If you are reading this article, you probably already have a problem with your online reputation. This does not mean that your reputation is bad, it only means that it looks bad. Somebody keys in your name or your brand name or your company name into Google, Bing or Yahoo and some nasty weirdo’s listing pops up, trying to make nothing out of you, your good work or your products and services.
Photo credit: Small Rose by Christopher Jeschke CMJ Photography
That’s not good! But it can be handled. Here is how it is done: First you isolate the listing or listings that you want to attack. Then you decide how to go about it. Usually it is best to start a campaign to outrank the bad stuff immediately. Sometimes it is also possible to yank the negative listing out of place. This can by done by direct communication, indirect communication (legal means).
The best approach to fix your online reputation is in most cases to just plainly outrank the bad stuff with your good content. There is an excellent article on marketingpilgrim.com where Andy Beal describes in detail on Google Reputation Management: Fix Your Google Reputation & Remove Negative Results.
You can use Social Media Sites to get your online reputation back under control. If you want to know how to do it, you can see what David Wallace suggests in an article titled Using Social Media To Help Manage Online Reputation.
But if you only address the search results, you are only treating the result, not the cause. In each case it is necessary to also address the root of the problem. Listen to the person that spreads the bad news if you want to improve your online reputation. Sometimes the things are justified or at least have some truth to it. If you are willing to listen, it is very often possible to get the bad news removed and turn that disgruntled person into a firm believer.
It is also important for your reputation management to monitor what is being said about you online. You can use Google alerts, Yahoo alerts, RSS feed subscriptions to search results Technorati, Feedster, Yahoo & Google News, BlogPulse and Social Media via tags: tagbulb.com, tagfetch.com, keotag.com as suggested in Basics of Online Reputation Management.
If you don’t want to do the reputation management yourself, you can always hire me and I’ll get that stuff handled.