What do you want people to find on the first page of results when they search for your organization’s name on Google (which has almost 70 percent of search traffic) or the other major search engines? You would probably prefer that they don’t find:
- A vicious blog started by disgruntled former customers; or,
- 75% of the links leading to websites or blogs critical of your business; or,
- Websites and blogs that you don’t control, with your own sites buried on later Google pages; or,
- Your name prominently and negatively mentioned on legitimate (e.g., Better Business Bureau) or quasi-legitimate (RipOff Report) consumer-focused websites; or,
- Your organization’s name connected with an investigation by any regulatory or enforcement agency.
These are all situations Bernstein Crisis Management has helped clients manage recently, with a steadily increasing number of organizations finding their primary crisis to be the damage they are incurring online. The innocent are portrayed as guilty. Minor offenses are portrayed as major offenses. Criticism that sounds legitimate is purely or mostly fictional.
There are quite a few crisis management tactics that can mitigate the situations described above. Increasingly, one of the most essential tactics has been a form of search engine optimization (SEO) focused specifically on preserving and restoring reputation, when the crisis is already in progress, followed by creation of an “SEO shield” to preserve reputation going forward.
Bernstein Crisis Management’s team of experts includes individuals who can assist clients with SEO Reputation Management as part of a comprehensive set of strategies and tactics for online reputation management.
or write to Jonathan Bernstein