Your online reputation simply is your reputation. In the digital era, nothing is protecting you from criticism anymore. This is good from a freedom of speech perspective; bad if your company has been defamed and attacked. To conclude, ten practical tips that sum up what we have covered in this guide.
We pitched the client, and subsequently implemented, a pretty ambitious plan. Our stated goal was to own 90% of the first two pages of Google results in 6 weeks. To control at least 18 positions, we knew we needed to focus on more than just 20 pieces of content. We decided that we would define 50 pieces of content, and as time went on, we'd determine which pieces of content Google was signaling that it liked (by slowly moving it up) and which it didn't. The content we focused on fell into two natural categories, Pre-Existing Content and New Content. The content for each of these categories was as follows:
Subdomains on the client's website - The client had created two of these before we were brought in. They were subdomains setup that specifically addressed the false accusations.
News articles - A benefit of the client being a big company is that they've already had plenty of mainstream press. We identified positive articles from Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, and other Industry publications to promote for the scam phrase. We found that, even if the article didn't contain the word 'scam', anchor text alone, linking to these strong domains, could get them to rank for the scam phrase.
Wikis - It seems that most industries and niches have their own wiki's. Our client had a page in a niche wiki, so we simply added the word 'scam' into the wiki in a natural way. Doing this, plus a few links, helped it rank for the scam phrase.
Blog Posts - There were a number of positive blog posts about the company already online. The problem was, as I mentioned previously, that the comment sections of many of them were overrun with very negative comments (we could tell most of the comments were anonymous and contained inaccurate and fake information, likely from competitors). So, we chose to only promote blog posts that had disabled comments. Even if a blog post had no comments, we didn't use it if comments were open because they could always turn negative.
Youtube - The client had created a few Youtube videos disputing the mis-information being spread about their business. Since YouTube allows for full content moderation, we found videos to be a great source of positive content that can be controlled.
Content on the client's website - When the client originally tried to tackle this problem themselves, they had created a few posts on their blog that were optimized for the brand name + scam keyword. Since an official brand site is the most likely site to rank for any query containing the brand name, this was a smart move.
Posts on sites we own - We have a fairly large number of blogs that we run as part of our business. Some of these blogs focus on the same industry as the client, so we simply created posts optimized for the scam keyword. Since these domains are aged and trusted, we knew it wasn't going to be too difficult to get them to rank.
Article Directories - Squidoo, HubPages, eZineArticles, Buzzle, InfoMarketers, Go Articles, and many more - We have nice, old accounts on many sites like these, so we added new articles optimized for our term to them.
Mini Blogs - We setup a number of mini-blogs on WordPress, Blogger, Posterous, Tumblr, and a few other WordPress MU sites we identified that we felt we'd be able to create a blog on that could rank.
New Sites We Created -We bought the .com, .net, and .org versions of the exact match domains for the search phrase (including the word 'scam', eg. brandnamescam.com). We also bought hyphenated versions of the domain as well. We then setup mini-sites on different c-class IP addresses.