In today’s digital world, online reputation is a brand’s most valuable asset. It can make or break a business, and it’s all-important to manage it carefully.
A positive online reputation can open doors of opportunity, while a negative one can slam them shut quickly. That’s because people are more likely to do business with brands they trust, and they’re more likely to trust brands with a positive online reputation.
These days, your first impression is no longer made in person. It’s made through a Google search. If people see negative articles, reviews, photos, or content about your brand when they search for it, it can damage your reputation and limit your potential.
That’s why it’s important to monitor your online reputation and take steps to manage it. Here are a few tips:
- Claim and verify your business listings on all major online directories. This will help to ensure that accurate and consistent information about your business is displayed in search results.
- Encourage positive reviews from customers. You can do this by providing excellent customer service and asking satisfied customers to leave reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
- Monitor your social media channels for negative comments and respond to them promptly and professionally.
- Address any negative reviews or articles about your brand. You can do this by contacting the website or publisher directly and asking them to remove the content, or by responding to the feedback publicly and addressing the issue.
- Create and publish high-quality content about your brand. This will help to push negative content down in search results and create a more positive online presence for your brand.
By following these tips, you can help manage your online reputation and ensure that it is working in your favor.
Auditing Google search results
Repairing an online reputation begins with a comprehensive audit of all search results to identify possibly negative, inaccurate, or erroneous content.
To perform a successful audit, start by conducting a simple Google search of your name or brand name. Pay close attention to the following areas:
- Search engine results pages (SERPs): The first page of SERPs is what most people will see when they search for you, so it’s important to make sure there is nothing negative or damaging there.
- Social media: Check your social media profiles and any other social media accounts where you have a presence. Look for any negative comments, posts, or reviews.
- News and media: Search for news articles and other media coverage about you or your brand. Be sure to check both local and national media outlets.
- Other websites: Look for any other websites that mention you or your brand. This could include review sites, blogs, forums, and even personal websites.
Once you have identified any negative, inaccurate, or erroneous content, you can start to take steps to address it. This may involve contacting the website or publisher directly and asking them to remove the content, or responding to the feedback publicly and addressing the issue.
Here are some additional tips for repairing your online reputation:
- Be proactive. Don’t wait until you see negative content about yourself to start monitoring your online reputation. Set up Google Alerts to notify you of any new mentions of your name or brand online.
- Be honest and transparent. If you made a mistake, own up to it and apologize. People are more likely to forgive you if you are honest and transparent.
- Be patient. It takes time to repair a damaged online reputation. Don’t expect to see results overnight.
Specific areas to focus on include:
When you type your name into Google’s search bar, you’ll see a drop-down list of suggested keywords. These keywords can be negative or inaccurate, which can create a bad first impression for anyone who searches for you online.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that the suggested keywords for your name are positive or neutral. Here are a few things you can do:
- Claim and verify your Google My Business listing. This will help to ensure that accurate and consistent information about you is displayed in search results.
- Create and publish high-quality content about yourself. This will help to push negative content down in search results and create a more positive online presence for you.
- Encourage positive reviews from friends, family, and colleagues. This will help to improve your online reputation and make the suggested keywords for your name more positive.
- Monitor your online reputation and address any negative content promptly. If you see any negative content about yourself online, contact the website or publisher directly and ask them to remove it.
If you need help managing your online reputation on your own, you may want to consider working with a reputation management firm. These firms can help you to identify and remove negative content, create positive content, and monitor your online reputation over time.
Here are some additional tips for improving your suggested keywords:
- Use your full name instead of initials or nicknames.
- Include your profession or job title.
- Mention any awards or recognition you have received.
- Highlight any positive news stories about you.
- Avoid using keywords that are negative, inaccurate, or misleading.
By following these tips, you can help to improve your suggested keywords and create a more positive online reputation for yourself.
Top 20 Google search results
You should focus your time and energy on analyzing the first 20 results that are displayed for your name. Although there may be hundreds of results available, the top 20 are the most influential in shaping your public perception and online reputation.
This is because people are more likely to click on the top results when they search for something online. So, if you want to make a good impression, it’s important to make sure that the top results for your name are positive and accurate.
Here are a few things you can do to analyze the first 20 results for your name:
- Identify any negative or inaccurate content. If you see any negative or inaccurate content, contact the website or publisher directly and ask them to remove it.
- Assess the overall tone of the results. Are the results positive, negative, or neutral? If the results are mostly negative, you may need to take steps to improve your online reputation.
- Look for any patterns or trends. Are there any particular topics or themes that are coming up in the results? This can give you insights into how people perceive you online.
Once you have analyzed the first 20 results for your name, you can start to develop a plan to improve your online reputation. This may involve creating and publishing positive content, encouraging positive reviews, and addressing any negative content.
By taking the time to analyze the first 20 results for your name, you can gain a better understanding of your online reputation and take steps to improve it.
Your Google search results may include a section with a few images of you displayed near the top. Make sure that these images represent you accurately and do not include anything embarrassing or harmful.
Around the tenth position of your search results, you will see a section called “Related searches.” This section may display negative keywords that you should be aware of.
People Also Ask
Your search results may include a “People also ask” section with questions that Google thinks are relevant to your search. Make sure that the questions and answers displayed are positive or neutral.
