Google Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM) is often confused with traditional SEO. But it’s not quite the same.
If you’re familiar with both SEO and reputation management, then you probably know they’re related. Reputation management uses SEO principles to improve online reputations. However, it’s typically much more difficult to repair an online reputation than to rank a page for a specific keyword.
Why? Because rather than rank a single page for one keyword, online reputation management SEO pushes up multiple pages in the search results for a keyword. As you can probably imagine, it’s fairly difficult to control search results. But we’ve tackled SEO reputation management issues for CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies for over a decade.
What Search Engine Optimization Does
Search engine optimization (SEO) influences the visibility of a webpage on search engines for certain keywords. Algorithms consider each page’s quality, trust, popularity, user experience, and topical relevance when ranking a page. Ideally, SEO will result in a top search engine result ranking for a single desired website or page.
SEO can be broken down into on-page and off-page factors. On-site strategies improve content quality, relevance, site architecture, user experience and interlinking. Off-page tactics improve expertise, authority and trust (E.A.T.) through link building and public relations. You can make these improvements on a single page or an entire website depending on your goals.
SEO typically targets just one website or webpage to rank well in search engine results, while Google search reputation management promotes several websites. This may involve signing up for multiple social media platforms, performing public relations, or maintaining a presence on review website.
What Reputation Management SEO Does
Like SEO, search engine reputation management services focus on the first page of Google results. But it also digs much deeper into the SERPs. Positive content that has been submerged past page 3 may need to be pulled up.
Reputation management SEO strategies curate search results to provide the most positive first impression of a business or individual. But to do so, that means ranking multiple properties in search engine results, not just the one you own. This can prove especially challenging if you don’t have control of the site.
Pushing Search Engine Results Down
One popular misconception about Google search reputation management is that it uses negative SEO to push down or delete search engine results. As much as you may want to bury negative content, that’s not really how search engines work.
In reality, SEO reputation management does nothing to the unwanted page. If you don’t own the website, you may not be able to remove negative articles — and that means there is little you can do to influence its on-page SEO factors. Rather, in order to remove one bad result you’ll need to pull up roughly 20 other pages.
Let’s go over that again: in order to push down a single result to page three, you’ll have to pull up 20 other results to outrank it in search engine results. So your SEO work is now multiplied by 20. This is no easy task, but with effective SEO it can be done.
Search Engine Reputation Management Services use Long-Term SEO Techniques
Google search reputation management establishes a long-term positive online presence for a business or individual. Creating engaging social profiles, a positive review presence and high-quality content will ensure that you can maintain a positive online reputation that lasts.
The majority of SEO techniques will result in positive search engine results. But you must avoid black hat SEO tactics when executing an ORM strategy. Google guidelines prohibit keyword stuffing, cloaking, spam blogs, and hiding content. Google may even remove your site from its index if you use black hat SEO tactics.
Online reputation management avoids using black hat SEO techniques. These tactics can ultimately damage your reputation by making it difficult to maintain a positive long term presence on search engine results. Ethical SEO reputation management never uses harmful tactics like buying reviews. In fact, we recommend that you remove fake Google reviews whenever possible.
The best online reputation management companies only use white hat SEO techniques to get results. What should you look for in a sustainable program? High-quality content. User-friendly website recommendations. Trustworthy and transparent inbound links. Positive online brand management. These SEO tactics will layer onto other strategies, including public relations, social media management, and review maintenance.
What Online Reputation Management Does that SEO Doesn’t
SEO is just one tool in the Google search reputation management arsenal. In addition to that, online reputation management ramps up content creation and marketing, public relations, social media cultivation and interaction, and review site maintenance. Online reputation management also regularly monitors online presence to ensure that results remain positive.
Many of these actions ensure that search engine results remain positive. For example, you should remove Yelp reviews that are fake or inaccurate. Doing so will boost your Yelp star rating in Google search results.
Online reputation management also analyzes and monitors top search engine results and decides how to categorize them. It looks at results to determine whether they are positive, negative, or neutral, and that’s just not something you do with SEO.
Reputation management SEO proactively supports a positive online presence. To be successful, you need to build and regularly update your blog, develop social media properties, and reach out to the press to seed positive news stories.
This proactive work means that online reputation management clients enjoy a positive long-term presence online. When you take action through reputation protection, it’s much easier to squash negative results as they occur.
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