Reputation Management Challenge: Knocking Out a Washington Post Article

19 replies
I have a client whose top listing for his name on Google is a Washington Post article with a negative headline about him being fired. The June 2009 article is sympathetic that some elected goons terminated his contract for political reasons. Nevertheless, this is not a good impression.

Challenge: What would be your best strategy to push Wash. Post (Google Rank 8) article back several pages on Goog or eliminate?
#article #challenge #google results #knocking #management #post #reputation #reputation management #washington
  • Profile picture of the author angmoore
    Are people searching by his name specifically or does he have a separate business name? If the article is that old seems like some good PR pieces about him might overpower that but tough to say with that high of a PR. But if nothing else is more recent...
    I'd do a lot of videos and press releases. And if he has good reviews elsewhere, make sure to include that everywhere in his marketing. read out reviews at xxx
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    Angie Moore

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    • Profile picture of the author Centurian
      Thanks Angie.

      They are searching by his name. He's a senior executive. He was a CEO running a large government organization.

      The WP article starts out: "...unexpectedly fired their highest-ranking administrator Tuesday, giving the man who has implemented some of their most controversial decisions no warning or explanation before telling him to clean out his desk."

      This first result on his Goog search screams out the bold headline "Job Title, Name, Fired"

      I also rechecked the search and a Google "realtime update based on my activity" brought up a political forum comment someone made that he left another job "for more money." That's a new one.
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      • Profile picture of the author Centurian
        Welcome Warrior Ben!

        It's always good to have you aboard.

        His next 5 listings are 2 government websites (from that job) where he's mentioned in the context of his work, his LinkedIn profile, and 2 separate Facebook accounts he has.
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      • Profile picture of the author mcconnon12
        Warrior Ben has it right. Also look to utilize another social network he could utilize like alumni sites and lets not forget google +. Many schools offer to build profiles which could be a great positive if he has some higher education MBA etc... Lastly, Vimeo allows you to create profiles as well and they tend to rank high. Hope that helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
    Funny that you mention reputation management-- this is something that I am actively involved in and it is really a big money maker. I also do QR Codes and Mobile Websites, but to get the big money clients, reputation management is where it's at!

    "Removing" negative websites, which is essentially suppressing them is a pretty advanced SEO tactic. Essentially what you need to do is raise the ranking of at least 10 or 20 websites that are below the negative website. This will essentially push down the problem website.

    My experience has been that clients don't want you to flood the internet with a bunch of press releases or junk because that can potentially hurt their brand and be obvious that they are trying to manipulate the results. Use what is already on the first page and implement a comprehensive backlinking strategy to raise the other sites.

    -Ben
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  • It seems to me terms like "Spin Doctor' and "Reputation Management" would be in the Yellow Pages in Wash, D.C. - :rolleyes: (look under "lobbyists")

    I was interested to learn how Ben would turn this ( - ) into ( + )

    My experience has been that clients don't want you to flood the internet with a bunch of press releases or junk because that can potentially hurt their brand and be obvious that they are trying to manipulate the results. Use what is already on the first page and implement a comprehensive backlinking strategy to raise the other sites. - Ben
    I thought it might be determined by which way the air was blowing...is it still possible to link the negative sites to the positive ones without looking like a quick fix?
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  • Profile picture of the author domainrunner
    An old girlfriend of mine did some damage to me in the search engines and I hired a firm called removenames.com that really helped me get out off the first page. She blasted me out on a dating site and that damn site with my name was the first thing you saw when someone googled me. This company buried the page real far away and actually got another site listing removed for me for around 200$ Good lucks, its a tough thing
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    I am not really a girl but I play one on the Internet.

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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
    Originally Posted by MoneyMagnetMagnate View Post

    It seems to me terms like "Spin Doctor' and "Reputation Management" would be in the Yellow Pages in Wash, D.C. - :rolleyes: (look under "lobbyists")
    LOL, that is actually really funny!!

    As for linking the negative sites to the positive ones, I guess I'm a little confused on what you are asking...

    When I talk about backlinking (and excuse me if this is obvious), but I mean getting external sites to provide a link to the other "good" content on page one, which will help increase the ranking of the "good", thereby pushing down the ranking of the "bad". Do this for 20 or so "good" sites and you'll have moved the article down to the 3rd page of Google, where it is unlikely to get seen by people searching the guy's name.

    -Ben
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    • Originally Posted by Warrior Ben View Post

      LOL, that is actually really funny!!

