SEO and online reputation management
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Does SEO work to clear bad online reputation
There are internet companies who offer to push down negative search results as a way of dealing with negative online posts. How effective SEO (search engine optimization) is in removing negative posts from the internet is highly questionable.
Using search engine optimisation as a way to push down negative internet posts might be a discreet way to try and remove negative posts from being readily accessible and visable. SEO is a temporary measure which needs to be constantly maintained if it is to effectively work in the long term. It is relatively easy to circumvent the Google algorithm and bring to the top of internet search results new posts which are positive and complementary of you or of your company.
However, if those new posts are proven to be boring, not informative enough or bogus in some cases, their position on the top of Google searches will be short lived. An effective SEO method to push down negative search results, which might work in the long term is to ensure that the new posts that are created on your behalf, are created on websites that attract high credibility in the eyes of Google. Typically, those websites will be news sites or blogs that are considered credible by the search engines. This is not so much an SEO technique but rather a PR strategy that could impact on what internet users find when they carry out internet searches.
Negative internet posts could be extremely derogatory and damaging to a business. Each negative post on the internet is likely to make it harder to acquire new customers or new investment for the business. Negative posts tend to turn client acquisition more expensive because it is inevitable that potential customers will be put off by negative online posts. There is also a risk that existing customers will leave which means that the company will need to work even harder to acquire new customers to replace them.
By way of illustration, if it typically takes 100 visits to a website before a single new customer is acquired, with a single negative online post or review, visible on the first page of Google search results, the number of visits will need to increase to 500 before a single new customer is acquired. If the business is relying to pay per click advertising to acquire new customers, this difference would represent a significant cost increase.
The higher the number of negative internet posts or online reviews on the first page of Google search results, the higher the customers acquisition is. Eventually, the acquisition cost will be so staggering and will make the entire business operation unprofitable. This is particularly true where the business is operating within a price sensitive environment.
Online reputation challenges could be turned into marketing opportunities with good planning and high efforts. Hiring an SEO company to push down negative webpages, nearly always is likely to result in a waste of valuable resources. Resources that could have been used to create effective plans and strategies to deal with online reputation challenges. The benefit of SEO to push down internet search results is likely to be short lived and the costs of doing this is high and is likely to continue to increase as time goes by.
To turn online an reputation crisis into a marketing opportunity, instead of focusing efforts on SEO strategies, it is often best to invest in renovation and in forward thinking. A tested online reputation strategy, which is coupled with excellent quality of new online content, would allow the organisation to move on in a permanent basis and for customers to regain their trust in the organisation.
Excellent quality content will also help push down negative internet search results whilst promoting the company, its positive work, and the helpful content that it produces. With the right strategy in place, this process will help create expert positioning and a hopeful future for the company.