Reputation Management: 6 Ways to Fill up a SERP

In your company’s quest to provide as many positive search results as you can on the first page of a search engine results page (SERP), you can’t just trick out your home page for SEO and expect the entire first page of a Google search to fill up with your name. It takes a concerted and coordinated effort, using multiple tactics to help populate the first page of Google rankings. And here are some ways to do it.

1. Optimize Your Main Site

First and foremost, you need to optimize your main corporate website. At the very least, you need to be the #1 result when anyone Googles your name. This means taking advantage of a number of existing SEO tactics used by experts in a business specialising in SEO campaigns to get your site optimized, including keywords placement, site architecture, backlinks, and more.

2. Pay-Per-Click

You are simply trying to take up as much page real estate as your can on a SERP. Starting a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign that capitalizes on your company name will take up an extra spot at the top of the page. Even it you are already the number one search result for your name, creating a PPC for your company name will help you get in the door. Then if other companies try and buy PPC space for your name, you can file a trademark complaint with Google and have anyone trying to capitalize on your name removed.

3. Internal Subdomains

In some cases you can get traffic and link-heavy subdomains to rank on SERPs. For example, if you have a “store” page (like that gets a lot of visitors, take advantage of that traffic by building backlinks to the subdomain and creating another spot on the SERP for your company. For a great example of this search “Apple” on Google.

4. Multiple Domains

Make sure you own as many domains as possible that contain your company name along with variations and misspellings. Once you own those other domains, don’t simply use them as redirects to your main site, put them to work by creating multiple websites that contain information about your company. Not only will this help build backlinks to your main site, but optimizing those other pages will take up valuable SERP real estate.

5. Local Listings

Although this may not work for some companies, if you have a physical location in the local area, make sure you’ve created a Google place page for it. Local search results take up a lot of page real estate, and if you can appear number one in the local search results, you’ll be building credibility and a good reputation for your company.

6. News

Form time to time, you may see news results in a Google SERP. This is another place where you can capitalize on SERP real estate. If you can get your name in the news regularly, your company name will appear in the Google news results when searched. Just make sure that the news items are positive, and you’ll have created another way to fill a Google results page with your company name.


Making Your Reputation Management Look Natural

One of the keys to good reputation management online is to make it look natural. When a user does a Google search on your company name and the entire first page is filled with positive testimonials taken directly from your corporate website, the user will be suspicious and probably move onto the second page of search results in order to get “real” information about your company. You don’t want that. You want users to look at the first page of a Google search and be satisfied with the diversity of information they see.

When a user sees a diverse set of sites and types of information on your company that isn’t all branded or promotional, they’ll feel like they are getting an objective and well-rounded look at your company. But how do you create that natural feel to a search engine results page? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Create a limited number of official websites or blogs

How many websites would you expect a “normal” company to have? Probably one, maybe two, depending on the company. And most companies will only have one or two official blogs. Users will find it natural and normal for these properties to have information on the company and to promote it. Any more than that and a user will start to get suspicious about your intent and wonder why you need 15 company blogs. Keep it simple and natural, and you’ll look better in a Google search.

2. Promote informational sites

One thing users are searching for when researching your company is 3rd party, non-biased information. For example, if you do a search for McDonalds, you’ll probably see some news articles about McDonalds in the results. If neutral or positive information or news stories exist about your company, promote those stories through SEO to get them to rank higher in the search results. If you can move those stories to the top, users will feel like they are getting an un-biased look at your company.

3. Create natural social media profiles

We all know that social media is becoming a big factor in SEO, and since Google likes to present a variety of platforms and opinions in its results, it’s only natural that your company should create social media profiles that are appropriate to your company image. It seems normal for most companies to have a Facebook and Twitter account, but is it appropriate for your company to have a MySpace, Formspring.Me, or Flickr account? If you manufacture business envelopes, maybe not. But if you design plastic jewelry for teenagers, it might be worth looking in to. The point is to be natural and appropriate. If you have unusual social media profiles or multiple accounts on the same service, users will be suspicious of your brand and your intentions.

4. Cut down on self-promotion

We all have to advertise, but when a user searches for your company name, they want to see a variety of opinions that don’t seem to come from your company. For example, press releases are great for releasing information about your company, but if they are simply puff pieces that only gush about how awesome your company is, how many people love you, or how much money you’re making, users will be turned off and start looking elsewhere for information. In that same vein, too many gushy testimonials have the same effect. Keep your presence on the web positive, but not over the top, and you won’t appear spammy or unnatural.

