You are what the search engine results say you are. Word of mouth has been replaced by Google searches and what they yield, particularly in the case of high-profile individuals who have a lot at stake when it comes to online reputation. It’s more critical than ever to gain control over what the internet says about you. Fortunately, experts like Hervé Larren, CEO of Accurate Reputation, have developed proven strategies to get ahead of negative narratives by burying them and making the more appealing content most visible online.
“It’s so important to be proactive and in the driver’s seat when it comes to building and maintaining your online reputation,” said an expert. “Clearing away negative search results is important, but ultimately the best solution is to avoid letting harmful material creep above self-generated content to begin with. First page search results should shine."
Whether the negative content grabbing attention online focuses on the company’s launch of a new product or poor movie reviews for an A-list celebrity, message board comments and blogs can pile up. Don’t let them dominate the Internet landscape. The best method to combat unwanted attention is to address it, and to address it in a way that’s true to the brand. Always respond, and be armed with search engine optimization strategies to lift personally generated material--a blog or social media posts--above third party criticism. Critics don’t get to own the conversation with disingenuous inflammatory statements designed as click bait.
The internet is flooded with content, and when it comes to high-profile people, you can’t control every narrative out there. The part that can and must be controlled is self-generated content, and not just when the negative erupts onto the Internet and your team spins into repair mode. Personal blogs, websites and social media profiles for individuals and companies need to be active to maintain a strong presence. Whether it's a communications team or high-profile individuals being personally active on social media, the best way to protect an online reputation is to strategize ahead of time by building a strong presence to begin with.
Everyone talks about Search Engine Optimization. It may seem straightforward to figure out the key terms that drive searches on topics and individuals, but it will take time and know how. In the cases of celebrities and executives, a team member should have a good sense of what key terms to include at the very top of blog posts and in titles for web pages. Quite simply, avoid allowing others to be better at dominating search results. Be active by getting ahead and staying ahead of the torrent of material that can pop up online by analyzing what terms yield the best results.
Not everyone can or should be some attention-grabbing provocateur or an over-the-top sensationalist, but when building an online persona or brand, being dull and unrelatable is the same as being invisible. Authenticity and individuality, in positive ways of course, inject authority into online reputations. When the content of individuals and brands feel like they’re coming from multi-dimensional, thoughtful people, those brands and individuals who have developed a personal voice and genuine persona online have a closer connection with fans and followers and a deeper well of credibility. And continuing to feed hungry followers material guarantees prime Google search positioning.
The web has no speed limits. In a matter of minutes entire storylines emerge and take flight. Memes go viral. There's also content that will creep up seemingly out of nowhere and gradually overtake self-generated content that so much time, effort and strategy has gone into. Companies like Accurate Reputation specialize in monitoring what's out there and continuing to refine each individual or company’s approach to protecting their reputations from harm. It’s a science built on experience and steadfast analytics.