The Importance of Anchor Social Websites in Your Reputation Management Strategy

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.

Expert Advice as an Online Reputation Management Strategy

Over the last year, the online search world has been pretty drastically shaken up, and Google has changed a lot of its policies to weed out what it has determined are low-quality linkbuilding practices. As such, reputation management used to be a pretty simple game to play, but it has become harder and harder to shape a perfect SERP, and it is taking more effort to do so effectively over the long term.

But the war can still be won. Just because Google has changed its policies doesn’t mean that it is impossible to create a great SERP for your brand. It just means you have to change your strategy. And Google is continually leaning more toward “quality” as the biggest ranking factor. In other words, Google is moving in a direction where they are trying to determine the highest quality websites—not based solely on the number of links that point to them, but rather their overall quality as a website. This means that the best strategy from here on out is simply to have a really awesome website. And if you can have a really awesome website, Google will rank you higher and more people will link to you and publish favorable content about you, creating the great SERP you always wanted to build with your reputation management strategy.

So what does that mean for your strategy? Well, one way to build an awesome website is to become an expert and set yourself apart as a leader in your field. Although that sounds hard, it’s actually much easier than you may think. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1) Blog

Putting a blog on your site is a great way to bolster your online reputation. If you run a business, you are an expert in some sort of field. And there are people out there who want to know about that business and what advice you have to give them. So publish posts about what your company does, tips and advice on best practices, lessons you’ve learned over the years (or months) that you’ve been in business. If you can become a hub of knowledge for people in your industry, you’ll get people quoting your blog, linking to your content, and writing about you in other online publications—all giving you great fodder for your reputation management campaign.

2) Give away your knowledge

People love free stuff, especially if they find it useful and valuable to their lives or professions. Whatever field you are in, you have the opportunity to take your knowledge and turn it into tangible pieces of content that can be shared and posted throughout the internet—excellent for your reputation management. For example, you can create downloadable guides to your industry or publish embeddable infographics or slideshare presentations that give useful advice to people in your industry. As these useful resources are promulgated through the web, your devotees will build links to your website and push your content all over the place, building a great online reputation for you.

3) Guest blog

Its easy to publish resources on your own website, but in order to really create a great reputation online, you’ll need to reach out and start building relationships. One way to do that is through guest blogging. Find blogs that have to do with your industry or profession and offer to write a blog post for them about your experiences. For example, there may not be a lot of websites out there devoted to the cosmetics industry, but you can seek out a number of blogs about professional leadership and management and blog about your experience as a manager or your list of top leadership skills. Then you can mention your company in the post and link that blog post back to your professional profile on your company website. People will then see you as a reliable source and your company as a positive influence.

4) Discuss

Another way to build relationships for reputation management is by participating in professional online forums for your industry. For example, LinkedIn has a number of professional forums for all kinds of industries and professions. Join these groups and be active in them. When you do this, you’ll be building relationships with other professionals who are excited about your industry. And if you can give good advice, you and your company will come to be seen as a resource. When you are seen as a resource, you’ll get more links to your site, people will cite your company online, and more—all adding to the strength of your online reputation management strategy.

The secret to making your brand an online expert is simply getting out there and publishing information and building relationships. You don’t have to be the leader in your field in terms of sales—you simply have to be willing to share your insights with others. And when you can become an online expert in your field, your reputation management strategy will take care of itself.

20 Tips for Creating an Effective Reputation Management Strategy

Most of the time, I agree with the sentiment that less is more. Most times a little bit of a good thing is better than too much. But when it comes to online reputation management, more is more. Why cover just a few principles and tips and leave out everything else that will help you create a better reputation management strategy? That’s why this list was created. Here are 20 tips for creating an effective reputation management campaign.

1) Own your SERPs

Don’t be happy with a handful of links at the top of a search engine results page for your name. Take full advantage of your SERP by owning it from top to bottom. Just make sure it’s a varied set of results that look natural and unbiased and you’ll make a great impression on anyone who is searching for you.

2) Be social

Claim your social media profiles and use them. Social profiles are easy to get ranked in the SERPs—especially for your personal name. So get out there, make your profiles, and use them so that they show up when people are searching for you.

3) Blog

Blogging is one of the best ways to get your name out there on the web. Buy a domain that reflects your name, like, and then fill your blog with professional, positive information about what you do, who you are, and your personal or professional insights.

4) Look for opportunities

Opportunities to get noticed on the web abound. You can do the normal stuff, like start a blog or build links to your Google+ profile, but you can go beyond those strategies and think outside the box. For instance, hold a contest to give away a gift card or iPad, and have entrants blog about something you care about in order to enter. As long as you make sure they link to your website or blog with your name as the anchor text, you’ll get some great link juice and you’ll rank well.

