As many people will attest to, it can be a reputation management nightmare when you are trying to push down negative press and remove the websites that speak badly of your company and your brand. But why are these sites incredibly popular? In a nutshell, they give people a voice when they previously had none. The thought process (sometimes) is that the companies will help the consumer to save face (and hopefully the negative press will be pushed down).
There are other ways to address the problem, though. Loren Baker writes about how to combat the reputation management problem and suggests that other channels are utilized, including blogs, media channels (.tv subdomain to share videos), get positive press coverage from other bloggers, brand social media profiles, get hosted/cobranded subdomains, and utilize video/YouTube for more "universal" search results.
Still, the fact that these sites exist create a huge problem for forum members who participate in the conversation on Sphinn. Instead of calling it a reputation management fiasco, they call it "defamation." But IncrediBILL says that you need to think about what you're doing at all times to avoid the Internet being used as a channel for negative press.
HINT: Don't do anything to generate a complaint in the first place and you won't have to combat those sites.
What about real defamation that can be generated by the competition? That's where the courts should come in.
Additional Search Engine Roundtable discussion: Personal Reputation Management: The Reactive Approach, Out-Ranking Negative Reputation Sites, Secure Your Brand Name on Social Sites, and Addressing Reputation Management Issues with Search.
Forum discussion continues at Sphinn.