Internal company reputation is important even without SEO and internet marketing. It’s a business basic every company needs to know. All companies need to gain internal respect through their rules, policies, and employee treatment before they can secure a good external reputation. The company’s reputation is its best selling point. This is why every business, whether a small enterprise or a corporation, does not take its reputation for granted. Many companies are willing to do everything just to protect their name from competitors and even from their employees.
ORM and SEO
The inception of SEO gave birth to Online Reputation Management or ORM. Many years ago, when online business presence was not yet supported and influenced by SEO, online reputation and rankings were not affecting factors to leverage a business or its promotion. Websites then served only as an online expansion of traditional advertising like print and television. However, SEO soon became a necessity for online marketing strategies, especially online reputation management or ORM.
Although ORM and SEO use the same techniques and methods, their goals vary in many ways. While SEO aims to achieve and establish brand recognition and ranking through traffic from link building, blogging, keyword optimization and content writing, ORM seeks either to establish a good brand name inside and outside a website’s network or to counter an existing bad reputation thrown against them.
ORM and SEO are both intended to “brand” a name, to give a given name higher distinction beyond the boundaries of World Wide Web in which the bottom line is to acquire popularity and, eventually, sales.
ORM and Internal Company Reputation
People have become wiser nowadays. They have become empowered through advancement in technology and the wealth of knowledge that comes with it. Employees now know their rights. It isn’t uncommon for us to hear about labor groups protesting left and right for their rights. That same progression and knowledge development paved the way for companies to counter such protests using business tools like Online Reputation Management.
Some frustrated companies run to online reputation companies expecting these to help them with their problems. However, these OR companies have no authority over those employees who felt mistreated. The fact that angry employees have the freedom to write everything in their blogs and social networking sites leave employers unguarded even with the aid of OR companies. This is where internal company reputation management comes in.
Companies answered this dilemma by creating internal programs to educate their employees. Some Executives send their managers to training camps to learn the basics of handling disgruntled employees and to avoid further social media attacks on the company. Worse is when companies create bonds and contracts that prohibit employees to say anything against them.
Most companies today have internal teams that focus solely on tracking both bad and good reviews about them. They monitor their online presence using basic search methods on major search engines and free alert services like Google Alerts. What they usually do is contact the people behind the negative reviews in a very personal way. If the review is from a customer, they offer complimentary products (freebies, discounts, rebates and warranties) to make them happy and satisfied. If it is from an angry former or present employee, they take pro-active measures and offers to reverse (or remove) the written review.
However, since Google can’t easily erase deleted data from its index, contacting the negative reviewer isn’t enough to protect the company’s reputation. This is why contacting these people won’t help counter negative reviews. This will only make the conversation longer, giving Google and other search engines greater chances of indexing the content.
The best you can do is to counter bad things with good things. Focus on your SEO and SMO. Build more links that are directed to the content stating how good your company and its services are. Invest time in convincing people in social networking sites and blogs about how great your company is. Improve your services and products, and devote time to perfecting them by delving deeper into your target market and niche. Sometimes, good SEO and SMO are enough to convince people how reliable you are. Beyond that, never take for granted the physical aspects of your business. Re-establish your relationship with your employees, review your state labor laws, and make sure you adhere to them. Nothing beats honesty to your people and consumers; real integrity destroys negative comments. In shorter words, loving and treating your employees properly helps your company avoid dealing with angered and dissatisfied people.
Doing the reverse SEO method to de-rank these high-PR sites is also a good way of eliminating untruthful reviews. As part of ORM, reverse SEO has become one of the most effective methods of minimizing the effects of bad publicity on your website.
Ripoff Report is a website that allows people to share their comments and opinions against individuals, companies, stores, and establishments. While majority of “rant sites” on the Internet rely only on “responsible posting”, Ripoff Reports ensures readers completely honest and reliable content, because posting false statements can get the writers sued. The website issues penalties in the form of money for those who violate their ‘honesty’ rule.
What’s good about the existence of Ripoff Report is that it sends a positive alarm to existing companies. They are aware of the website’s integrity and capability to shake a company’s reputation, so they’re more careful about handling and treating all their employees well. This also serves as a driving force for companies to improve their products and services to satisfy all their customers.
A Company’s Worst Enemies
Blog Sites are convenient platforms where people express their feelings towards a company. Blogs are used by writers to express their rants and emotions about their everyday lives, including their jobs and employers.
Forum sites. The countless forum and micro-blogging platforms available today allowed forum sites to sprout like mushrooms. These are fully-optimized and active websites that operate mainly for the reason of the exchange of information and opinion among Web users.
Special websites. Specials sites can be a blog or a website especially built to destroy a company’s reputation. These are commonly handled by expert Web specialists who use special IP addresses to avoid being detected by the law.
Rant or complaint sites. Many websites allow angry consumers to share their rants and complaints about a company. Common victims here do not include only small enterprises but also large, well-established, and popular corporations. The problem with these sites is that they are biased. These high-PR and high-DA sites have good Google rankings on different niches, making many companies alarmed of their existence. Some start-ups and small enterprises have closed down because they failed to handle the abundance of negative reviews against them.
Just like social media platforms can build your reputation with ease, they can just as quickly (perhaps even quicker) tarnish and destroy it. Many companies offer reputation management services (read about it here: http://www.9thsphere.com/services_reputation_mana... ) as one of their internet marketing services. With the fairly recent addition of Google's hotpot feature, that enables searchers to quickly and efficiently jump on good or bad reviews about any business they are looking for, it is even more important to make sure that if you do have negatives reviews out there on the net, to better your overall business, products or services. That's why now a days many companies who have had a hard time regaining their reputation are outsoucring this task to companies that focus purely on reputation management. Frankly speaking, the task doesn't entail anything special - as you've mentioned it is a form of reverse SEO where you essentially even build links for competitor websites in order to push them up above any sites that are tarnishing your reputation. I have done it for a few clients and have achieved some success with it.