Google Suggest Reputation Management Issues

Jun 8, 2009 • 8:53 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

There is nothing new to Google Suggest being controversial with their suggestions. But when Google Suggest became the default on about a year ago, the suggestions became more prominent.

The business of online reputation management has been growing with Google's dominance. Normally, you don't see reputation management issues about individuals within the Google Suggest area. However, I spotted a Google Web Search Help thread with one person who said that if you type his name in Google, it suggests [scammer] at the end.

This individual is embarrassed and wants that suggestion removed from Google. He asked how can that be done. The quick answer is that it cannot be removed. Googler, Jem, said:

Suggestions in Google Suggest are based on actual queries done by other Google users. At Google, we believe strongly in the democracy of the Web, so we don't make manual changes to the suggestions. But that doesn't mean the suggestions are set in stone. Changes in the popularity of a search can affect whether it continues to appear over time.

In short, if people stop searching for his name with scammer at the end, then it might not show up in the future.

Can a reputation management company help with that? Possibly.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

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06/09/2009 08:33 am

Reputation management has "traditionally" focused on search results. Recently both suggest (drop down list while typing), and related searches(bottom suggestions on results page) have been subject to seemingly irreclaimable bad press. Related searches are a result of refined searches, making them very hard to manually replace. Suggested searches, as mentioned above, are common queries, meaning if you can generate searches in large volumes for other keywords you can knock down the negative suggestion. It is also likely that Google gives more weight to custom searches coming from a related site as it is assumed to be an authority in its field.

Matt Soreco

06/22/2009 08:40 pm

The only problem with Google Suggest is that the term popularity becomes self-fulfilling. It might have been popular (or gamed) at one time, but continues to be popular because it's a suggestion.

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