What Negative Publicity Can Do To Your Business

Anything online is pretty much fair game. Anyone can take potshots on anyone just for fun, and get it posted as the number one result. In fact, a couple of years ago, searching for “miserable failure” online resulted in the Wikipedia entry of the former President George W. Bush as the number one result. Good thing that Google was able to defuse that bomb. This just goes to show that in the hands of a malicious competitor, the efforts you’ve been making in spicing up your e-commerce site and ramping up your SEO online marketing will not be enough. You will also have to be vigilant against threats on your person or company through reputation management online.

Fair business practices are what drive healthy competition, but such offensive online content directed against you is simply hitting below the belt. Sure, slander and libel may sometimes be considered part and parcel of free speech, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it.

SEO experts have been known to use everything in their arsenal to beef up reputations of people online. Type the name “Simon Cowell” in Google and you get the sites with flattering or neutral content. Unsavory material is pushed down to the bottom of Google. In fact, ex-American Idol judge Simon Cowell has been known to retain a London-based SEO firm for reputation management. Political candidates are known to do the same.

Getting to the #1 spot is hard. Protecting yourself from defamation of character is much, much harder. Are you a victim of predatory online practices? Here are some things that you can do to manage online reputation.

One, do nothing and pray that the market knows better than to take them seriously, and that the ruckus will fade way sooner than later. Two, contact the site administrator or owner and politely demand that the offending content be taken off the site. Three, send a legal letter against the site owner for defamation of character with a court injunction to remove the offending content. Four, get professional help by means of a competent search engine reputation management company to reverse the situation and bring down the offending site several pages down the search engine where they can do no damage.

Clearly, the first option won’t get your anywhere and the second is a long shot. But it’s worth a try as it will cost you nothing to request the site owner to be more scrupulous and discerning in publishing defamation slander. You can always threaten costly litigation against them as part of your polite demand.

Your next option would be to go to court. You can try to exact damages for defamation of character and cause the site to be taken offline permanently with a court order. But like any court proceeding, this is an expensive and time-consuming solution and you may not always see a resolution in your favor.

The best solution is to take positive aggressive action with regards to reputation management so you can overcome all the negative comments by your online detractors. In this day and age, it is not enough for brand owners to just promote their products or services. They must be prepared to ensure brand protection as well. This applies to both online and brick-and-mortar businesses. Make sure to get professional help and manage online reputation immediately.

Grab a Wag the Dog Marketing Los Angeles, CA accusation cleanup breakdown at (800) 825-9500.

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