It is suggested that if a company website has a negative result directly below it then up to 70% of surfers will click on the negative result first rather than the company website.

Engagement is the most important element in reputation management. Repair a tarnished reputation online the same way that you would repair a tarnished reputation with your day-to-day associates:

Reputation Management Picture – Address the situation. Don’t dance around the issue. Obviously there is a perceived problem (if not an actual issue), so don’t pretend like nothing is wrong. In the eyes of your audience- be they employers, employees, clients, current customers, future customers, or even unrelated by-standers- you have erred. You can’t fix their perception if you won’t address it in the first place.

– Even though you’re coming from below, maintain the upper hand. Don’t come into the conversation with an angry tone. This simply makes you appear coarse and incompetent in addition to whatever other shortcomings you or your business is accused of. Remaining calm and reasonable lets you be in control of the conversation.

– If you’re wrong, admit it! Then work to fix the problem. Be sure to maintain an open mind, but stand your ground and don’t let yourself be pushed around.

-Don’t make rash decisions. Generally, you have time to sleep on it, before you act. Take that opportunity. It will almost always be for your benefit. Angrily taking to your blog won’t help anything.

– The best action is to ask your satisfied customers to post reviews about you or write a blurb about you on their blogs. Patiently reassure your customers or future customers and post positive things from different sources online. You want to have Google finding the good about you and that will keep the bad at the bottom of the search engine results.

Jamie Bates