The key to online reputation management is to appear as if your reputation is not being managed at all. The more you can help the top ten search results look natural and organic, the better chance that users will stay on page 1 and not feel the need to see “what else” is out there. And that’s exactly what you want.


Handling Negative Criticism Online

As a successful company, you’ll always run into people who will criticize you or will have had a bad experience with your products or services. It’s just a fact of being successful and running a large business that can’t be helped. The problem is that, today, a handful of people can ruin your reputation or dissuade potential customers from doing business with you through just a few strokes of the keyboard. The Internet is great because it levels the playing field for everyone, which is fantastic when someone is telling the truth. But it’s horrible when a person with limited mental faculties, or a former employee with an axe to grind, can get on a handful of web discussion boards and badmouth your company with outright lies.

The trouble is, how do you keep your cool and respond to such individuals without coming off as a jerk or harming your reputation further? In terms of reputation management, here are a few things to keep in mind when attempting to respond to criticism online.

1) Be Extremely Nice

Your first reaction as a company head or representative may be to use a few choice words, attack the author’s inaccuracies (and grammar), and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are right and they are wrong. But that is the wrong way to approach your reputation management.

Most readers of this type of discussion thread can tell when someone is either crazy or has a grudge. And they’ll be able to tell when that author makes the issue personal instead of professional. Usually, the original poster will look like a jerk to begin with, so you don’t need to make it any more obvious. If you reply to such comments, be as nice as you can. Thank them for their feedback, compliment them on their astute observations, and let everyone else who reads the discussion thread know that you are not the monster you may have been made out to be.

2) Admit Fault and Apologize

Along with being nice, good reputation management is about admitting fault when there is fault to admit. Even when you haven’t done anything wrong, you can apologize for the author’s bad experience. Of course, you probably won’t be acquainted with the situation personally, but apologize for anything that might have happened and offer your regrets. Then offer a solution to the author’s problem. If they had a bad experience, tell them how you’re working to improve your customer service or give them a channel by which they can talk to someone about their situation. Even if they don’t take your offer, other visitors to the board will see that you are aware of any problems and are working to fix them. Which is always a plus in reputation management.

3) Ignore it

Sometimes it’s worse to respond to outlandish criticism than to simply let it go. Responding may goad the author to respond in kind with even worse criticism, and may invite other bad-mouthers into the conversation to lend their opinion. Remember, most visitors to these types of threads can tell when someone is just ranting and when they are offering a sincere product or service review. Many times a bad-review author can be their own worst enemy. So in most cases it’s simply best to let their words speak for themselves.

Keep in mind, the worse thing you can do is jump into the conversation and play your negative-reviewer’s game by making personal attacks and getting emotionally invested in the argument. Show the rest of the thread readers that you won’t stoop to that level by apologizing and being extremely nice. And, when in doubt, it’s probably best to avoid responding at all and carrying on the argument further.


Link Diversity and Your Online Reputation Management

Google is smart. Too smart for it’s own good sometimes. The Google algorithm that determines page rank on a search engine results page uses over 200 different factors to determine what comes up in the top ten. That’s a lot of data to consider. It’s not like the old days when you simply had to keyword stuff your site to get to the top. Today, Google looks at the number of backlinks to a site, the content of the sites, the diversity of the sites that link to it, how it compares in tone to similar pages, and on and on. And the Google search engineers are always trying to improve their results. One of the things they’ve found is that users prefer to see a diversity of links in their search results instead of the same kind of content 10 times on the first page.

That means that an average search will generally have links to a variety of different kinds of sites, like a YouTube video, a blog, Wikipedia, a twitter account, informational sites, corporate websites, and more. And this is where it can get tricky for reputation management. If your company owns 20 different blogs that all say positive things about your company, Google may be classifying them all as the same types of sites. And in an environment that likes diversity, your 20 blogs may get shoved down the list, and one bad review of your product on an anonymous scam or rip-off site will float to the top.

What does this all mean for your reputation management? It means that your online reputation management is about more than a few positive backlinks to your corporate website. Maybe you have 20 blogs, but if they all have basically the same content, then they might not be as effective as they could be.

Try looking at your different properties in terms of how you can make them different from one another, not simply how you can use them to say nice things about your company. For example, instead of creating review sites, try looking at ways you can fill your different online properties with niche information targeted at a specific audience. Useful information on the web is more valuable and more shared than simple reviews, can garner you more SEO, and looks less like corporate cheerleading and more like a company that wants to become a resource and get involved in the online community. When websites that discuss your company are diverse, they have a better chance of ranking on Google.

