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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Remove Ripoff Report Items With Reputation Management Strategy

There has been increasing press in the SEO industry lately regarding Ripoff Report. It seems these guys are pretty unscrupulous in the way they conduct business, and if you have become a victim of Ripoff Report there are steps you can take to ameliorate the damage.

The Ripoff Report problem has gotten so bad, in fact, that some SEO industry experts are calling on Google to remove it from their listings. It appears Yahoo and others have already pretty much discounted the Ripoff Report (no, I'm not going to give them any link love, you'll just have to look it up yourself) in their indexes, however Google still seems to have a love affair with this site. What this means, if you have become a victim of Ripoff Report, is that unfounded, and sometimes libelous, publicity about your company can appear at the top of the search engines in a search for your organizations name, or the name of its principles. This can be very costly in terms of lost sales and corporate opportunities. However, you are not without a defense against this type of negative publicity.

Any online reputation management strategy involves the creation of content to replace the offending content in the search engine results. Typically, this content can take one of several forms.

Perhaps the best way to deal with negative publicity is to confront it directly through the issuance of a rebuttal. Creating content which states what the problem was, and how your organization resolved the problem to the satisfaction of the complaining party is an excellent source of information to potential customers who will be very interested in seeing how your company deals with customer grievances.

Another way to directly confront negative publicity is to dispute it publicly. As you can imagine, offending blog posts and negative publicity are usually not written from an unbiased perspective, and will likely omit certain important facts. Providing your version of events can help level the playing field and get both sides of the story out there.

Press releases are another good way to get your company name out there and to supplant negative listings in the search results. Releasing positive press about your company can influence public opinion and perception, and can also attract positive commentary across the web.

Creation of blog content is another way to supplant negative listings in the search results. Create useful and informative blog articles, and be sure your company name is included in the article so that you have the opportunity for those posts to rank well for company name searches.

Sometimes bad press can be tough to get rid of, in which case you should consider hiring an expert search engine optimization firm to handle it for you. Select a firm which has experience in online reputation management and is willing to explain to you in plain English the methods they will use and why such methods are effective.

About the Author: Matt Foster is the CEO of ArteWorks SEO ( www.arteworks.biz ), an internationally recognized search engine optimization firm which also handles online reputation management and services to remove Ripoff Report items from top search results pages.

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