Google Knowledge Panel
If Google considers you to be a “notable” person, you will likely have a Google Knowledge Panel. This panel contains a summary of who you are, with links to various profiles.
We have seen Knowledge Panels contain false or inaccurate information, so it is important to audit your Knowledge Panel if you have one.
Removing negative content on Google search results
Once you have completed your audit, you must decide whether you can permanently remove any of the negative or unwanted content you identified. Here are a few common scenarios and how to handle them:
Negative or outdated articles
To remove this type of content, contact the website owner or editor. Be respectful and explain why you want the content removed.
Ideally, they will delete the entire article, which will make the link disappear from Google search results. If they are unwilling to remove the article, you can ask them to remove your name or deindex the link.
When you search for your name, you will likely see websites that display information such as your address, phone number, and family members’ names. These data aggregator sites are displayed in everyone’s search results, but they will rank higher in Google if your name is unique or if you don’t have much information about yourself online.
To remove this information, look for a “Contact us” or “Opt out” page on the website and request that your information be removed. If the website does not comply with your request, you can submit a request to Google to remove the link from its search results.
Negative reviews or comments
It is possible to get negative reviews or comments about you or your business permanently removed. Most review sites have their guidelines about the type of content that is allowed on their platform.
You can analyze these guidelines to determine if the negative review(s) violate any of them. If so, you can either flag the review or contact the site directly to request its removal.
Negative or embarrassing images
If you find an unwanted image in your search results, click on it to find the website where it is hosted. To remove the image, you will need to contact the website owner and request its removal.
If the image was taken of you when you were a minor (under the age of 18), you can request that Google remove it here. Google also provides a few other options for potentially removing images.
Negative autocomplete terms
If you see negative autocomplete terms about you or your business, you can report them to Google. For more information on how to do this, please see the Search Engine Land article “Google autocomplete: The silent threat to your online reputation.”
How to suppress negative content on Google search results
Once you have removed as much negative content as possible, it’s time to suppress any remaining negative content in your Google search results. This process, known as “search engine suppression,” involves creating new, positive content that ranks higher than the negative links.
To develop a suppression strategy, you must first consider how you want to be perceived by the public and what type of content you want to display in search results. When we work with clients, we create a comprehensive content strategy that aligns with their specific goals and objectives. This is an opportunity to reshape your public perception, so take some time to consider what type of content you want to display as a “first impression.”
There are a significant number of strategies that can be implemented to suppress negative links while simultaneously helping you build a positive online reputation. To be successful at suppression, it’s important to have a foundational understanding of SEO.
Below are a few of the quickest and most impactful ways to suppress negative links on Google:
- Create high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience. This could include blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, and more.
- Promote your content on social media and other websites. The more people who see your content, the higher it will rank in search results.
- Build backlinks to your website from other high-quality websites. Backlinks are like votes of confidence from other websites, and they tell Google that your website is authoritative and trustworthy.
If you follow these tips, you can start to suppress negative links on Google and build a more positive online reputation.
Create a professional website
Buy a domain name that includes your first and last name (or a variation of it). There are many free website builders that you can use to quickly create a professional website.
On your website, be sure to include a biography and make sure that the title tag includes your full name. Make the website meaningful. Include content about your professional background and other information that you want people to see about you.
Generally speaking, the more content you have that describes who you are, the higher the probability that your website will rank highly in Google search results for your name.
Create online profiles
Profile-based websites, also known as Web 2.0 properties, typically rank highly in search results. Analysis of thousands of sites shows that a handful of these sites, such as LinkedIn, Medium, and Crunchbase, tend to rank at the top of search results quickly if they are optimized properly.
Publishing a press release about you or your company is one of the most effective strategies for suppressing negative content and enhancing your online reputation. Press releases are distributed to hundreds of different news sites, and at least one of the press release links will typically rank highly in search results for your name if it is optimized properly.
Interviews and podcasts
When suppressing negative links and building your online reputation, look for interview or podcasting opportunities in your niche. Interviews and podcasts typically rank highly in search results and help suppress negative links on Google.
They also give you the opportunity to showcase your expertise or knowledge in a specific industry, which can further enhance your online reputation.
Improve and optimize existing content
Suppressing negative results on Google is not just about publishing new content. You can also look for existing websites or profiles that you control and optimize them for search engines.
If you do this correctly, you can get your existing positive and neutral links to rank above the negative.
Taking control of your online reputation
The three-step process outlined above empowers you to repair and take control of your online reputation.
First, perform a thorough audit to identify any issues. Second, address and remove negative content whenever possible. Third, employ strategic suppression tactics to turn your online reputation from a liability into an asset that will help you earn more opportunities.
Remember, your online reputation is a dynamic reflection of who you are. Invest the proper time and effort into crafting a first impression that truly represents your best self.
With the right approach, you can restore and maintain an image that opens doors and propels you toward a brighter future. Your online reputation is worth the effort. Protect, nurture, and let it pave the way for your success.
Google Search Results Help in the usa and Texas
If you are a United States based company struggling to gain control of your online reputation in Google search results, you should not hesitate to contact SERP Matrix. Our Texas based team has extensive experience dealing with these kinds of issues and will be able to help you get your online reputation sparkling.