A Comprehensive Guide to Online Reputation Management (Reverse SEO)

People love gossip. We are glued to bad news when we see it. Defamatory information is very interesting to the ears. Bad reviews give us a reason not to buy products. Negative humor is very entertaining. And new discoveries about others puts a smile on our faces - we grin at bad ones! We share it like wildfire.
reverse SEO
Reverse SEO
We love it until it is us in the limelight, as the victims.

Yet no one is immune. Anyone of us is potentially at risk of being exposed, ridiculed, and losing part of us in the process.

In the past, it was easier to stop bad information about you from spreading. It was just a matter of time, and all would fade away. If you had a legal problem, one had to look up your records from the necessary government authorities to know the details.

But things have changed with the invention of the internet. Whether it's a legal action or malicious rumor-mongering, everything is always available for anyone to access on the web. They just need to Google and voila!

Depending on the information out there, you could lose a job, lose customers, break up with partners, and go through emotional trauma. Some people commit suicide. Cyberbullies can pick up information about you several years from the time of happening and use it to mess up your life. 

Nothing is fair anymore.

Even a simple funny looking photo of you can degenerate into cruel insults that can cause you to trend anytime from any corner of the world.

That said...

Understanding Reverse SEO

Getting rid of information about yourself from the internet is not a walk in the park. Considering that most legal records, news websites, and character defaming sites have huge followings and thus have SEO weight, you and your small business will likely be overpowered. They will take the top search engine results effortlessly.

And just like that, you will lose business and trust from any potential associates, customers, and employer. 

The longer the content stays on the internet the higher the chances of circulation, and potentially the bigger the damage. Since no one wants this to happen to them, there are ways you can remove this information from the SERPs. That is where reverse SEO comes in. So what is reverse SEO?

What is Reverse SEO?

Reverse SEO is the art of employing a series of SEO tactics to bring down the ranking of an unwanted page (often with damaging information) in the search engines. The process involves doing regular SEO practices plus reaching out to those involved to bring down bad or negative content that is causing harm.

This shouldn't be confused with negative SEO which is a black hat SEO tactic to undermine the performance of other websites.

A Guide to Reverse SEO

  1. Reconcile
  2. Tell your side of the story
  3. Report to the search engines
  4. Pursue legal remedies
  5. Write branded content
  6. Create online properties for the business
  7. Repeat until you get results

Reconciliation

The first way to counter damaging information from the internet is to reach out to the person responsible for posting the content. If it is a bad review of your business, find out the reason the person is unsatisfied and offer to rectify the situation.

Give them a refund, promise to treat them better next time, apologize if you are on the wrong, give a gift for the inconvenience. This way, they can pull down the review and change their attitude about you and the business. You never know, after this, they might become your biggest campaigners in the future when a similar situation occurs.

Tell Your Side of the Story

Calm down and give a response trying to explain your side of the story. This situation depends on two things. One, the aggrieved individual is unwilling to listen and two, they are unreachable.

Let's say it's your former employee and they are very upset that you relieved them off duty, they can create content against the business and refuse to listen to you with the intent of bringing you down. 

However, if you take the title of their content and explain the situation, you will stand the chance of convincing incoming customers and employees that your intentions were not targeted at causing inconvenience.

Report Your Situation to Google (Other Search Engines)

One of the best ways to get rid of damaging information is by informing Google to remove it. Content that qualifies for removal includes phishing sites, scamming content, and those that serve malware. If the content is no longer available at its source, and yet available in the search results, Google will also remove it.

Google has a system in place for removing content that does not follow its guidelines. If you are convinced that the content in question does not abide by Google's terms and conditions, report and wait for them to get rid of it.
"Abusive content on Google's services may also violate Google's product policies, so before sending us a legal request, consider flagging the post, image, or video for one of our content teams to review" Google.
The challenge however sometimes is that the information we want to remove from search results does not always qualify for removal. Legal information, customer reviews, and ratings even if the reviewer is not a customer can be tough to eliminate by telling Google.

Truth be told, using the above methods to get rid of unwanted content is difficult or even impossible. But there is one way you can do it with some commitment or professional help. Your target will be to outrank the website(s) that are bothering your reputation.

Pursue Legal Remedies

Some people are just trolls and slanderers. They publish content online to damage a good name just for the sake of it. If you are convinced (with the help of a lawyer) that this is a libel case, pursue legal solutions to the problem.

There is a chance that you'll not just win the case but also get compensation for the damage caused.
Reverse SEO guide inforgraphic

Reverse SEO Process/Online Reputation Management

Here you will employ grinding reverse SEO tactics. The intentions will be to gradually push the damaging content down the search engines as you rank your own content in the top positions of the SERPs.

It's important to note that the earlier you start this process the easier the process will be.