5) Don’t forget press releases

Article marketing has a bad reputation in SEO circles, especially since Google’s recent Panda and Penguin updates. But as long as you don’t overdo it, putting out a few press releases here and there is a great way to fill your SERP with positive information. This is probably reserved for larger companies with big budgets, but there are free PR posting services out there as well for individuals and small companies.

6) Encourage reviews

If you own a business or provide a service, encourage your best customers to write positive reviews about you on the web. Yelp, Angie’s List, Google, City Search, and more are great places to write reviews and they tend to do well in the SERPs.

7) Own the scam

Just because there’s a “scam report” out there doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. If you’ve generated a controversy and there are a number of “scam” sites out there targeting your name, turn it around by owning the scam. Instead of trying to ignore it, write a blog post about how you are not associated with a scam. Or create a page on your official website, with the word scam in the title, that you can use it to clear up any misconceptions.

8) Don’t argue

Don’t argue with internet trolls or other detractors. If you are baited into arguing with them online, you’ve already lost. In some cases, it’s okay to respond to negative comments about yourself online. But always do so respectfully and take responsibility for your actions. Don’t get into a back and forth with a blogger or review writer, you’ll only end up looking like a fool for arguing.

9) Ask to take it down

If you find negative information about yourself online, your first step should be to respectfully ask that it be taken down or removed. In some cases, that’s all you have to do to remove negative information. So why not give it a try?

10) Fix the problem

If someone has had a bad experience with your company or a service you provide, and they’ve posted negatively about it online, offer to fix the problem. Nothing quells anger like an offer to make up for something that went wrong.

11) Be civilized

In all your online dealings, be civilized. It doesn’t matter if you’re posting on your personal Facebook page or responding to a negative email. The nicer you are to people, the less likely they will be motivated to post negative information about you on the web.

12) Be an author

Embrace being a publisher. The more content—blog posts, pictures, etc.—that you can make and post on the web, the more likely Google is to pick it up and help it rank in the SERPs for your name.

13) Make some news

Many individuals and companies work extremely hard to build blogging networks and a myriad of social accounts so they can create a positive image online, but a great way to get a positive result is to be mentioned in the news for something positive you’ve done. Giving to charity, going for a Guiness world record, or offering your services as an expert in your field to a local reporter can help you get mentioned in local newspapers—and those are some great links.

14) Make friends in high places

It pays to make friends in high places—especially well respected bloggers or online journalists. First of all, they can use you in something they write that is related to your field. And, second, if you find negative information about yourself online, you can ask your friend for help. They may be able to accomplish something you can’t on your own.

15) Be a publisher

You can be a writer on your own blog, but you can also publish other people’s articles on your blog. Ask for quality blog submission from professionals in your field and post them on your website. Not only will you be making friends but you’ll also get traffic to your blog and links. Which will help you rank better in the SERPs.

16) Get listed

There are a number of ways to get yourself listed about the internet. Start with professional organizations, blog lists, and more.

17) Picture it

If you include any of your own photography on your website or if your organization has a large stockpile of corporate photos, make them available to be posted on the internet under a creative commons license that requires a link back to your website. The more links to your site, the better it will do in the SERPs and the more it will help your online reputation.

18) Be everywhere

Whenever there is a chance for you to put your name down on the internet and link to your personal or professional web properties, do it. One of the best ways to do this is to offer yourself as a guest blogger on websites that pertain to your field.

19) Use the group

Another way to create positive buzz for yourself is to join groups and professional organizations. Not only will you make some friends, but you have a chance to raise your online profile and make connections that will help you get your name and web properties to rank well in the SERPs.

20) Don’t forget about offline

Not everything you do to enhance your online reputation online has to take place online. Go to conferences, introduce yourself to colleagues, and go to professional meetups. The more people you meet and can make a good impression on (both online and off) the more you will raise your profile. And when people in the real world respect you, the online community will follow.

Simple Online Reputation Management Guidelines for Politicians

There is no shortage of politicians with reputation management problems. It seems that every time we turn on the news, another politician is in trouble for something they’ve done in their personal or professional life. From Anthony Weiner to Herman Cain, we all understand that when you run for office your personal life becomes public.

But there are other threats out there as well. For example, take the case of Rick Santorum.

Santorum has made many derogatory statements about the LBGT community, so Dan Savage—a prominent blogger and gay rights advocate, created a campaign to push to the top of the search results for searches with the keyword “santorum” or “rick santorum.” The blog features an extremely crude definition for the word “santorum” that was at the top of the SERPs until just recently when it was finally defeated by the official Rick Santorum campaign website. It has now moved down further below various social profiles for the former presidential candidate.

