First, to understand how negative press can get to the top of the search engines results pages (SERPs), let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit the old urban legend of Pop Rocks and Coke. Amidst all the excitement around the popular fizzy candy, in the late 1970s stories began to spread around school playgrounds that, when mixed with soda, Pop Rocks could cause a mini-explosion in your stomach. Teachers overheard and passed on to mothers. The worried mothers then escalated the news to the press, and soon General Foods, the creators of Pop Rocks, had a reputation problem on their hands.
This telephone game of word-of-mouth is replicated online via link-building. First, someone publishes negative comments about your company. As others read the comments, more people start linking to it in blogs and discussion groups. Friends forward to friends, who forward to friends and so on. Next thing you know, the bad press is at the top of the search rankings.
Back in the Pop Rocks days, General Foods responded to the Pop Rocks fiasco with full-page print ads, letters to school principals around the country, and even sent the Pop Rocks inventordoor to door to attest to its safety. But what could they have done had they lived in the today’s digital world?
If an online reputational tragedy befalls you or a friend, the first step in the repair strategy should always entail keyword selection. You don’t want to continue optimizing the same keywords that are used for existing marketing purposes. Different keywords come into play in this case. Since it is likely the negative press is showing up when consumers search under your brand name or product name, you will want to focus your SEO efforts on those specific keywords. The goal is to drive brand-friendly hits up in the SERPs, while pushing the negative press down.
You do this by creating more good press and optimizing around those selected keywords. Links embedded within press releases will give sites a ranking boost while the news is fresh and the press release is at the top of the newswire. When you’re embedding the links, don’t just hyperlink your corporate domain every time. Instead, ask yourself, “Which links are most important to our situation at this time?”
Experiment with different hyperlinks to different sub-domains, and measure the results to determine which ones will drive your news up the ranks. Always make sure that links are embedded on top of, or near your brand name.
The second step is link building. After all, if the negative press elbowed its way to the top of the SERPs through link building, you can do the same with positive press. It is an SEO ace in the hole, and it should be a major part of any SEO strategy. To counteract the negative press, build links to optimize brand and product names.
Think outside your corporate domain. Sub-domains, including news sites, corporate blogs and other pages outside your website, can be key SEO weapons in your arsenal as they take up more shelf space in the SERPs. Optimize these through link building, and make it a practice to ensure that the content on these sites is constantly updated and is as fresh as possible.
Lastly, go directly to the source of the negative press and request they also include rebuttal links. Ideally, they will publish an additional link on that post or page to your response (on your site) to the issue in question, so that your positive messages are given more platform.
When it comes to the Internet, information is a constantly flowing stream, and it flows fast. The only real news is what’s up at the top of the search page, so use something that you know works to manage, control and shape those messages that you care about. SEO has a pivotal role inreputation management, as it can remove negatives and enhance positives on the first page of results, which is usually the only page that matters.
Social Media Marketing for Business :It is time to open your mind to the importance of social media marketing as it relates to search engine rankings. SEO Inc. has been providing social media marketing services for clients for several years and one thing that is clear is that our clients that are involved and committed the most to social media also have the best search engine rankings. If you don’t believe us, maybe you need to hear what the top experts in the search industry have to say about the importance of social media marketing in SEO and how “social signals” impact your website’s ability to get rankings.
Everyone in the SEO industry knows Matt Cutts, but if you don’t here is a little mini bio: Matt works in the search quality group at Google and is basically the spokesman for them on important topics like Google’s efforts to combat link spam and enforcement of Google’s webmaster guidelines. In this video Matt is basically saying to get involved in social media if you want to stimulate organic link popularity to your website.
What Social Signals Do Google & Bing Really Count?
This article has quotes directly from engineers at Google and Bing that state “social signals” such as Retweets and Facebook shares are factored into their ranking algorithms. It is our opinion that these are taking on more and more prominence and building a robust social presence not only helps but is absolutely necessary to achieve success in search.
Facebook + Twitter’s Influence on Google’s Search Rankings Summary:
This article from SEOMoz shows that through testing, they have been able to determine that social metrics are well correlated with higher rankings. It also has data which indicates that the previously held belief that Twitter’s weight in the algorithms may not be as strong as originally believed and Facebook’s value is stronger than most experts thought.
Search Engine Optimization ROI
Search Engine Optimization may not be the only component of your overall Internet marketing strategy, but we believe it should be the foundation. Traffic from search engines remains the most effective, highest converting traffic on the Internet. Our enterprise Professional Search Engine Optimization services can typically generate increases in organic search traffic ranging from 100% to 15,000%.