When you are building a reputation management strategy, you don’t want to build it like a house of cards. Rather, you want to make sure everything is strong and that all parts of your strategy are working together to achieve the goal of a unified and ironclad SERP. To that end, you can’t simply have a dozen websites and profiles out there floating in cyberspace, hoping that they’ll all rank.
Post-Penguin and Panda, Google is not just looking for keywords and a high number of links, they’re also measuring authority. Although authority can be measured in many different ways online, Google likes to see companies and websites that clearly link their properties together. That way, they know which sites and profiles are genuine, which ones are fake, and which ones to trust the most.
Think about it like a tent—not the nylon tent you used to go camping last weekend—but like a huge circus tent. In a large tent like that, the center pole is held in place by a series of little 6-inch stakes that are pounded into the ground all around the tent. The tension the little stakes create on the canvas holds the center pole in place and allows people to come in and see the big show.
In this analogy, your corporate site is the center pole. The only way it’s going to make it to the top is if it is anchored by a number of other sites that are sponsored by you and clearly link to your main site. That way, when Google walks in the tent to see the show, they know that your circus (nee, company) is legit.
So what are the anchors?
This is a must-have if you want to have a solid reputation management strategy. Publish news from your corporate blog through your Facebook page, link to your home page in the information section of your profile, and publish your contact information. When Google looks at your Facebook page and sees that the information syncs with your corporate page, it’ll know you’re legit and rank everything higher.
Similar to Facebook, make sure all your profile information syncs. Additionally, if you can put your official corporate Twitter feed on your site, Google can verify that both sites are clearly and officially connected.
Again, make sure all your information syncs with your main site and you link to your main site from your profile. Beyond that, if you have an HR section on your site, link to your company LinkedIn and encourage your employees to connect with it and interact with it.
One of the great things about YouTube is that you can post compelling content on the site and share it across the web. So, not only should you link your YouTube channel to your corporate site, but you can publish corporate videos to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles. Google can then see the clear connection between all your sites and acknowledge that they are all official properties of your company.
Whether you like it or not, Google+ plus can play a significant role in your reputation management strategy. One of the ways you can use it is to link author profiles to your Google+ page. For example, if you have employees who are blogging on your corporate blog and out in the blogosphere on company business, have them link their bylines to corporate profiles on your official site, and then have their Google+ profiles link to their corporate profiles. It’s a way to leave breadcrumbs on the internet of who is connected to who, and Google appreciates the roadmap to all your connections, which will only help build their confidence in your official site and all your other web properties.
If the stakes of the tent are taken out, the center pole will fall. Although it’s a solid piece of wood, it can’t sustain itself without the help of the anchors. Don’t let your corporate reputation management strategy fail, anchor your sites together and link them all, so Google will see everything you do and trust you more for it.