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Nan Dawkins put together a great post talking about thinking beyond the SERPs when planning your Reputation Management Strategy.

"Having a say in how your brand is defined in the world of Web 2.0 requires more than a search engine strategy. It is about content creation, engagement, and understanding where you really are with your customers or donors."
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from qwerty 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Very good advice, but #2 leaves me with a question:<blockquote>Dominating the first page or two of results is great, but it could mask a big problem.  For example, we found that one of our clients was being trashed by a competitor on a very small Forum.  Unfortunately, that Forum served a niche group of high value customers – influencers – in the space.  The damage done within the confines of that little Forum never made it to page one of the SERPs but it resulted in significant lost business for the client in a very short period of time. </blockquote>Was the forum not coming up in searches for the company name at all, or was it a question of going past the first 20 or 30 results? Are you doing your due diligence if that’s the only way you look for negative publicity?

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from CarrieHill 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

1 bad thing sprinkled among 20 good things doesnt really carry as much weight as a mix of good and bad. An example form the travel industry - there was a WSJ article (offline) a few months back called "Deconstructing Tripadvisor" and the underlying current was that if there were 20 fairly good mentions and 1 bad mention, the bad mention tended to be ignored by users as being "outside the median." If your average really good reviews on a product and good mentions in the press, one bad mention really wont hurt as much overall.  That being said, a bad mention should not be overlooked and you should have a plan to attack and bury or refute the bad mention if it’s necessary and looks like it will gain momentum.

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from SimonHeseltine 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Qwerty  I believe that Nan’s point is that a lot of people are happy if the detractors are off the first and second pages, figuring that people won’t see them if they’re all the way down there. However, just because they aren’t high in the SERPs doesn’t mean that your audience isn’t seeing them through other means i.e. a specialized site that targets a segment of your core customer base. @CarrrieHill  I absolutely agree with you.  If I’m doing research on a product and I see an overwhelming positive response, I’ll tend to ignore the negative, unless there’s something substantive in their review that I may need to research further.  If the ratio is a lot closer, then I’ll side with the negatives and look elsewhere.

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from ndawkins 2468 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Exactly my point on due diligence -- I fear that companies are somehow getting the wrong headed message that if they just keep track of the first few pages of the SERPs, they are fine. ( In fact, some of the reputation management "tools" out there amount to little more than a way to keep track of the changes in your first three SERP pages.)  Carrie and Simon are right on point about the ratio of good to bad in the SERPs, but again, this is really a reflection of all the positive things you are doing that start long before SEO.  You have to be out there engaging and encouraging positive WOM.

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from Jimmy 2466 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Many leads for this type of service come about as a result of unfavorable listings in the top ten.  This is what brings the issue to a head and results in examining ways to fix the problem.  Often the underlying problem is much more complex and to really find solutions these business related issues have to fixed along with the more obvious SERP ones.Unfortunatly the majority of online business owners are uneducated about potentail reputation problems and don’t become aware of it until too late.  Monitoring the SERPs is something that is obvious to those of us involved in search marketing.  However most action in the reputation management field that I have been involved with is reactive rather than proactive.I disagree that one bad thing amongst 20 good listings is ok.  It is all relative to the type of search.  If I was looking for  a investment company and all the listings were favorable apart from the one from a federal court site stating that they had been covicted for insider trading then I would look elsewhere.

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