BuzzFeed ask for my help understanding why black-hat reputation management is bad for your reputation
BuzzFeed News did a deep dive into how some bad people use bad online reputation management tactics to try to cover up their evil doings. BuzzFeed reached out to me–not the first time–as the ethical reputation expert they know will help them uncover the black-hat tactics and explain why they are wrong for individuals, companies, and the online reputation management industry itself.
Here’s an extract of what I told them…
Andy Beal, a consultant and author of books about SEO and online reputation management, told BuzzFeed News that most reputation projects involve “using search engine optimization to try and push negative pages further down Google [results].”
To make that happen, Beal says he works to create high-quality, positive content about a client that reflects who they are. The goal is to give a client the reputation they’ve rightfully earned, he says.
“Your reputation is a reflection of your character. So if you’re trying to get positive things to show up in Google, those positive things need to be legitimate, be real — they need to be an extension of the great things that you’re doing,” he said.
“In a legitimate reputation clean-up campaign, you focus on rehabilitating a reputation, not just whitewashing the internet with fake, positive content,” Beal previously said of that campaign.
It’s an interesting, albeit alarming, read about how the online reputation industry faces the same black-hat abuses as the traditional search engine optimization industry.