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Reputation Management SEO: En nybörjarguide

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Reputation Image

All forms of marketing play a part in good brand management.

Using the same tone of voice throughout your ads and emails, and choosing the same photo assets for your website as your billboards, contribute to the picture that is painted when a customer considers your product or service.

Sometimes, however, your brand might be in receipt of some negative press or reviews that can alter the way it is seen.

If a potential customer wants to know if your business is reputable they will likely search for you online.

Visiting your website isn’t enough and they’ll want more objective feedback.

So, online reputation management is critical.

It is the process of shaping and controlling the narrative around your brand online.

SEO is an important step to consider in that process.

Why Is Online Reputation Management Important?

Research into a brand, product, or service often begins online with a search.

Your website is likely to only be one or two of the results brought up when someone searches for your brand.

All those other search results will potentially be saying something about your brand that might not be as favorable as you would like.

For Corporate Brands

Negative reviews happen.

Unfavorable comparisons about your product and a competitor can be made by an objective third party.

Bad press can be high ranking.

If you aren’t actively monitoring what appears at the top of the search results for your branded keywords then you could be missing out on the opportunity to spot potential reputation issues.

Once a news story starts circulating about your company, or even incorrect information is added to a third party website, it can be hard to repair the damage to your brand.

It is important that your brand’s message is what’s seen on the first page of the SERPs.

Proactively working on your online reputation management can put you in a strong position to correct misinformation or outrank unfavorable content.

Our Personal Brand

This all applies to your personal brand as well as your corporate one.

You need to make sure that the information available online paints a positive picture.

We’re all getting very good at portraying ourselves positively on social media.

Photoshopping images, curating our life highlights, and only sharing information that paints us in a positive light.

Employers and recruiters are increasingly visiting social media profiles when considering candidates for a job.

But what about when someone searches your name.

What comes up on the first page of the SERPs?

How to Carry Out SEO for Online Reputation Management

I’m not going to tell you how to get your website to rank for your brand term, just that you need to.

That can be particularly tricky if your brand name is a word that means something in your or another language.

It can be especially difficult if your brand name isn’t that unique.

You do want to be ranking as close to position one as possible for your brand name, however.

This way, the first result (excluding paid results) for your brand name is a property that you control.

That said, you want positions two, three, four, and five to be properties you own, too.

1. Control the Front Page

Wherever possible the first five or so top-ranking results for your brand should be controlled by you.

Your website, any other digital properties you host, and your social media pages.

If a potential customer is looking for information on your brand you want to be maintaining the information they read.

This means taking advantage of the prominent social media sites in your region.

Set up a branded Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles.

Social media sites are hugely authoritative and will rank highly for most branded search queries.

Don’t just settle for a närvaro på sociala medier though.

Set your company up with a profile on review sites, industry comparison sites.

Essentially, any property outside of your direct ownership that you can still have some say over the content of.

2. Be Active on Social Media & Review Sites

Setting yourself up on social media and review sites does come with risk.

People will comment, reviews will be left.

They will not all be favorable.

However, even if you do not have an official Twitter handle or a company created Glassdoor page doesn’t mean competitors or disgruntled employees won’t be talking about your company anyway.

You might just have less visibility of it.

Make sure you are responding to comments, positive and negative.

A negative Twitter comment might well be returned in a Google search for your brand.

Keep your company active on social media and review sites both to address any negative comments but also to keep them off the front page of Google.

3. Set up a Google My Business Listing

This is another area of the branded search results you can own.

Din Google My Business listing could well be the first result a user sees when searching for your brand.

Around festive holidays, or even during the COVID-19 restrictions, your opening hours or availability of your office might change.

Google My Business is the perfect place to keep that information updated.

If you don’t have a Google My Business listing then a search for “[your brand] opening hours” might pull information from a website that hasn’t been updated.

Google Posts

Another benefit to a Google My Business profile for reputation management is Google Posts.

Posts are small snippets of content that will appear directly on your Google My Business listing.

London Zoo Google Post

They allow your brand to inject timely offers, articles, or updates straight into the Google search results without having to battle the ranking algorithm or waiting for indexing.

If you are in need of some reactive PR or want to promote something quickly, this is an effective way to do that.

Recensioner

A Google My Business listing does bring with it the potential for reviews of your brand to appear at the top of the SERPs.

