As increasing amounts of corporate money are directed toward establishing or maintaining a visible presence on the internet, so are the efforts of competitors that attempt to disrupt these SEO campaigns with negative attacks on their products, services, and reputation. While the monetary return of a direct attack on another company may be relatively small, the damage inflicted can be huge for the targeted company. In coordinated attack, the monetary return for the sponsoring company typically comes from content which trails the initial salvo’s with commentary like “People tried Company A’s product and found it didn’t work but the product from Company B worked like charm.”
When an attack such as this is optimized and ends up on the front pages of the search engines, its credibility rises dramatically and can literally take on a life of its own. At that point, no matter how much time and money has been spent by the targeted company to get ranked in the top ten of its related searches, it has an extremely large reputation management problem. As glowingly positive as their own content may be, searchers are now seeing authentic looking content casting the company in a completely different light.
Negative content can be posted complaint boards, blogs, forums, and many other venues where postings, regardless of how untruthful they may be, are published without question. Two of the most prominent boards, both favorite starting points for negative content campaigns, are complaintsboard.com and ripoffreport.com. This is due to the ease of posting and the fact that both boards get approximately two million visitors per month. With that kind of traffic, a significant piece of search engine optimization is already done and an online reputation management company has its work cut out.
For the targeted company, action must be taken immediately to counter the attack before more gets posted, further damage is inflicted, and the negative campaign gains even more momentum. It is at this juncture that most companies begin shopping for reputation management services and where one of the biggest mistakes a company under attack can make typically occurs; shopping on price alone. Much like SEO services, price competition between reputation management companies can result in quotes which can range from ridiculously low to exorbitantly high. Ironically, where reputation management is concerned, the more costly of the two extremes will inevitably come from the ridiculously low bid. The reason for that is online reputation management is a time intensive endeavor, much more so than a typical SEO campaign under the same circumstances. The difference is that the objective of SEO and search engine marketing is usually to occupy up to a handful of rankings on the top pages of the search engines, whereas a successful reputation management campaign must accomplish much more than grabbing a few spots on the front page. Burying negative content, depending on its nature and how far down in the search engine pages it must be pushed, could require optimization for a multiple of the rankings of a successful SEO campaign.
Therefore, a bid at or less than the cost of standard SEO is unlikely to get the job done, leaving negative content well within the view of people searching for your products and services. Whether it sows distrust or just motivates a searcher to keep looking, the damage to your company’s bottom line and its reputation will continue.
Your company’s reputation is one of your most valuable assets. When it is attacked, defending it and your company’s products and services is an undertaking which must be executed with maximum force. When a successful defense is the only option, you need Reputation Management LLC. Call Reputation Management LLC today at (866) 530 7703.