Inspector Clouseau & Kato

Many companies have online reputation management issues.  When you search for them, the top results are often full of criticisms of the company.  Getting negative messages off the first ten results of Google can be critical to a business.  Hence the rapid rise of the reputation management consultants.

So how does this help you?  Check this out:

1. You Need Links:
Your search rankings in part depend on links to your site.  The more “quality” links from “quality” sites the better.

2. Find Companies With Online Reputation Management Problems
There are thousands of large and small brands that are investing in reputation management via SEO.  Find one.  You can usually look at a site and tell if they are doing SEO and you can look on Google and see if they are doing PPC.  These sites are more likely to be doing reputation management if they have an issue.  It couldn’t hurt if the site is somehow related to your industry.

3. Write Something Positive About Them On Your Site
If you think they are getting a raw deal, or even if you think they deserve the bad rep but there is another side of the story, write about it and put it up on your blog.  Make sure the blog is set up with RSS and that Google Blog Search, Technorati and other blog discovery engines know about you.  Make sure that the headline of the post has the business’ name up front and that it implies something positive about the company.

4. The Company Will Notice You
If the company is doing reputation management, there is a good chance that someone is monitoring blog posts via Google Alerts or some other mechanism.  And because the company has a bad rep your positive post will stand out in the feedreader.  The rep management person will probably email this positive post around – and perhaps even claim that it was the result of their diligent blogger outreach efforts ;).

5. The Company Will Get Links To Your Site
If the company is serious about their reputation they will probably start trying to get links to your post with the company’s brand in the anchor text to try and move you up in the results.

6. You Get More Business
Now not only do you stand a chance to rank for searches for the brand, but in theory this should also improve your site’s ability to rank for other keywords.

7. QED

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15 Response Comments

  • Julian  August 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    coming from an SEO who does reputation management on a few clients… I GLADLY link to any positive post about one of our clients. Even mix it into our link building campaign.

    Very smart on your part =)

  • Michael D  August 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I like it. Reminds me to post that list of my favorite local seo’s. 🙂

  • Andrew Shotland  August 21, 2008 at 2:17 pm


    Send me a list of your clients and as long as they are not working with Al Qaeda or selling crack to children perhaps I can find a way to relate them to some local search concept 🙂

  • Andrew Shotland  August 21, 2008 at 2:18 pm


    I imagine this tactic could work very well in those professions that have reputation issues in general such as I don’t know, chiropractors? 😉

  • MiriamEllis  August 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    This is a clever idea, Andrew. I guess you’d really have to handle this with care, though. Linking your company to another entity with a bad reputation might risk creating the impression that you approve of something ‘bad’ someone else did…even if their negative press is undeserved.

    Hmm, this is an interesting issue.


  • Andrew Shotland  August 21, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Agreed Miriam. You should definitely choose your subjects carefully.

  • Brett Borders  August 22, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Good post, good ideas here, Andrew. Everyone should to remember to keep it positive and legit and don’t dabble in extortion – it’s heavy karma.

  • Johnathan Brandon  August 22, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    That is a great idea… assuming of course that you believe the positive remarks you make, or as you say “there is another side to the story.” I would just be careful in areas where my own credibility could be called into question.

  • Andrew Shotland  August 22, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Of course you need to balance this tactic with the management of your own reputation. I trust anyone interested enough to try this tactic will be smart enough to do it with care.

  • Alex Juel  August 22, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    As long as there’s a clear mention of the companies name in the post, it should be picked up by Google Alerts or whatever they are using to track their company. Meaning, I wouldn’t even link to them. If they were that “bad” of a company anyway.

  • Andrew Shotland  August 22, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Alex, in my experience there are plenty of companies with poor online reputations where those reputations don’t tell the whole story.

  • Jonah Stein  August 25, 2008 at 5:16 pm


    Excellent Judo!

    I usually draw the line at working for republican campaigns, but Al Qaeda or crack to children seems like a reasonable position.

    BTW, how about selling crack rocks to adults…. I have this client who sells engagement rings with a real bricks and clicks angle….

  • Joy Crossley  August 26, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Andrew, this is a brilliant posting. I stumbled on your site when I searched google for IpAddress SEO. I found your posting about geo optimization. That post nor this post answered my question, but I found them both very interesting. I’ve bookmarked your site and plan on reading you daily.

  • Emma Brand  March 25, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Hey Andrew,

    Very insightful and in theory can be a pretty powerful technique to use.

    I would agree with Miriam however, about the risk of negative association with any dodgy corporation. I think a lot of thought and caution should go into who you choose, but once you’re satisfied with your selection, I’d say dive right in 🙂