If a user leaves a review on your Google My Business profile there is little that can be done to remove it.

It would need to contravene Google’s review guidelines in some way and even then there is no guarantee it will be ruled by Google as such.

Good reputation management is about effectively dealing with negative attention as much as positive.

A negative review can be responded to on Google My Business giving your brand the opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Questions & Answers

Google My Business also features a Q&A section where the public can submit questions to your profile.

The main issue with this is, the public can also answer those questions.

This is a good opportunity to understand what your target audience is interested in knowing but it is a very public way to find out.

It is crucial that you stay on top of any questions asked so you can ensure the answer is accurate.

There is nothing to stop a well-meaning (or ill-intending) member of the public from answering a question and it being wrong.

Ensure you are managing your online reputation well by keeping an eye on this corner of the SERPs.

4. Create Content Around Potentially Negative Keywords

Brand searches will often yield a series of People Also Asked (PAA) search prompts.

The PAA results are a goldmine of information for your reputation management keyword analysis.

These prompts can cause searches to consider questions about the brand they may never have asked.

For instance, based in the UK, I have little exposure or understanding of the brand Walmart.

However, searching the keyword “Walmart” produces these PAAs.

Walmart People Also Ask

Prior to seeing this PAA, I would not have known that some people may consider it a bad idea to buy clothes from the brand.

I do now.

Not only is the question “is it bad to buy clothes from Walmart?” off-putting for someone who doesn’t know much about the store, the search result it features is even worse.

Other common PAAs that will appear for brand searches include “is [brand] legit?”, “is [brand] a scam?” and “can I cancel [brand] subscription?”

Your potential customer might not have any reason to consider your brand a scam, but seeing those questions that have been searched by others may raise that concern.

Check the PAAs that appear for your brand.

If they are even slightly negative you need to ensure you are ranking as the featured snippet for them to counter that notion.

5. Be Newsworthy for the Right Reasons

If you are trying to bury a high-ranking negative news article that is grounded in fact, many will have little sympathy for you.

Instead, work on being newsworthy for the right reasons.

Gain press about your charitable giving, your encouragement of local teams, or your work to protect the environment.

Focus on digital PR for PR’s sake, even if all you get is a brand mention.

If it is on a high authority website it might be enough to outrank review sites, comparison sites, and other more dangerous properties for your brand terms.

The key is stacking the front page with positive commentary of your brand beyond the properties you have direct control over.

Set up a Brand Alert

Using Google Alerts or other brand mention monitoring tools keep an eye out for when you’re mentioned online.

It may be that a journalist, or reviewer, will be amenable to hearing your side of a negative story.

It might simply be that your company opening hours have been misreported or other inaccuracies stated.

That alert could give you the opportunity to correct misinformation or damaging accusation before it is too widely read.

6. It’s Not All About Google

Don’t forget that there are other search engines aside from Google.

Make sure you are following these steps for those search engines too.

Set up a Bing Places listing and monitor the first page of DuckDuckGo for your brand phrases.

If there is the potential for your brand to be searched in a different search engine, it is critical that you are managing your reputation there.


Author/Image Credits
All screenshots taken by author, October 2020

Sökmotortidning

SEO

Är IP-adress en Google-rankningsfaktor?

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Is IP Address A Google Ranking Factor?

Does the IP address of your website’s server affect your rankings in search results? According to some sources around the internet, your IP address is a ranking signal used by Google.

But does your IP address have the potential to help or harm your rankings in search? Continue reading to learn whether IP addresses are a Google ranking factor.

The Claim: IP Address As A Ranking Factor

Articles on the internet from reputable marketing sites claim that Google has over 200 “known” ranking factors.

These lists often include statements about flagged IP addresses affecting rankings or higher-value länkar because they are from separate C-class IP addresses.

Screenshot from HubSpot.com, June 2022

Fortunately, these lists sparked numerous conversations with Google employees about the validity of IP addresses as ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.

[Ebook:] The Complete Guide To Google Ranking Factors

The Evidence Against IP Address As A Ranking Factor

I 2010, Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s webspam team, was asked if the ranking of a client’s website would be affected by spammy websites on the same server.

His response:

“On the list of things that I worry about, that would not be near the top. So I understand, and Google understands that shared webbhotell happens. You can’t really control who else is on that IP address or class c subnet.”

