Real time search and its effects on online reputation management

Online reputation management has long been based around the search results returned by the major search engines for keywords and phrases. What shows up when you search for your organization/brand or for words that you would normally like users to find your site with?

What shows up is a measure of not only your reputation, but of the sites that show up – the best way to ensure you were at the top of the search results was to get a whole whack of high-quality incoming links with relevant anchor text. Depending on how many times you were linked to, who was linking to you and what the anchor text was, you would succeed or fail. This meant you could target your online editorial outreach to those influencers who had authority in your community. This hierarchy made things easier for organizations and brands to manage their reputation.

But microblogging search, media organisations creating Web pages on the fly and other “real time” search offerings such as Google’s are really changing the online reputation management game.

Because real time search displays your results in, well, real time, the most influential person is the person who either just posted or is just about to post. Once a post moves from the top ten search results, it is no longer influential. Depending on your keywords, real time search is dynamic, fluid and fast-paced. Blink and you’ll miss it, until it’s repeated.

While the traditional search results can, to a certain extent be gamed through a combination of technology, key word density and incoming links, real time search is, spam apart, un-gameable.

As far as I can tell from thinking about it for a little while, there are a few ways to  guarantee a favourable search results page in real time search:

  1. Continuously monitoring the “conversation” and responding to critical posts in order to dilute negative coverage
  2. Create amazingly awesome products and services that no one will ever, ever criticise or say negative things about.
  3. Good luck on #2

What else? How would you approach real time search and reputation management?

3 Responses to Real time search and its effects on online reputation management

  1. ecairn says:

    Ed
    You have an excellent point on an issue that’s becoming more and more critical. We wrote about it in our blog (http://blog.ecairn.com/2009/03/25/proactive-online-reputation-management-orm/)and call the solution ‘social ecosytem optimization). I think responding to critical posts is one side of the equation but nurturing relationships with relevant influencers is another side. This is something to do on top of your 2)…2) is hard but you can get close to it by being tuned to your market (key individuals in it) and smoothing the gaps because you have a good relationships with people who are voices in your market.

  2. […] Real time search and its effects on online reputation management « Blogging Me Blogging You (tags: online reputation crisis management pr) […]

  3. Mark Peter says:

    More and more blogs are coming up every day at a rapid pace. And sometimes millions of people google u and can get negative comments about you and that is the issue. So monitoring search engines regularly and fighting against negative comments has become so much important.
    Here i would like to share about a tool which is really efficient regarding to ORM and monitoring search engines.The AirCheese It instantly amalgamates places on the internet where your brand, product, or service has been rated on a scale and shows you just how you rate. You can try out its beta version available for free.

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