When it comes to online reputation management, you want the first page of a Google search for your company or brand name to be positive overall. That is, you don’t want a bunch of “scam reports” or negative forum posts to appear. But making that Google page positive overall is also about making that first page look natural and un-manipulated. That’s why it’s important to use neutral information from third-party sites to help you create a positive and believable online reputation.
Variety and Balance
Not only does Google like to display a variety of different kinds of sites and varying opinions on the first page of results, but users who are searching for your company like to see a balanced and unbiased set of links to information about your company.
Think about it this way, if you did a Google search for a brand name and all you saw were glowing reviews and a list of sites that all looked like they were sponsored by the same organization, you’d probably be a little skeptical of the information you were getting. And so will the people who are searching for you. That’s why you need variety and balance in the information that appears on the first page of a Google results page.
Building Trust and Building Your Online Reputation
Search results should look natural, that’s why it’s important to help other third-party information about your site appear on the first page of results. When a user is presented with a page of results that is too overwhelmingly positive, they might get suspicious that the results are being manipulated and lose trust in your company.
However, if you can get a handful of non-critical, independent information about your company to appear on the first page of a Google search, the results will look more natural, giving users the sense that they are getting a balanced view of your company as a whole.
So instead of simply building a number of sites whose only purpose is to cheerlead for your company, save yourself some time and effort and use some good linkbuilding and SEO practices to promote neutral, third-party information about your company.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but filling the first page of a Google search with only positive information can damage your reputation. However, if you can master the fine art of neutrality, you’ll simultaneously be pushing negative information about your company off the first Google results page and give people the sense that they are getting a balanced view of your company at the same time.