How Not to Do Online Reputation Management

Our story begins as it does most days, with me checking out potential link targets. Today, it took a little turn, when I came across a whole bunch of sites selling links, and along with the usual link ads for payday loans, debt consolidation and various casinos of ill-repute, I discovered some bizarre ads, with just names of people. But there aren’t just any, ordinary people. We’re talking about (I have the names):

  • A Middle Eastern Sheikh/Prince or what-have-you
  • A Vice President at a Major Upscale Retailer
  • Former Managing Director of a Major Financial Firm

Now these were obviously reputation management links – trying to push good results up for some people who erred in their past, and get rid of their bad press in Google. In my opinion, as long as it meets whatever moral code you hold yourself to, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

My issue is with how the link building and management is done.  If you’ve been charged with making a client look better in the results, then why are you making it so incredibly obvious that you’re pushing links? Don’t you think it looks bizarre to see something like this:

Debt Consolidation – Online Debt Consolidation – Penis Enlargement – Bic Pens – John Smith – Pay Day Loans

Don’t you think it might just be a bad idea to put your clients in such bad company? Don’t they have enough trouble as it is? There are easier, safer ways to obtain low quality anchor text to push up third party results.  Pushing links in bad company via Text Link Ads is probably not the way to go.

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