File this next topic under subjects that people don’t care too much about until it actually happens to them. But I’ll continue to say that online reputation management should be a company’s #1 priority when it comes to internet marketing. Offline reputation seems pretty important to people, and i would venture to say that online reputations are more important because they’re out there for everyone to see.
Now, that being said, here’s what i mean by the headline. Google, recently in the last year or so, has put out something called Google Suggest. You type in a keyword into Google and then there will be a drop down box with suggestions on how to finish your search. It’s a feature that’s been received fairly well, but there’s also some unfortunate side effects. As you may or may not know, there are people out on the internet (unhappy customers, competitors, losers with no life) who will write negative stuff about some companies. For instance, calling an innocent small business a “scam”.
Sometimes these people write lots of negative stuff calling a small business a “scam”. Now, when Google sees a lot of content on the internet calling a business a “scam”, the word “scam” will actually pop up in Google Suggest.
Thankfully a few weeks ago Google declared that the word “scam” has been blacklisted for the Google Suggest, but a few days ago i saw a story from Andrew Goodman reporting that a couple of his clients are suffering from the problem again. Hopefully Google is able to completely fix the problem.
One last thing to be on the look out for is a continuation of the old problem. Google might be taking care of the word “scam”, but what if there’s a whole bunch of negative content referring to your small business as “rude” or “con-artist” or worse.
I think the main solution is to always be on top of your online reputation. To be aware of any negative content that’s about your company name or website address. That way, you can do something about it.