Meaning, this process is difficult than regular SEO. Some industry players say this process is SEO on steroids. You'll need to go beyond your normal SEO processes to reach the targets.

What does it entail?

Reverse SEO in 14 Steps


1. Identify the content you want to eliminate from the top ten search results. This could be a news piece, a competitor's website, a review, 

2. Find out what websites are hosting the content

3. Perform an analysis of the sites to see how competitive they are. What is their authority?

4. Create your own properties (Assets) by having website(s) on Wordpress and Blogger

5. Sign up social handles with the business or personal name in question on Facebook/ Twitter/ LinkedIn/ Instagram/ CrunchBase/ Quora/ YouTube/ Medium/ Tumblr... and more.

6. Create a lot of branded content with at least three hundred words, photos, or videos and post it on social media and websites.

7. Strengthen (Optimize) your bio or the business profile by inserting relevant keywords that address the apparent concerns of the reputation-damaging piece(s). That means you should bolster your "about us page" on your site and improve your bio everywhere your name or brand is featured. Another perfect place to invest is in Wikipedia entries.

8. Take back keywords that are bringing negative results in the search engines. You'll need to do keyword research for your business to see which terms are used to find you.

9. Reach out to authority sites that accept backlinking to your sites. This is the perfect opportunity for Guest blogging.

10. Interlink your properties (Assets) strategically (websites and social handles)

11. Submit press releases concerning the business with a tone that will present it positively

12. Promote your works. Sometimes, depending on the damage a negative listing is causing, you'll need to promote a keyword or more through paid ads (PPC)

13. Monitor mentions of your name or brand. Identifying adverse mentions of your business early enough is what will make Reverse SEO efforts easier. If you let mentions to remain in the search unchallenged, it becomes tougher.

14. Repeat this process until you have what you are looking for - taking charge of the top ten

Benefits of Reverse SEO for Online Reputation Management

Conflict resolution - Using reverse SEO to help your online reputation will help you resolve conflicts with aggrieved parties.

Trust - With your brand or business in good light with prospective buyers and investors, you build trust. When one searches your name in Google, they find information that speaks well of you.

Profitability - With a built online reputation, it's easy to attract more business and conversions to your business.

Issues to Expect When Building Your Reputation Using Reverse SEO

- It takes about two weeks for content or website to be indexed and rank in the search engines for specific keywords.

- High authority sites are hard to outrank. It might take several months or years for your content to rise above them.

- Trying to outrank more than one website is even harder.

- When you are trending on forum pages where people keep commenting, it is a complicated process, but you should not tire.

Is it Ethical to Use Reverse SEO?

Reverse SEO is undeniably a valuable tool for brands and businesses. Besides building trust, it helps resolve conflicts, and bring business your way. But is it ethical?

When used to suppress incorrect, slanderous, and malicious information, its a good thing. But when misused to stifle the truth about a product or business mischief, or anything you disagree with, reverse SEO becomes unethical.

Negative SEO

Some people would go a mile further by using irregular means to make sure they are in control of their reputation. Thus ending up employing negative SEO. We don't do it here.

What they do is buy tens, hundreds, and even thousands of backlinks and point them to the site that contains damaging content. The search engines will take note of the sudden spike of backlinks (which will imply that they are not sticking to the best practices of Google. In the process, they are penalized and suffer bad ranking.

Besides this being immoral, the search engine engineers are aware that this could happen and so, take precautions before they can punish the site in question. If this happens, you will have to spend your money in vain.

So, let us stick to the script, okay?

Here at My Village Scribe, we can help you fight negative publicity by outranking the content damaging your reputation. We have site managers and content creators who specialize in reverse SEO waiting to serve your interests. Reach out to us and be in charge of your reputation.

Reverse SEO Services

If you look for professional help from us, we will need your permission to sign up accounts using your name, your brand or business.

Logins to your website to help optimize various content using keywords.

You will have to provide a business profile or your resume to create content that matches your career or industry.

Money. Reverse SEO is not free. We will charge you $250 every month until you are satisfied with the results.

Patience. Ultimately, just like any other SEO process, you'll need to be patient. Depending on which websites you want to suppress, the process could take weeks or months to complete.

How Long Will a Reverse SEO Process Take?

Reverse SEO depends on individual situations. While some instances take a few days, others will last several months to bring about the desired results.

At My Village Scribe, we promise to take the shortest time possible. In the first week, we carry out the analysis, do keyword research, create websites and social media accounts for you. 

We then start creating branded content in the second week and start giving you the reports during the third week. Creating content, interlinking, getting backlinks is a continuous process, which will happen until we see the results. Contact us so we can discuss your situation.

Final Thought

Reverse SEO plays a big role in maintaining the reputation of persons and businesses.

In the age of the internet, you can't wish away wrong information or any form of falsehood about you or your business. You must take action.

And the action is reverse SEO combined with reputation management.