We take a nuanced approach to Search Results, not a sledgehammer. Promises of “quick and simple” usually lead to disappointment.
Understanding search engine results means understanding how search really works. We do, which means we don’t endorse or supply “quick fixes” that almost never work. What we do… works.
Your reputation used to be defined by what your friends say about you. Now, it’s defined by what anyone says about you… if they rise to the top of search. There is no more perplexing or hurtful problem than negative search engine results. And there is no shortage of “reputation managers” who promise quick technology driven fixes to these problems, without ever really being specific about what they do. The only problem is that they rarely work.
Search results always start from understanding the keyword being searched. Slight changes to a keyword expression can completely change search results. So our Reutation and Search Practice always starts by understanding all variants of a keyword expression in consideration.
At it’s simplest, search answers just one question: “What link are you most likely to click on when you search for a particular expression?” The goal of all search engines is to bring that up as the number 1 result, and understanding this is the key to avoiding a lot of confusion.
After that, the results algorithm for search becomes extremely complex, but 90% of the puzzle comes down to identifying these factors:
- Organic Traffic: How much “natural” traffic does a link receive
- Keyword Structure: How many times does the target link match the exact “keywords” used in your search expression
- Authority: How many other credible sites link to the site and specific link in question
- Currency: How “fresh” is the link relative to other choices against the target keyword
To muddle the picture even more, search results are personalized, which means the results you see are based on your behavior, and your neighbor, colleague or client will see results based on their behavior, not yours.
Our approach to addressing these issues is based on a heirarchy of actions. When we are working on client reputation issues, our preferred strategies are:
- Removal: Is there a winning argument to remove the negative content?
- Remediation: Can the content be corrected or changed to be more accurate and less damaging?
- Recharacterization: Can we add new content that both calls into question the accuracy of the negative results, and removes it from top positions in search?
Many of our reputation campaigns involve introducing our client as an expert in their field to legitimate writers who quote them in high traffic articles. We don’t participate in reputation schemes that involve putting “spam” style posts on dozens or hundreds of content farm websites. They simply don’t work, and the time and money wasted is better devoted to real solutions that will achieve real goals.
We have a special body of experience in the complex and sometimes counter intuitive rules of Wikipedia. Since Wikipedia often ranks at or near the top of search results for “name” expressions, this knowledge is called into play with great frequency by our clients.
When it comes to reputation, ours comes from our ability to help with yours.