Another way to approach the problem is to look at capitalizing on a number of different types of sites. If all your properties are blogs, try leveraging different kinds of internet communication tools, like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, informational sites, discussion boards, YouTube videos, and more.

When a user searches your company name on Google, you need to be prepared to give Google a diversity of content and formats to fill up the top ten results. If not, scam and rip-off sites that are fundamentally different from your sites will keep showing up in the top ten results.


Online Reputation Management: The New PR

Public relations used to be the best way for a company to manage its reputation and image publicly. A lot of PR consisted of positive press releases and pictures of your organization helping sick children or helping rebuild a rundown community center. But those days have changed. Whereas PR mostly focuses on relationships with major news outlets and putting a positive spin on your company news, less people are reading newspapers nowadays, and more people are using the Internet to research companies. Instead of PR, many companies are now focused on reputation management—creating a positive online image for their company.

Online reputation management is the new PR in the sense that reputation management is about influencing the kind of information users see when they search your company name online. Creating a good reputation management campaign involves many principles of SEO and knowing what kind of online content to promote, why, and how.

To look at the issue of old PR vs. new reputation management in more detail, let’s compare some characteristics of both.

1. Longevity of information

The old PR industry focused a lot of attention on the news cycle. What print publications can you get in? How many people read it? Can you get on CNN, the Today Show, etc.? Old PR focused on cyclical media. Places where your company could make a big splash and then be forgotten about in the space of a few minutes or days. But today’s information stays on the Internet almost permanently. Thus, reputation management is about controlling what information is most accessed and most widely read when a user is looking for information about your company. In today’s online culture, a company can’t rely on the short memories of the public to forget bad press or embarrassing mistakes. It’s all available forever on the Internet. Making sure the best stuff floats to the top is the job of reputation management.

2. Publisher reputation

When trying to get a reputable publisher to do a story on your company, the publisher has a responsibility to their readers or viewers to put out balanced, well-researched information and news stories to protect their own reputation. But today, publisher reputation is almost non-existent. Any fly-by-night, anonymous website can start up at any time and publish complete lies about a company and there is no reputation to uphold. That’s why reputation management is necessary for any large company. Because anyone can publish anything on the Internet, anyone can read it too—and believe it. So, it takes skilled reputation management to massage reputable, positive press and information to the top of a Google search, rather then let anonymous review writers dominate your online image.

3. Connections

If you’ve ever worked with a PR firm, you’ll know that they’re always talking about the connections and relationships they have with certain journalists or publications. Part of the PR game is to form relationships with prominent people in order to get your company news published in large, targeted venues. On the Internet, the only relationships that really matter are links. That’s why a lot of reputation management is based in SEO. SEO strategies used by reputation management seek to promote content that will benefit your company and move it to the top of a Google search, pushing negative reviews and information off the first page.

PR and reputation management are fundamentally two different things. And since more people are searching the Internet for information about your company than scrolling though microfiche of old news stories, reputation management is a valuable asset to add to your public image arsenal. That is not to say that a company should completely forgo PR in favor of reputation management. Rather, reputation management is quickly becoming just as important, if not more important, than PR for the benefit of your company name and image.


5 Reputation Management Tips for Your Personal Brand

There was once a time when your real-world self and your online persona could be completely different. You could be Dr. Jekyll, mild-mannered and thoughtful, to your co-workers and friends, and then go home at night and be Mr. Hyde, the snarky and somewhat raunchy celebrity blogger. Today, as our digital and real-world lives come closer together, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more, it’s harder to be two different people and time to start thinking about how to manage your reputation, both online and off.

Although you might not think about it, you have a personal brand whether you like it or not. And if you are trying to sell yourself to potential employers, clients, or a certain online community, you need to be recognizable and accessible across multiple platforms. All it takes is for one person to bad-mouth you online (or someone who shares your name to do something foolish) for anyone searching for you to get the wrong impression. In essence, you need to take control of your personal brand before someone else does.

1) Form Your Strategy

Before your take control of your personal brand, you have to decide how you want to brand yourself. Think about what you do, what you want to be known for, what kind of people you want to appeal to, and your overall personal and professional goals. Do you want to be Jekyll or Hyde? When you figure out these aspects, it will be much easier to create your social media profiles, personal websites, and personal brand image overall

2) Create a Hub

With so many options available, it can be easy to get lost in a sea of tweets, posts, updates, and RSS feeds. So you need to create a personal hub that can be your home base, a place that all the rest of your posts, tweets, and other messaging can originate from. A good place to start is, where you can create a splash page for yourself that includes a brief description of who you are and what you are about, along with a picture, and links to your other social media accounts and websites.

