Reputation Management Services
Reputaton Management (RM) is an interesting new market that has come up. Sites such as RipOffReport and ComplaintsBoard (as well as numerous social networking sites and blogs) have made it incredibly easy for consumers to post slanderous material about a company, which can be extremely damaging. There is no way to verify whether claims made on sites like these are actually true, and as a result, many companies are seeing accusations made about them on sites like RipOffReport that are totally false and often made by a competitor. And online, people are going to believe bad feedback far more than good feedback.
Unfortunately, many reputation management firms are not cheap, and will take you a very long time to get results. The other problem is that sites like RipOffReport aren't going to care whether a user has posted totally false information about you. They have a strict policy of never deleting reports under any circumstances, and if you contact the average webmaster or forum owner to remove something said about your company, it's very unlikely that you'll get any response in the first place.
Therefore, what RM firms usually do is try to knock down any bad pages about your company to the second or third page of Google where they are less noticeable. That means creating a lot of new websites, and doing a lot of SEO to make them overtake any bad listings. This can take anywhere from 2 weeks to one year depending on things like how much competition there is in Google for your business, and how well optimized and authoritive the page you want to remove is.
My best advice when trying to find an RM company is to use someone that has a lot of good feedback in Google themselves. If they can't take care of their own reputation, then it's highly unlikely that they'll be able to do anything for you. Also, you need to keep in mind that the whole SEO industry has a pretty bad image, because many (dare I say most) companies in this field are out to rip you off. They'll use a bunch of complicated language to try to make it seem like what they do is 'top secret' when they really know nothing and won't do much work for you, so just be careful.
By the way, if you don't have the budget to hire a reputation management firm, you can always take matters into your own hands and deal with it yourself. I was able to get this site (codingelite.com) to hover around the first and second pages for "internet marketing" in Google - one of the most competitive terms in the world - just by sticking to the fundamentals and being smarter than most others, without ever really putting in much effort. So definitely put some thought into learning the trade and doing some search engine marketing yourself. Also, doing RM yourself means you will be in much more control over what gets done.
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