      As for linking the negative sites to the positive ones, I guess I'm a little confused on what you are asking...

      When I talk about backlinking (and excuse me if this is obvious), but I mean getting external sites to provide a link to the other "good" content on page one, which will help increase the ranking of the "good", thereby pushing down the ranking of the "bad". Do this for 20 or so "good" sites and you'll have moved the article down to the 3rd page of Google, where it is unlikely to get seen by people searching the guy's name.

      -Ben
      I see what you're saying Ben - it is not as obvious to me from a reputation standpoint, and you are much more adept and experienced at that than I.
      In jest though, it also seemed this could be a unique situation where the negative aspects (which we do not know of) of the link could also be seen as positive depending on the political climate...and who is looking. Or - maybe it is not as unique as I think and most situations can be handled similarly ?
      I also agree with your "slow drip" method.

      (unless he was just last head of the ATF...in which he case he may only have the NRA to fall back on right now...:rolleyes: jk!)
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior Ben
    Also remember, like any SEO campaign, results do not happen overnight. When performing a Reputation Management strategy where you are cleaning up the Google search results, it is important to set your client expectations correctly from the beginning. I always let people know that it is going to be a 4 - 6 month process and then I try to get it implemented in 3 months so that I beat their expectations.

    -Ben
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  • Profile picture of the author keliix06
    You should know who it is at this point With the excerpt from the article it's very easy to find.

    Fortunately for you, there are several high authority sites also listed on the first page, and even several on the 2nd page. Hit those with a decent linking strategy and you should do well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I'd just register at the site. Once registered it lets you comment on the articles. I'd start right at the source. Why not just contact the site itself and ask to have the article amended because its had a negative effect on the person its written about.

    Why go through all the other stuff before trying the most obvious first?

    I'd also just register the guys name as a domain using all the normal extensions, .com, .org, .net, .us, .co, etc etc. and start putting content on them. Next thing you know guess who's ranking higher, another simple thing to do.
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    • Profile picture of the author Centurian
      Thanks Rus. Great ideas. Simple but powerful.

      Obviously, what everyone has shared are all great tools to put in the toolbox.

      Thanks for your interest and thoughts.

      Anyone else, feel free to chime in.
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    • Profile picture of the author Voasi
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      I'd just register at the site. Once registered it lets you comment on the articles. I'd start right at the source. Why not just contact the site itself and ask to have the article amended because its had a negative effect on the person its written about.

      Why go through all the other stuff before trying the most obvious first?

      I'd also just register the guys name as a domain using all the normal extensions, .com, .org, .net, .us, .co, etc etc. and start putting content on them. Next thing you know guess who's ranking higher, another simple thing to do.
      It's a good place to start, most definitely, but 9/10 they won't be removing it, especially if it's RipOffReport.com or any of these sites. Providing a rebuttal is a definite MUST, but can't stop there - most people just skim articles anyway, picking up the negative.

      We do what Russ does, buy various domain extensions and build up domain assets for their personal/business brand. They need to control their brand awareness, and they need to have that brand equity incase it happens again, that's why we develop our own domain assets.

      Typically, we'll build domain assets, push a few press releases (organically...1-2 a month), push good articles from page 3-4-5 to first page and create social media accounts that allow title tags to be changed (so we can input our keyword).
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      • Profile picture of the author Local
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Voasi View Post

        It's a good place to start, most definitely, but 9/10 they won't be removing it, especially if it's RipOffReport.com or any of these sites. Providing a rebuttal is a definite MUST, but can't stop there - most people just skim articles anyway, picking up the negative.

        We do what Russ does, buy various domain extensions and build up domain assets for their personal/business brand. They need to control their brand awareness, and they need to have that brand equity incase it happens again, that's why we develop our own domain assets.

        Typically, we'll build domain assets, push a few press releases (organically...1-2 a month), push good articles from page 3-4-5 to first page and create social media accounts that allow title tags to be changed (so we can input our keyword).
        RipOffReport is a criminal enterprise which engages in extortion and racketeering, period. Ed Magedson, the owner, has in fact been charged with violating the Federal RICO Act in a Phoenix and is on the run.

        It is rumored he is hiding in the Dominican Republic.

        He and his employees re-write headlines and complaints to be more inflammatory and gain even better traction, and Ed will contact you to help for a fee of course.

        Ed and his employees are also notorious for making rebuttals up themselves, especially when a client attempts to answer a complaint. It lets them know they have a live one on the hook.

