Online reputation is an integral part of a business. It is essential for building positive public opinion and driving conversion. However, online reputation is significantly affected by consumer reviews on social media sites and feedback forums. The links of these reviews are indexed by search engines and are publicly displayed on search engine result pages (SERPs). They can substantially promote or tarnish the public perception of a brand or individual service provider. To state more precisely, statistical research by Glance, a popular CRM software development firm, has proved that it takes 12 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of 1 negative review.
Therefore, to rebuild the tainted reputation of a brand or individual service provider, online reputation management (ORM) is a feasible solution. It refers to all those methods and techniques that are used in removing negative links from SERPs. However, depending on the volume of image-tainting elements, such as reputation attacks (targeted negative reviews), false news, and common misinterpretations on the internet, ORM can become a lengthy process.
The time taken to remove the negative reviews from SERPs depends on the following factors:
Absolute Removal: The permanent removal of bad links that sabotage a brand’s reputation is possible via convincing the publishing author. A major problem with this approach is that the publisher often demands money in exchange for removal. Neither is this method applicable in the majority of cases nor is it always possible to convince the publisher or even trace him in the first place.
Suppression: Pushing down negative reviews on SERPs in an effort to highlight and improve the visibility of positive ones is another approach to online reputation management. In comparison to absolute removal, which may require a brand to pay several publishers, suppression is a more accessible and affordable option. A reputation management company has several approaches to suppression, which render reputation attacks useless in future.
Positive inbound links from trusted websites and the ownership of subsidiary domains streamline the ORM process. As inbound links are a valuable ranking factor for search engines, they make it easier to push down the negative links. Whereas, multiple domains that share a common brand name also support the suppression by contributing positive content and reviews.
Along with these, a brand’s social media handles on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are some other resources of reviews for search engines. By working on these social media profiles and linking them to the business account, an individual can also push down negative links.
Keywords are the search terms that assist in the ranking of websites on search engines. They make it difficult to get rid of the results that display under a brand’s name in a negative search. For example, search terms like ‘company name’ + ‘incidents that ruined its reputation’ are difficult to suppress and require the most amount of time and effort. Similarly, negative links appearing under some specific keyword research are also difficult to suppress.
Links appearing on the first page of a search engine result can consume a lot of time to go down because of two facts:
As covered in the first factor, it is essential to build a reputable social media profile as negative reviews coming from social media sites are diffusive in nature since they are easily trusted by social media users and shared over the internet. On the other hand, negative reviews coming from websites with high DA and PA are also difficult to push down as they are highly trusted by search engines.
Another worrisome source for ORM is content coming from user-generated sites. Google ranks user-generated content higher than the one published via business accounts, making it more challenging to push down negative links from review and rating sites.
Along with these factors, the length of negative link removal process also depends on the following.
A thorough analysis of the brand’s website and negative links is required to identify the factors that apply in a brand’s situation for removing negative links and reviews. Several tools are available on the internet for auditing a website for ORM. If these tools are difficult to understand, then hiring an ORM company will help. After recognizing the factors that apply, it can take some time to remove the negative links. While the absolute removal of negative links is a faster process than suppression, it should be noted that it is not applicable in every situation.
If you have any doubts or queries about the above-mentioned factors or ORM process, feel free to ask us in the comment section.
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