Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Managing Online Reputation

Michael Finnigan
Sep 30, 2019

For business owners, PR executives and marketing teams, it can be difficult to deal with false expectations stemming from misinformation. Here are some search engine reputation management mistakes, which small businesses commit with that misinformation.

Creating too many SEO Links and Profiles

You can define SERM as reverse-SEO, in which marketers try to rank for a keyword with a lot of links. However, people tend to think that they should just build a large number of links in the expectation that the sheer volume of these will result in top rankings. That is the wrong perception to have. Rather, you have to do typical SEO tasks on every link you make, such as backlinking, content creation, and optimization to name a few. This will take time to complete. You might want to start by making profiles on social media, listings and other accounts for backlinking. Next you will have to populate these with content online and make every single one just as important as the core site.

In the event you sat there just making one link after another, you might improve a website, but if the first ten search results for a keyword have five negative links, then how do you propose to move these all down with just one strong site? It just doesn’t add up.

Building a Wikipedia

Having a Wikipedia page is cool, and perhaps it will help build backlinks to that website you have. Wikipedia may offer great back linking chances and may reflect well on your business strength, but you need to consider two things.

  • Having a listing on this online encyclopedia is just not possible for a random CEO, business or corporate figure. One has to be worthy of news and he or she needs to have done something of value and something important. Very few people meet both of those criteria.
  • Wikipedia content is not frozen in time, but it often gets updated. So, if you are having a tough time coping with a negative online reputation for instance, the whole world might know it.

Even if years pass without a situation occurring, one day somebody might degrade your profile which might cause a bigger problem than what you previously encountered. That is just a hypothetical case.

Putting more emphasis on SERM than SEO

Staring down the barrel of some spiteful online sentiment can be daunting. You might just worry that all customers can see the nasty, seething negativity about your business and are intentionally avoiding it. You might want to do all the things you can to destroy such links and consider hijacking the SEO approach to focus on the brand reputation management process.

People trust online sentiment slightly more than just about all other sources of information they come across, but they also prefer finding out stuff for themselves. So that negative sentiment online might not be just as you think it is. It’s not a bad idea to do everything you can do to improve that sentiment, but you should not focus on search engine reputation management at the cost of your entire business plan.

SEO and SERM have to be looked at as two different campaigns, which can occasionally work in tandems.

Let SERM Take Its Own Natural Course

SERM can take time which can be frustrating when you’re desperately looking for immediate results, but it’s still worth the hassle ultimately. Trust a group of experts to perform a good job at reasonably building quality links that can help overcome the negativity you get.

It won’t change things all of a sudden, but positive results will come in the end. Similar to building a tower, you need to start from the bottom and then progress towards the top.