Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

Brand and Reputation Management

Michael Phelps.

Ok, what was the first thing that came to your mind with that name?  Was is all the Olympic gold medals?  Was it the world records?  Was it the years of hard work and training?  Was it countless endorsement deals?  Or was is a photo of a guy getting caught smoking pot?

Search results in Google for "Michael Phelps"

Search results in Google for "Michael Phelps"

It doesn’t take much to pollute a reputation.  It also doesn’t take much for your reputation in Google to get polluted either.  While all the good stuff still pulls up in Google for Michael Phelps, a person searching on his name has to weed through (no pun intended) numerous listings related to his negative behavior.  His personal brand has been damaged, by his own actions of course, but none the less damaged.

As an example, consider if a high profile employee of your company gets arrested for a DUI or gets caught embezzling money.  Those negative news stories will quickly populate Google results for searches on your company name.  A former disgruntled employee or client decides to start a blog talking about how bad you suck.  That is going to be pollution in your Google search result stream.

How do you combat these negatives so you are always putting your best foot forward in the search results?  Simple.  Create content.  Everywhere you can.  Blogs, social networking profiles, Twitter posts, news releases, article sites, leave comments on other websites, guest posts on other blogs, get interviewed, upload videos, photos, basically, wherever you can put content, do so.  Of course, it needs to be good and useful content and that requires some work, but they don’t use the word “management” in brand and reputation management for nothing.

Facebook Faceoff Goes Facedown

Facebook spent this week doing damage control for their over bearing change to their Terms of Service agreement.

Facebook Faces Member Smackdown

Facebook Faces Member Smackdown

Basically, they where stating they changed their terms of service and any content you as a member have posted to the site, whether currently up or previously deleted, belonged to Facebook. There was no advance warning, just an “I’m sorry, it’s ours now”, so even if you didn’t agree with the new terms and quit, you were still out of luck.

So what’s the deal?

Likely it is just a move to protect themselves from lawsuits, in case someone’s content that isn’t supposed to be on Facebook is still cached somewhere in their network.  But others have questioned whether it is a huge power grab of content.  Either way, Facebook’s new terms of service agreement doesn’t add up, and most members concur on this fact.  So much so, that it appears as of this writing that the previous terms of service agreement is back up.

This will be an interesting case study for a while to come on content ownership on social media websites, brand management and the power of a large membership to influence business decisions.

Using a Blog to Get More Pages Indexed in Google

So, you’re still thinking this whole blogging thing is silly? Yet you want your website to rank well and bring a lot of visitors to your website?

If these two statements apply to you, then truth be told, you’d be silly not to consider a blog.

Think of it this way – if you have an average sized website, say 10 content pages, then you have 10 pages that have a chance of being ranked in the search engines. Now, it is difficult for any page to effectively be optimized for more than a few keyword phrases – 3 is reasonable, although some would argue that even that number is high. That give us 10 pages and 30 keyword phrases. Now, add in the fact that the search engines like active websites, so if your site is static (only updated once every year or two), then your site is not keeping the search engine bots interested.

Now, let’s take those 10 static pages and 30 keyword phrases and add in a blog that you update only once a week with a new post. This adds 52 new pages over the course of a year and 156 keyword phrases that can populate the search engines. Plus, as an actively updated blog, the search engines will be eager to visit it on a regular basis and quick list any new content that you post. When you launch a new product, service, sale, coupon, marketing campaign, promotion, job listing, new office location, event or other news worthy item, your blog post about it will show up immediately in the search engines for searchers to find it. If your site has been static for a year, and you update the site to reflect a special sale coming up next week, it might not make it to the search engines in time – whereas, it may only take an hour for the blog to get listed.

Blogs are a “force multiplier”, to borrow a military term. Use all the artillery available to help you succeed with your business online.