Article by Pierre Zarokian
For online reputation management the most popular strategy is to create some social media profiles, blogs and websites and then SEO them to outrank the negative content.
One strategy is to register an exact match domain name of what you want to rank for, whether it’s your name or a company name. In case of a company name, you probably have your .com domain already, so you would get additional TLD’s (i.e. .net, .org, .biz, etc).
If you do not already own a few of the major variations of the domain name for your brand, including versions with dashes then you need to at least register some of them right away.
One reason just to reserve them is that you don’t want anyone else getting them and posting negative content on them. It would be especially an issue if it is a company name and you do not own the trademark.
Today there are over 300 TLD’s available, so it would be quite costly to register all. Instead only get the major ones which are .com, .net, and .org. You may want to also get any industry specific TLD’s. For example if you are an attorney then get: .attorney, .lawyer or .law.
If you own the trademark of your brand and someone registers a domain with your brand, you can at least try to get it back, but it is a costly legal process to do that, which would set you back at least a couple of thousand dollars with the UDRP process, which stands for Uniform Domain-name Disput Resolution Policy. It is a process ICANN has come up for to try and take back domains that have trademarks.
My recommendation is also to grab your domain name with the addition of words such as “sucks” and “reviews” at the end. I have seen companies being attacked in this way.
Keywords in domain name is a ranking factor that Google uses, so having these types of domains and launching a website on them can help with online reputation management. Your goal is to try and get these sites to outrank any negative content that shows up for your brand. This is especially important for businesses since unlike private citizens, who have access to right to be forgotten requests, the same is not true for companies.
However, please note that simply launching a duplicate of your main site would not be enough, as Google has Duplicate Content Algorithm that does not allow duplicate sites to come up. To properly do this, you would need to write unique content on each of them.
I also recommend getting some sub-domain blogs such as yourname.wordpress.com and yourname.tumblr.com. Again you would need to post some content on them, if you want them to rank.
Ultimately you would also want to do some link building towards these new properties.
There are many other things you can do to combat negative online feedback or reviews, but he strategy that I explained here works pretty well and is just one way of doing it.
About the Author: Pierre Zarokian is the CEO of Submit Express, an SEO Company and Reputation Stars, a Reputation Management company. He has written articles for Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch and many other publications. His company Submit Express was an Inc5000 honoree 3 times and Fast500 honoree twice.