Nothing is worse than suffering through the nightmare of hiring a reputation management firm. What’s worse is having to interview a half dozen finalists while your online credibility continues to ruin your good name.
I know how you feel right now. It seems like extortion right? Although you may wonder, it’s almost always more about revenge.
Having been involved helping clients recover from derogatory listings, there’s a few suggestions I’ll outline in this post. Before we dive into it all keep one thing in mind. You can recover. It’s also not as expensive as you may think. Here’s a video outlining what you NEED to consider…
Perhaps you’ve seen all the reputation management firm ads on TV. I know I have. It’s a profitable business model because of one nasty item: you’re doomed if you don’t fix it. So many of the larger companies have built reputation management firm subsidiaries to jump into the game.
Reputation Management Firm Hiring Tip #1
Hold on to your money.
Forget about diving in too fast with any reputation management firm that wants your credit card info before they truly research your nasty search results. There’s a lot that can be revealed by people in this business who have more brains than business savvy to close new business.
What I like to do is research your problem before agreeing to a new client partnership. You deserve to know exactly the depth of the problem (in terms of why the search engines display your derogatory listings). So I do what almost every reputation management firm doesn’t: a full analysis in a video screencast. I do it on my nickel to cull out the jobs that may not be right for my firm. Learn more about my reputation management firm process.
Yes, you’ll need to eventually spend decent money. However, the reputation management firm sales reps who keep hounding you for payment until you know what’s required to fix you up are merely out for another commissioned sale.
Finding a Reputation Management Firm Tip #2
There’s a lot of techniques that no longer work in pushing your toxic listings below pages #2 & #3 on Google. Many reputation management firm gurus usually try to throw a few thousand spam backlinks at your listings. Bad idea.
Here’s how it works…
- You have a bad listing high on Google
- So they try to reverse SEO the bad links
- Usually it’s by spamming that link with backlinks
- Then hope and pray that link will get de-indexed by Google Penguin
Although the reverse Penguin trick is pretty cool, it no longer works. The problem is usually far worse than a simple backlink count to try and trigger penalties for your listings.
What many reputation management firm managers don’t consider is the power of domain age. For example, I had a client a few years ago who suffered the ferocious reach of Rip Off Report’s site. Because their site is a powerhouse in PR (PageRank) and has a domain age dating back to 2001, they can crush you pretty quickly by ranking your rubbish high on the search engines.
Then to add more of a mess, Google images can display negative photographs. Another client I worked with had his mug shot listed in the images listing which is often featured under the first or second organic listing. There’s nothing worse than seeing your mug up high.
Beware. There’s many really bad reputation management firm shops around that simply don’t get it so take oodles of time reviewing them before diving into the deep end.