Reputation Management: Making a Deal with the Devil

Reputation Management SEO

Reputation is something earned, even a negative one. Inside an online marketing thought bubble of unicorns, rainbows, sunshine and seo, we are usually all too willing and able to help someone that wants to “push down negative results” or “boost up good profiles”. It is this close minded thinking that led to an epic fail – the very same person that commissioned us to fix his reputation, filed a chargeback against us after receiving the service! haha, you can’t make this stuff up.

Hindsight is 20/20 so let’s look at some red flags for fixing the reputation of this innocent victim! 🙂

  • Multiple court cases, with 12 plantiffs against him
  • Signs off emails with Sir or Mr before his name (really?)
  • Claims to have went to Harvard (don’t think so at this point), and uses high end cars as his profile pic (delusions of grandeur)
  • Has dozens of profiles created with his name, in an attempt to push these results down before (he knew just enough SEO to be dangerous and not effective)

Being naive and all to eager to help those in need, I was placated with a phone call assuring me he was the true victim.

Next time a restaurant, doctor, lawyer or systems analyst *wink wink*, contacts you, maybe their steaks do taste like rubber, or the doctor is a quack, or maybe the lawyer is using deceptive tactics. Using SEO to fix someones reputation is masking the problem, and hurting those seeking out the absolute best business or person for their needs.

Imagine your Mom needed a heart doctor, and came across one that had a nephew trolling for his reputation online. Yes, this is an exaggerated circumstance and your pulled pork sandwich that was a supposeded solid 4, tastes like a 2 won’t cost you your life, but will cost your trust in the process of online reviews. Trust in the internet (that sounded cheesey) needs to be upheld and Pulledporksandwichseo isn’t helping that process.

Are there situations where someone unfairly has an axe to grind? Yes, but those should be addressed on the platform they were posted on, whether that is Yelp, Google + yellowpages, a forum post, tweet, facebook, etc (if you can’t address it, only then would SEO be your only means of correction). Creating noise (other profiles or websites) and/or boosting up profiles to ofuscate the truth isn’t reptuation management, it’s manipulation.

The industry of White Hat reputation management (instead of good, quality content, you have a good business :P) is on the rise. Services that attempt to bridge the gap between brick and mortar, their customers and the internet will have a future, acquiring real reviews. The others better hope John Doe’s Linkedin account can outrank ripoffreport.

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Dan and Matt Anton

Dan and Matt Anton are the creators of BacklinksVault, a community for online marketers to blog, learn, contribute and use the best tools and services available.

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