Sunday, December 14, 2008

Online Reputation Management at

What is reputation management? Well, reputation management can take on various forms, but the type of reputation management I’m talking about here today has to do with suppressing negative online material that is “brand ranking.”

As I write this, I am currently active in reputation management for a client not associated with the floral industry. My job is to take positive reviews and rank them over negative news reports that are starting to populate the search results for my client's brand name. The last thing my client wants is negative material populating the search results directly below his brand.

Earlier this year, we saw Proflowers take action in a similar circumstance, in which case a negative video was ranked directly below their brand name. So popular is the Proflowers brand that the video went from 10,000 views to a little over 32,000 views in just 5 weeks. In looking at their options, Proflowers realized that they could not easily suppress the video with counter SEO tactics due to all the link-juice being generated from the collective effort of real-florists. Instead, they discovered they could take out the video through legal action and they acted quickly to minimize the damage.

In looking at, however, there appears to be a lack of reputation management interest. A few months ago a negative video began to rank directly below for a search on their brand name. Back then, the video had less than 1,000 views, but since that time the video has received nearly 19,000 views. Has done any thing to suppress the video? The answer is no.

That doesn’t surprise me though as this news release has ranked below since 2003: hole leaks personal information - CNET News

Feb 13, 2003 ... A security flaw on the Web site leaves private information open to harvesting just before Valentine's Day, one of the busiest times of the ... - 65k Cached - Similar pages

From a potential customer stand point, can you imagine googling to order flowers and seeing not only a negative video, but also a negative news release that says leaked personal information. If you were that customer, what would you do?

Any way, the negative material can be easily suppressed in a matter of weeks. I’m left to wonder what is thinking on the matter. I know I’d be all over this like pollen on a Stargazer.

But what do I know, I'm just a real-florist.

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