Search is king when it comes to reputation
When someone widely hailed as a driving force behind the digital revolution speaks up about the internet, there’s probably a bit of thought behind it. Chris Anderson was a long time writer for The Economist, is a former editor-in-chief of WIRED magazine, and has published several revolutionary works discussing the future of business. Today, his words inspire our first Crisis Management Quotable of 2016:
“Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is” — Chris Anderson
No matter who you are or what your organization does, the vast majority of people considering doing business with you are going to head to Google before they get too far in the process. And, what they find there is quite likely to determine whether they decide to move forward or turn and run the other way.
The public’s increasing reliance on search to do a spot-check on reputation has spawned a whole new set of crisis management strategies based on controlling what appears on page one of Google inquiries for specific terms. Not to say that you can simply push the bad results into the graveyard that is page two and continue on with dastardly deeds! However, even after you’ve cleaned up your act and righted wrongs negative results remain…unless you employ crisis SEO efforts to help move them out of view.
Oh, and let’s not forget that Google will point users to review sites, forums, and social media as well, making the idea of hiding a negative reputation while you continue on with the actions that created it quite impossible.
Here’s the crux of the situation – search results matter, a lot. Do your best to dominate results for your name, company name, etc., and if negatives appear it’s time to take immediate action. Fail to do so and, well, Google will have something to say when people go looking.