Last October, Google’s Head of Webspam Matt Cutts released a video that sent shockwaves throughout the online reputation management industry. Cutts used this video to explain how Google’s algorithm detects web spam and uses this information to build its search rankings.
The video begins with an explanation of the types of web spam and link spam that has traditionally gotten an entire website penalized: paid links, blog comment spam, spammy forum posts, excessive link exchanges Cutts notes that each tactic looked deliberate, widespread, and had been going on for a long period of time. Google’s approach is now more sophisticated, with the search engine able to penalize “bad” links (links in widgets, low-quality article marketing sites) if the website those links point to is still a good website.
The video then changes gears to note some of the bad tactics Cutts has seen from online reputation management firms. In his example, he mentions taking actions against links to a respected news organization’s positive article. In essence, if an individual has a positive article about himself in his local newspaper and that same individual is later arrested, Cutts suggests that some online reputation management companies will create spammy links to the positive article to try to push it above the new negative articles in Google’s search results. He explains that links created with this tactic will get flagged and de-valued, leaving the individual who hired the firm back at square one.
What does this mean for online reputation management? Is it still possible to clean up your personal search results? Absolutely, but one must focus on Google-friendly strategies to avoid short-lived results that just result in Google penalties. It is much less expensive and less time consuming for a company to create spammy links, which is why some companies opt for tactics that they know will get their clients penalized. Reputation911 recognizes the difference between sound reputation management techniques and harmful methods, which is how we have helped so many individuals clean up their personal search results. Our goal is to deliver strong, sustainable results that continue to hold up as Google releases updates to its algorithm such as Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. If you are interested in lasting results, give Reputation911 a call today to find out how we can customize a solution that meets your online reputation management needs. Simply call 1-866-MY-REP-911 or fill out the form on the bottom of this page to view case studies and learn more about how we can help you put your best foot forward online. Online Reputation Management is now on Google’s Radar from Reputation911 on Vimeo.