We cover reputation management every so often. There are reputation management sessions at Search Engine Strategies. With search, a positive company image is quite important. Bad publicity ranked on the top of the SERPs can hurt your image.
Barry wrote about multiple ways to deal with reputation management last year and the year before. A few suggestions included starting a blog, creating a personal website, sending out press releases, linking to positive articles about the company, writing articles, and participating in forums under the company name.
A WebmasterWorld discusses this a little further. Administrator tedster offers some great tips about how you can work with your audience to improve your image.
Maybe some do that -- but I prefer it to be done legitimately with real sites entering into real dialog with the market.
Years ago there was a lot of attention to the book Cluetrain Manifesto. In my view, reputation management is taking on the purposes expressed there as intensively as possible. Good reputation management also involves addressing whatever seems problematic to the marketplace, and doing it for real.
Moderator martinibuster adds that social media can help too:
[Reputation Management] consultants were purchasing domain variants of your name or company name, then pointing links to those pages which then lead back to your main site. Be sure to purchase the same variants with blog pages, including squidoo, myspace, flickr and any other service that you can add your name to the URL. And don't forget the power of subdomains.
It is suggested that you even participate in reputation management before your reputation sours so that you have the rankings before you run into a threat.
IMO reputation management should be a process built into your online marketing efforts from the start. If you take the longer view and make consistent efforts to do a good job servicing customers, fixing mistakes and investing in your brand you will be ahead of the game when it comes time to defend from a potential threat.
This is an incredibly informative thread for anyone looking for advice and tips on how to proceed in the realm of reputation management.
Discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.