beating: negative comments in Google, Bing, Yahoo etc; poor reviews/ratings in local directory websites or in City guides; forums, social networking websites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.); negative videos on YouTube; Industry-specific internet portals; Online Yellow pages; Online News stories.
How to repair your online reputation?
Erasing negative comments is not easy. You could try contacting the appropriate people and respectfully ask that a negative comment be removed but that certainly doesn't mean that they will. It would be almost impossible to track down anonymous culprits behind offending material and negative comments posted on forum and blogs are considered free speech with no one being accountable. Even if you can pinpoint the offender, the cost of dragging them through the courts is usually not worth it.
The most effective and popular way to go about repairing your online reputation is to promote and circulate positive information in order to bury the negative information. You start a campaign to get the "good" word out about your company mainly by "link building". Positive website promotion with Link building will push the negative page or pages off the first few pages of Google, Bing, Yahoo and MSN, essentially "burying" it and replacing it with positive information about your company.
You can promote your website positively through the following ways:
It is important to take action immediately if you spot negative information on the internet. The longer you put off doing something about it, the more links and connections these negative pages will build to other websites. Bad news travels really fast on the Internet.
If you are serious in your need to clean up damaging information about yourself or your company, your best bet would be to employ a Reputation Repair company rather than try to tackle the job yourself. Google has a very powerful and complicated infrastructure, with a very detailed and specific formula for how information is ranked within the search results, and unless you are an expert in SEO, it is best to leave it to the experts.
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