Have you ever considered the possibility that you have within your power, the ability to prevent most negative stories about you or your company from reaching the first page of the main Google search results?
It just requires some effort in advance. Such actions referred to as "Pre-emptive Reputation Management" (PRM) techniques, are designed to prevent negative stories from ranking high for key terms before they are even written. Actions taken after the fact to 'remove or push beneath the fold or first page' are referred to as "Reactive Reputation Management" (RRM) techniques.
Obviously, it is better to communicate with customers continuously to ensure that such posts do not appear. With this I agree! That said, I also think that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Why risk the possible resulting damage when you're not necessarily dealing with rationale behaviour or people?
In most cases, PRM techniques mean:
a. identifying the term or terms that pose the greatest risk to the person or company
b. ensuring that a number of other powerful pages rank for those selected terms
c. maintaining and strengthening those pages continuously over time.
By doing so, SEP calculations suggest that:
a. roughly 90-95% of negative stories about a company or person can be prevented from appearing in the first page of search results for the given terms
b. in the other 5-10% of cases where a negative piece does make it to the first page, it
– either appears below the fold, or
– disappears from page 1 of the search results much much faster that it would have without engaging in PRM
If these calculations are correct, how can a company that has spent years building its reputation, not engage in Pre-Emptive Reputation Management? There is just too much at risk! . It just takes one really bad piece, and your pristine reputation can be popped like a balloon.