What To Do When Your Name Yields Negative Comments on Page 1 Search Results

By on March 15, 2011
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Being someone on Google, Yahoo or MSN is becoming increasingly important, especially because people are now actively searching for who you are on the internet when they meet you. This includes clients, employers, potential employers, new friends and business partners.

But what happens if one day you type in your name and an alarmingly negative comment is glaring back at you on page 1 of the search results. Everyone is going to see this when they try to find out who you are! Is there anything you can do? The answer is yes!


See If You Can Refute, Debunk or Dismantle The Comment

The first thing you need to do is find out what platform the comment is on, and who left it there for the world to see. If it’s on a social network, you’ll be able to write a little something of your own underneath the comment – stating of course that it is 100% false.

If the comment was posted by a disgruntled client or a competitor, explain your side of the story below. Be mature and logical in your rebuttal. That way if anyone reads the negative comment, they’ll also see what you had to say about it.


If It’s Absolutely Unacceptable Contact The Platform

A lot of what is said about people these days is done on social media. This is a good thing because most of the social media platforms have strict terms of use policies.

If the comment that has suddenly become a number one hit says something that is rude, crude or really nasty – report it to the platform. If you bring it to their attention, they might delete it altogether, especially if it is pure slander.


Begin Your SEO Mission and Bury The Comment

If none of the above are possible, or you are still getting negative feedback from people because of that one sole comment on page 1 – drastic measures are in order. Study up on search engine optimization and launch your own private reputation management campaign. Flood social media sites with positive keyword rich articles, reviews, news, comments and information – all under your name of course.

Businesses and business people do this when their reputation has been damaged on the internet. It takes a bit of time and hard work, but eventually that comment will disappear on page 30, while all of your controlled and positive posts fill in pages 1-30 instead.

This might seem like an extreme course of action, but it’s common in online reputation management. Your personal search results are incredibly important, and you should take it upon yourself to keep them in good condition. If it means publishing more positive content to drown out the negatives, then do it.

The returns will be worth it. Leave your name to be sullied – and you’ll have to deal with the consequences. Remember your social media image is everything these days. Deal with spammers and negative comments swiftly and without mercy. That’s the only way you’ll stay on top of your ‘search cv.’

Have you ever dealt with a really bad comment associated with your name? We want to know how you did it!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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