SEO/ORM Strategy for Negative Press on Google

“There are two sides to every story.”

However, in our modern world, media often earns revenue through controversy over authenticity. Google may even favor this content also.

Perhaps your company received bad press that can be seen in search results.

The most important thing you can do, right now, is to relentlessly contact third-party news sites willing to share your perspective or more positive stories.

This is your best short-term play. In this case, Google favors sites focused on news & promotes freshness. You may help slightly by linking to these pieces through your internal PR.

A more lasting strategy is Online Reputation Management (ORM). This is an overlooked subset of #SEO, concerned with improving perception on the 1st page of branded search results. Beyond those already mentioned, some major ideas include:

  1. Take up more search engine real estate through more content placed in rich features. This includes video carousels, Twitter feeds, creating or expanding knowledge panels (Google Business Profiles too), and detailed profile pages on third-party review sites.
  2. Do usual SEO tactics to improve rankings for key branded pages.
  3. Consider PPC for more branded search real estate.
  4. Create or refine a Wikipedia page, the main source for Google’s knowledge graph.
  5. Using structured data for entities (ex: person) & news articles whereas possible.
  6. Earning positive reviews across major industry listings (ex: Capterra for software), then perhaps managing through a tool like BirdEye, Podium or TrustPilot.
  7. Track 1st page organic listing results for branded keywords, and considering sentiment, perhaps using a tool like RankRanger.
  8. Set up Google Alerts for any new content mentioning your brand.
  9. Create a Reviews page on your own site.
  10. Pursue legal retraction if possible.

While trickier to establish an ROI on, ORM has tremendous value for any brand concerned with making the best impression online.

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