What am I talking about? Reputation Management - My favorite subject of 2008!
2007 was a good year for cleaning up reputations of clients over here at 97th Floor. We pride ourself on what we have been able to accomplish for some pretty big businesses (and individuals) with online reputation problems. However; one thing has also stuck out, is how quickly some businesses give up on their online reputation problem. You have got to remember that in some cases (if you are finally starting to do something about it) you are going up against sites or articles that have been hammering at you for years. You are not going to clean that up with little effort, time or money.
If you think that you can easily clear up some bad search engine results after just a couple of months and a few hundred dollars, you are very mistaken! Its funny to me sometimes to see big businesses, that obviously have loads of money to dump into marketing give up after a few months with what they consider little results, or the "negative" results only moving down a couple spots. In some cases I have been told by company VPs that just moving the negative result from the #1 spot to the #2 spot has increased their sales, and reduced the number of canceled sales or charge backs. These negative results have caused some of our clients millions of lost dollars a year, so the money spent per month to get rid of the results outweighs the cost of the reputation management if you keep the long term picture in mind.
If you are in this industry, you know how huge pushing negative press down even a few spots is a huge accomplishment. I am amazed at how quickly businesses want to throw in the towel after a few months, if the negative press is not moved off the first page completely. My suggestion to these businesses that are going through a cleaning up process - be patient and hope even for a result below the page break on the first page. It will do more good for you then you realize.
You must remember you are going up against pages that have been indexed for years, have years of links built up, and have great trust and authority (although sometimes I don't agree with how much authority (and trust) Google gives some of these sites in certain cases - but that is another post - another day).
Cleaning up your online reputation problem will take time, money and a lot of patience - make no doubt about that! Make it a goal in 2008 to do everything it takes to clean up your online reputation, and spend whatever amount of time (and available budget) it takes to do so, even if it takes until 2009. If you are in business for the long haul (like I am) then it must be done, and will eventually help your businesses bottom line. If you continue to tackle the problem head on, and not give up, you will get results - maybe not in a couple of months, but eventually you will win. I see proof of this everyday with what I do for clients that don't give up to quickly.
If you are ready to clean up your online reputation in 2008, remember Chris and I have given you some pretty powerful information on reputation management already that should help get you started.
I also wanted to take this time to wish everyone, especially our readers a Happy New Year! 2008 is going to be an amazing year over here at 97th Floor, and I am proud to be a part of it!