Advice: Choosing Between Reputation Management Companies
August 26, 2013 by admin
An unfortunate fact about reputation management companies is that most of them are not really reputation management companies. They’re really public relations agencies, search engine optimization companies, or just some guy in an apartment in Bangalore. Most of the time they are ‘offshore’, but often have a US telephone number. There’s nothing wrong with offshore, but for the cultural differences. In reputation management, culture is very important. If you think about it, your agency should be of the culture in which you want to improve search results.
Some reputation management agencies truly are that; it’s all they do. But some reputation management companies are really giant robots. Seriously though, they rely heavily on automation rather than peole. Too much automation can lead to cookie-cutter results and worse yet – patterns. Patterns are a problem in reputation management because they can be quickly identified by search engines. At their core, search engines are pattern-matching machines. When patterns are identified they can seem ‘unnatural’ to search engines, causing all of the hard work you put into your reputation campaign to be downgraded by search engines as ‘spam’. Be careful of firms that rely heavily on automation.
Long Term Results
Long term web reputation results are the result of excellent, well-written content, SEO web design, and search engine optimization. Below average reputation companies do below average work that seems to provide short-term results, that later fade. Cheap reputation management companies often fall into this category. The fact is – quality costs money. The results purported by some companies fade because search engine optimization (such as earned link building) has not been used. Search engine optimization (SEO) is expensive, and customers cannot always tell if the online agency has used it. By not executing a proper SEO campaign most ‘reputation’ companies save a lot of money and no one is the wiser. Make sure the company you do business with performs SEO.
Believe it or not, many reputation agencies use machines to write for them. They call this ‘spun content’. Spun content works like this: the agency feeds a single paragraph into special software, the special software then ‘writes’ many versions of the content that are then used for ‘spamming’ search engine results pages (SERPs). Here is an example of machine ‘spun’ content:
“The truly on the go internet marketplace seems ruggedly handsome to excellent charities. Changing ideas about the ‘wow factor’ has preceded ambiguous enhancements. When will the siren lie down?”
Example of ‘spun content’
You can imagine that spun content can be worse than just funny, it can destroy your reputation. Cheap reputation management companies can damage your reputation.
Guaranteed Reputation Management
Refrigerators have guarantees, why not internet reputation? Internet reputation management firms do not control Google. Many would like you to think they do though. It is possible to use ‘black hat’ SEO techniques to quickly and impermanently fool search engines. Some companies use these techniques to show a customer how fast they can do things. They ‘guarantee’ fast results. Search results do indeed change temporarily, often just long enough for the guarantee to be void. Sometimes reputation management guarantees take the form of changing ‘at least one’ search result on page one or two (something anyone can do at least temporarily). Read the small print regarding reputation management guarantees.