Another great place to start is with a personally branded website or blog where you can post information about yourself as well as content about what you do and your ongoing relationship with the community you are a part of.

3) Social Media is Only a Publisher

Once you’ve established your hub, then you can use your social media profiles as publishing arms that help you share the content from your hub to your friends, followers, and business associates. Tools like Tweetdeck, Seesmic, and any number of WordPress plugins can help you keep your posts and updates consistent across various social media platforms.

4) Define Your Boundaries

In today’s “share everything” culture, it can be easy to get caught up in the social media sharing cycle, feeling like you need to post a new item every 10 minutes. So, before you start, sit down and define where your online persona will end and where your real life will begin. In other words, set some privacy boundaries so you don’t overshare. Will you talk about your family? Will you share your location? Do you want to keep it strictly professional? The answers to these questions are up to you and will rely heavily on your individual goals and the persona you want to create.

5) Stay Focused

When you are trying to take hold of your online reputation management, one of the worst things you can do is present a myriad of different personas through various sites and social media platforms. One of the keys to building and maintaining a personal brand is to stay focused and be consistent. Set boundaries and goals, and stick to them. If you feel like you need to change the way you are presenting yourself, define a new strategy and set new goals before you start to wander. When you are consistent and focused, you’ll create a sense of confidence and build a good reputation that can easily be found by anyone.

If you want to take control of your online reputation management, and stop playing Jekyll and Hyde, start today by defining a strategy, creating a hub, and focusing on your objectives to create a good reputation for yourself.


Domain Name Strategy for Reputation Management

What in a name? In reputation management, just about everything. Your company name is your calling card; it is your identifier, and you don’t want anyone else to hijack it. That means you have to take control of your name as quickly and as comprehensively as possible. On the Internet, that simply means you need to own as many domain name variations and combinations as possible and control how they are used.


A lot of companies will simply buy a .com domain and leave it at that. Others might even go so far as to buy .org and .net, but even those popular domains will not be enough to shore up your company against reputation attacks. If your company is serious about reputation management, obtain as many versions of your company name as you can. Other domains include, .tv, .me, .is, and a whole host of others. Not only will buying all these domains ensure that someone else can’t buy and use them, but you can also use them to create positive site content that links to your main domain and can boost your SEO and your reputation.

Misspell Your Company Name

In some cases, rival companies or other ne’re-do-wells will buy common misspellings of your company name in hopes of capitalizing on it for their own purposes. For example, if your company is Johnson Holdings, buy both and That way, no matter how users think your name might be spelled, you’ve got it covered, and they’ll always find you.

Don’t Forget Variations

Another way to make sure you take complete control of your company name for reputation management purposes is to buy other variations of your company name. If you’ve already bought, also try and get,, or In addition to variations on your name, it can also be beneficial to combine your name with other words that could be damaging to your company—if held by someone else. For example combine your company with “scam” or “ripoff” (i.e.,, etc.). Not only will this ensure that no one else can buy that name and use it to defame your company but you can be sure those sites will never go live.

For small companies, buying all these domains can be expensive, but since most domains will only cost anywhere from $10.00–80.00 per year, it could pay off in the long run to obtain more variations of your name as your company grows. For large corporations, it’s probably best to simply buy as many domains as possible and begin using them to your advantage as soon as you do.

Sometimes reputation management is simply a name game. And if you can do your best to guard your company name and hold on to as many variations of it as you can, you’ll be on the winning team.


The Morality of Reputation Management

Increasingly, a majority of consumers are going online to search for products, services, and research companies they might want to do business with. In the old days (you know, circa 2000), most people patronized businesses that were recommended to them by their personal friends and acquaintances. Today, people still look for recommendations, but they can get those recommendations from complete strangers on the Internet much faster. And the Internet is a level playing field, which can be good or bad.

Just as anyone can post a great review of your company online for free and have it viewed by millions, any person with a personal vendetta or mental illness can post a negative review and also have it viewed by millions, regardless of truth or any basis in reality. That’s why many companies turn to reputation management to help them push positive reviews and comments to the top of a Google search rather than let negative content run wild. But despite companies’ and reputation management firms’ best intentions, there is still a feeling that online reputation management is a form of beating the system. The truth is, reputation management is simply a way for companies to present their best qualities to anyone who is searching for them, just as any of us in our personal lives would do.