        One of the attorneys that refers reputation management clients to us, John Dozier, wrote a book titled "Google Bomb: The Untold Story of the $11.3M Verdict That Changed the Way We Use the Internet" and is available at Amazon.

        Ciao,
        Evie
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  • Profile picture of the author Local
    Banned
    Okay...

    Here is a BIG SHARE...

    1) Do a PR submission through submitmyrelease.com. Take the $24 option.

    2) Sign-up up as a writer for examiner.com and do articles through it. This takes some time to get approved and the articles cannot be spamming and MUST, MUST, MUST be newsworthy. If you are a spammer, you're wasting your time.

    3) On topix.com, have a conversation with your client and others through the use of proxies.

    That's what crushing it at the moment for a broad brush counter attack.

    Also, from this day forward, do not boost the negative link by attempting to view it.

    Every time you open that negative site it adds to the page ranking of the site.

    Whether you know it or not, we all are brands, just like Coke, Microsoft, Apple.

    Attempting to clear a negative blog or newspaper article about your past history, is a really good time to think about the personal image that you want the world to see.

    You can control this fairly easy, especially with the use of keyword based top level domains.

    Fortunately for those of use offering reputation management, most business owners are their own publicist. Talk about having a fool as a client.

    Reputation management is simple, yet it is a lot of work and not your typical SEO task.

    You need you to absolutely understand and appreciate the fact that whatever worked for your attacker to smear you'll also work for your benefit. So if the attack site used your name to embarrass or humiliate you then you can also use your own name as a keyword in order to bury those negative items.

    That is one of the reasons we treat each client as a unique problem, rather than attempt to paint every client with the same broad brush strokes.

    A shotgun approach is never prudent, but rather, you reverse engineer why the negative article or page is ranking, then you go to work.

    Ciao,
    Evie
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  • Profile picture of the author keliix06
    We all know ROR are criminals, but that doesn't make them rank less-well.
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  • Profile picture of the author rushindo
    Good advice here. Never heard the advice about not creating more content, but simply backlinking to the good sites to boost their ranking.

    Also, be careful about commenting on the website. That only improves the strength of the ranking. Besides, most people will never even read it.
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  • Profile picture of the author chazkey
    Ok, I'm coming into this late. But I hope it helps. I do Reputation Management for a living and of course SEO with Nine Eye Interactive Media. Stop by and leave me a comment on my blog if you like this.

    1) Build your client a site. WordPress preferably, If they don't have one. Optimize several pages and use text links with the keyword phrase. You want to create an internal link structure. Now remember not all websites are equal. So if your site sucks, build a new one. Expecially if your being out ranked for your own name. (ouch).
    2) Identify what is ranking for the keyword/phrase. Look for things you like. Stuff that helps your client. Make sure you look at everything including PR and existing backlinks. Super important.
    3) Build a couple of sites at WordPress.com -something like "keyword.wordpress.com". Yes build a couple.
    4) Build blogs at several blog sites. These aren't going to rank right away. That's ok, because you're going to drive links to your other stuff.
    5) Use file sharing sites. Sites like Scribe and such. Of course you want to optimize for keyword/phrase
    6)Use everything above to drive links to step #1,#2, #3, and #4. Don't be afraid to cross link this stuff.
    7) The hard work begins. Drive links to each and every site you have built. Make sure you use text links using your keyword/phrase. For a campaign like this, you're going to need to drive links to each of your sites you built. You can even use comment spam links. But don't use them to your main site.
    8) Launch link campaigns to the sites you like in #2, of course using your keywords.
    Now whatever you do, you need to shake things up. Do not, do not! Just use the same keyword phrase to each site. Yes you want to the same keywords, but you need to use at least 10 to 15 different text links.
    Something Like:
    Joe Blow
    Joe Blow Doctor
    Joe Blow Doctor Keyword
    Doctor Joe Blow
    DR. Joe Blow
    Get the idea? Just keep rinsing and repeating.
    If you do everything the right way, your client should see a difference in 45 to 90 days. The whole process should take about six months. Depending on how strong the negative crap is.

    Couple of things you should know. Most bad information gets there by pure luck. Unless an SEO did it or somebody knew just enough about SEO to do some damage. None of the social fear marketing sites do any kind of link building campaigns. They don't have to. This is your advantage. In the case of a newspaper site, this is bad. Because sites like to scrap the news sites for content and a lot of times they leave the links in place, ouch, major ouch. But that's ok because you can still beat them. You're just going to have to work a little harder.

    Good Luck! I hope this helps.

    Chaz
    NineEye.com/Blog
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