Ultimately, Google decided if they took action on an IP address or Class C subnet, the spammers would just move to another IP address. Therefore, it wouldn’t be the most efficient way to tackle the issue.

Cutts did note a specific exception, where an IP address had 26,000 spam sites and one non-spammy site that invited more scrutiny but reiterated that this was an exceptional outlier.

I 2011, a tweet from Kaspar Szymanski, another former member of Google’s webspam team, noted that Google has the right to take action when free hosts have been massively spammed.

I 2016, during a Google Webmaster Central Office Hours, John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, was asked if having all of a group’s websites on the same c block of IP addresses was a problem.

He answered:

“No, that’s perfectly fine. So that’s not something where you artificially need to buy IP address blocks to just shuffle things around.

And especially if you are on a CDN, then maybe you’ll end up on an IP address block that’s used by other companies. Or if you’re on shared hosting, then these things happen. That’s not something you need to artificially move around.”

In March 2018, Mueller was asked if an IP change with a different geo-location would affect SEO. He responded:

“If you move to a server in a different location? Usually not. We get enough geotargeting information otherwise, e.g., from the TLD & geotargeting settings in Search Console.”

Ett par månader senare, Mueller replied to a tweet asking if Google still counted bad neighborhoods as a ranking signal and if a dedicated IP was necessary.

“Shared IP addresses are fine for search! Lots of hosting / CDN environments use them.”

In October 2018, Mueller was asked if the IP address location mattered for a site’s rankings. His response was simply, “Nope.”

A few tweets later, within the same Twitter thread, another user commented that IP addresses mattered regarding backlinks. Mueller again responded with a simple “Nope.”

In June 2019, Mueller received a question about Google Search Console showing a website’s IP address instead of a domän namn. His answer:

“Usually, getting your IP addresses indexed is a bad idea. IP addresses are often temporary.”

He suggested that the user ensure the IP address redirects to their domain.

Ett par månader senare, when asked if länkar from IP addresses were bad, Mueller tweeted:

"Länkar from IP addresses are absolutely fine. Most of the time, it means the server wasn’t set up well (we canonicalized to the IP address rather than the hostname, easy to fix with redirects & rel=canonical), but that’s just a technical detail. It doesn’t mean they’re bad.”

In early 2020, when asked about getting länkar from different IP addresses, Mueller said that the bad part was the user was making the backlinks themselves – not the IP addresses.

Then, in juni, Mueller was asked what happens if a website on an IP address bought länkar. Would there be an IP-level action taken?

“Shared hosting & CDNs on a single IP is really common. Having some bad sites on an IP doesn’t make everything on that IP bad.”

I september, during a discussion about bad neighborhoods affecting search rankings, Mueller stated:

“I’m not aware of any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account. Look at Blogger. There are great sites that do well (ignoring on-page limitations, etc.), and there are terrible sites hosted there. It’s all the same infrastructure, the same IP addresses.”

I november, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google, shared a fun fact.

“Fun fact: changing a site’s underlaying infrastructure like servers, IPs, you name it, can change how fast and often Googlebot crawls from said site. That’s because it actually detects that something changed, which prompts it to relearn how fast and often it can crawl.”

While it’s interesting information, it seems to impact crawling and not ranking. Crawling is, of course, required to rank, but crawling is not a ranking factor.

I 2021, a Twitter user asked if IP canonicalization could positively affect SEO. Meuller replied:

“Unless folks are linking to your site’s IP address (which would be unexpected), this wouldn’t have any effect on SEO.”

Senare i december, when asked if an IP address instead of a hostname looks unusual when Google evaluates a link’s quality, Meuller stated, “Ip addresses are fine. The internet has tons of them.”

If you’re worried about your IP address or hosting company, the consensus seems to be: Don’t worry.

Get More Google Ranking Factor Insights.

Our Verdict: IP Address Is Not A Ranking Factor Anymore

Is IP Address A Google Ranking Factor?

Maybe in the past, Google experimented with IP-level actions against spammy websites.

But it must have found this ineffective because we are not seeing any confirmation from Google representatives that IP addresses, shared hosting, and bad neighborhoods are a part of the algorithm.

Therefore, we can conclude for now that IP addresses are not a ranking factor.


Utvald bild: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

Ranking Factors: Fact Or Fiction? Let’s Bust Some Myths! [Ebook]



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