Reputation Management is a Corporate Resume

Think about it, when you are looking for a job, what is your resume strategy? Do you present your experience and past employment in the best light possible? Or do you just throw something together regardless of how it might make you appear to potential employers? Chances are, you’re much more likely to portray yourself in a positive light and provide references whom you are certain will give you glowing recommendations. Likewise, online reputation management for companies is like an online resume.

When consumers search for a company online, that company wants to present itself the best way it can. And if a Google search results page is the new corporate resume, companies will do their best to give consumers the references that will offer glowing reviews of their services.

One Camp

Jon Tozzi, in a post for BusinessWeek had this to say about reputation management: “It's still hard to say how companies are using reputation management services, but industry players say clients fall into two camps. Some want to understand and respond to customer complaints; others often just want negative posts to go away.” While it is true that there are a number of lazy companies out there, Tozzi has it slightly wrong. Most companies don’t fall into one of two categories. Most companies fall into both categories—they want to listen to clients and fix problems while at the same time working to present themselves in the best light possible by promoting positive content and downplaying negative comments. In fact, fixing customer problems and complaints is one of the best ways to create a positive corporate image.

Better Business = Better Reputation

Working toward customer satisfaction while using principles of SEO at the same time is what reputation management is all about. If your company’s business practices are fraudulent, no amount of reputation management is going to change that—most customers will be able to smell a rat when they see one. In the end, consumers will decide if a company has a good reputation or not. Reputation management services simply help those companies that already offer good services and products present their best side to the public first.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

In the end, the questions about whether or not reputation management is moral are moot; principles of reputation management can be used in positive and negative ways. But the Internet is the great equalizer, and sooner or later those companies that use negative tactics to promote questionable products will fail and be revealed for who they really are. And good companies will always rise to the top.


5 Reputation Management Tips You Should Know When Starting an MLM Company

Preserving your reputation is important for a new business, especially in an industry too often targeted for criticism by people ready to call “scam” at the drop of a hat.

Since anyone can say pretty much what they want about you online, your reputation can easily be damaged by negative reviews and blog posts. The more negative reviews that are posted about your company, the more likely they are to show up near the top of a Google search. That can discourage prospects from doing business with you or becoming distributors.

How can you avoid this? If you’re forming a new company, you can do a lot to make sure you always present a good image to people who find you through a search engine. Start out right by following these five tips:

Tip #1: Be concerned about your online reputation from Day One

Even before you begin selling your first product or holding your first opportunity meetings, you need to start thinking about your online reputation -- because this is what can determine how new prospects will perceive your company, and how you get written up in the press.

These days nearly everyone will do a search on your company if someone approaches them about you. For a younger audience, doing a Google search on everything is practically second nature. And since many people carry web-enabled phones, they can do a quick search even while a friend is talking to them about the opportunity.

If you are not keenly aware of what someone is going to find out about you on the web, and if you are not constantly monitoring and managing your online reputation, you stand the chance of losing a lot of prospects.

Tip #2: Know that you will eventually get complaints or criticism online

At some point, even if you do everything right, someone is going to write a negative review or comment about your company online. Maybe it’s someone who just doesn’t like the idea of multi-level marketing, or a prospect who was “pitched” a little too enthusiastically by a friend. Or even one of your own employees who had to be let go because of poor performance.

Whatever the reason, someone will post a complaint about your company. It may be a legitimate customer service issue that’s easily handled, or an illogical rant that lumps your good company with the bad apples of the industry.

Knowing in advance that this will happen helps you prepare for it and take it in stride. Criticism is just part of being in business, so there’s no need to get overly concerned or panicked about it.

Tip #3: Don’t respond to negative reviews

When you see a negative review or blog post about your company the instinctive reaction is to post a response to set the record straight. I understand the human need to respond, but you have to consider Google’s point of view. Here’s why.

Search engines rank various websites high for a few reasons, one of which is relevant content, especially when that content is updated on a regular basis.

When you post a comment or review on a website, you are in effect giving it new content. And if you get into a back and forth discussion with someone on a review site about your company, Google thinks “Ah, this must be important, so we’ll rank this website high for searches on this company name.”