As a politician, how can you guard against these attacks on your character and name—attacks that could have a real impact on your success and campaign? Although it is hard to patch up a public lapse in morality, there are a number of safeguards you can put into place to protect your online reputation.

1) Hire a Reputation Management Firm

When you are running for office, your reputation is just about the most important thing you need to take care of. So this is no time to start your amateur venture into online reputation management or assign an intern to do the job. You need the experience and knowledge that a reputation management firm can bring to your campaign. They’ll know exactly what to do to move bad information out of the SERPs for your name and maintain a positive reputation for you as you run for office.

2) Maintain Social Accounts

Although you should hire a reputation management firm to do the heavy lifting of your reputation management blitz, there are a number of other guidelines and practices you can put into place to head off future mistakes before they become nightmares. The first of which is to create and use multiple social profiles.

Creating a great social presence online is standard practice for modern political campaigns, but you need to make sure that you create multiple accounts and that they all get some love. In the case of Santorum, they were used to push a rather unflattering search result down. For you, they can help prevent an unfavorable result from reaching the top of the SERPs.

3) Share Your Social Account Credentials

Part of the reason politicians like Anthony Weiner get in trouble is that they feel like their social accounts are a personal space—something they can control privately. But this feeling of control and secrecy can lead to problems. To prevent misuse of your personal social profiles, give the credentials to trusted staff members who are trained in social media. Let them do the heavy social media work and post updates as if they were you. Giving others access to the accounts makes it harder for you to hide unfavorable content online, ultimately keeping your online reputation more secure.

4) Review Messaging Before it’s Sent

As a politician, it’s probably standard practice to make sure a press release is passed before multiple eyes before it is given to reporters—why not your Tweets? This does not mean that a whole team of copywriters needs to go over every 140 character update, but you should run your social media messaging by a trusted member of your staff before it is sent. Too many politicians have gotten in trouble for sending off an ill-thought-out Facebook status. Don’t be that guy. Make sure you’re not the only one who is doing the updating to your accounts.

5) Run a Clean Campaign

Lastly, simply run a clean campaign. If you can put safeguards in place that will protect you from sending potentially harmful messages through your social media profiles and you can keep your professional and personal life clean, you’ll reduce your risk for a reputation management catastrophe and have a better shot at running a winning campaign.

Active Engagement as an Online Reputation Management Strategy

Too often, people and organizations wait until they have a reputation management crisis on their hands before considering a strategy to clear their online reputation and get back on track. Ideally, reputation management should be part of any business or individual’s strategy for creating a positive image online and being found by the right people—like customers.

And today’s media landscape makes it easier than ever for anyone to implement a reputation strategy that is proactive and preventative. Through blogs, social media, and more anyone who wants to get their name out in the world in a positive way has many avenues open to them. And being active online is s great way to prevent a future crisis.

Being actively engaged online gives you great advantages for your online reputation. For instance, the more you can get your name (or company name) mentioned, the more instances Google has to draw from when compiling a SERP for your name. And if there are more positive or neutral mentions of your name online than negative, then the SERPs will reflect that. Also, if you are actively engaged online, chances are you will be making friends and acquaintances across the world that can help you if a reputation management crisis should occur.

Being Actively Engaged

The benefits of being actively engaged online before a crisis occurs are apparent, but how do you start? How can you build a positive reputation right now?

1) Blogs

If you don’t have one already, get a blog and use it as a home base for information about yourself or your company. This is a great place to publish content about yourself as well as quality content that other online communities and individuals can access and link to. If you are regularly publishing quality content, your blog will gain regular readership and rankings in the SERPs, giving you a positive online reputation.

2) Social Media

Social media is another great way to prevent future attacks on your reputation. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ profiles all rank well in the search engines—especially if you have a high number of followers who regularly share your links and comments. This is key: if you are actively engaged online through social networks, you will naturally increase your rank for those profiles in the SERPs and prevent the invasion of negative information should it ever arise.

3) Forums and groups

Another place to be active online is through forums and groups. Online forums connected to your niche or area of expertise are a great way to be helpful and answer questions, raising your online profile and the chance that people will link to your blog, social profiles, and more. LinkedIn is an especially good place to form some great relationship through professional groups. These friendships and positive relationships can come in handy for promoting your content and boosting your online profile to guard against future attacks.

4) Conferences and Meetups

Online is great, but offline encounters can also help you build clout and a positive reputation online and off. The more people you encounter within your field, the better your chances of being mentioned online, trusted, and used as a resource. The result is that you’ll garner more attention for the positive things that you do, building a great online reputation before something negative comes along.

5) Be a Resource

Lastly, be a resource to people in your field. If you can create a website, social media account, or other online repository for great information, your online community will link to you and use you as a source around the web. And when that happens you’ll be sure to create a rock solid online reputation.

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