Now when someone does a search on your company, they are even more likely to see the negative review. You want to avoid that. In fact, you want the websites with negative comments to slip further down the Google ranking so they don’t appear on the first page or two of a search. The next two tips help you with that.

Tip #4: Create multiple websites

It’s not easy to make the negative review sites change their content. It’s rarely worth the effort to contact them, barring any legal issues of outright slander or libel.

But the most effective strategy isn’t to deal with them directly. Rather, it’s to get sites with positive content to rank higher than the negative sites. And if you have enough of those, the negative sites get pushed off the first page of the search engine results.

To that end, you need to create multiple websites for your company. Don’t put everything onto one corporate website. Instead, set up different sites for different purposes.

For example, you can have a site for new distributors, a site about your charitable giving, a site about conferences and meetings, a site for photos, and perhaps a site that’s all about your main product or service. This gives you a nice stable of websites you have control over.

One suggestion: Include the name of your company in the domain name. This makes it more likely to rank high for a search on your company name. For example,

Tip #5: Keep the websites ranking high

Now that you have a handful of websites you own, work to keep them on the first page of a Google search. As I said above, the goal is to rank the positive sites higher than the negative sites.

This is where I use search engine optimization on each of the sites I want to rank. I’ll look at the content and the meta tags, determine how Google is perceiving the pages, and create back links to the sites so they are seen as more popular to Google.

What you can do -- and something to work on from the start -- is keep the pages populated with fresh, relevant content. Make this part of your marketing or PR duties, so this task doesn’t get neglected. You can also encourage your distributors to link to your sites from their websites -- the more links you have, the better.

Online reputation management is part of your corporate PR strategy, and something you need to work on every day. If you can get the pieces in place when you start your company, you’ll be in much better shape to handle any threats to your online reputation. In fact, with the right effort you may never see a negative review or blog post on the first page of a Google search.

That’s how you maintain a good online reputation from the start.


What CEOs Need to Know About Protecting Their Company’s Online Reputation

Here’s something that comes up in executive meetings all the time: “Why are people saying bad things about us online and what can we do about it?”

This can be especially troubling to the CEO who founded the company and who has spent long years working hard to build the brand. You wake up one day and find some defamatory remarks online about your company -- not constructive criticism, but outrageous accusations and almost slanderous comments that make your blood boil.

Worse, the negative reviews are on websites that rank high on search engine results pages, so that anyone doing a search on your company will see them. And it’s not just one negative review site, but several, causing your online reputation to suffer.

As a CEO, you need to be aware of your online reputation and know that you can take steps to manage it. You shouldn’t just leave it up to fate or luck or the hope that people won’t post negative comments about your company.

Here are three steps to take to manage your company’s online reputation:

Step 1: Accept the fact of online reviews

Short of outright slander or libel by the reviewers or bloggers online, you really don’t have much legal recourse to make the negative postings go away. People have a right to complain, and these days it’s all too easy for unhappy customers to vent their frustrations and share their opinions with the whole world.

You best reaction is to shrug your shoulders and accept them as a fact of life. No sense in letting them get to you -- not when you have more important things to occupy your mind. And with a good reputation management strategy in place, you won’t have to concern yourself too much with the complaints and rants of a few bloggers.

Step 2: Focus on getting positive content

Part of online reputation management involves pushing the negative review sites off of the first page or two of a Google search. How? By posting positive content and getting those pages to rank higher than the negative sites.

As CEO, you can direct your marketing or PR department to make online reputation management part of their regular duties. That means they should always be looking for, gathering, or creating positive content that can be used to continually update your websites (and yes, you should have multiple websites for this reason).

In addition, your customers should be encouraged to post positive comments about you. You might even create a website devoted to positive testimonials from happy customers.

Step 3: Marginalize the negative content

In the online world, your reputation is all about who owns the top 10 or 20 results in a search for your company name. You want that space to belong to you -- or at least to be shared only by websites that have good things to say about you.

If you can do that, then all the negative reviews and blog posts will be pushed off the first page or two of a Google search. And since hardly anyone looks past the first two pages of a search, those negative websites may as well not exist.

The most straightforward way to accomplish this is by performing search engine optimization on the websites with positive reviews and comments to make them rank higher.

The goal is to get all the positive sites to rank higher than the negative sites, and it can be a hard one to reach. But considering how important your online reputation is, achieving this goal is well worth the effort.

Of course, there’s a lot more to managing your online reputation, but the above steps give you the basic outline of what needs to be done. Just keep in mind that these days your company’s online reputation is one of the most important factors in determining its success.

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