Google auto-complete reputation woes!

Google algorithm and the auto-complete function has landed the search engine giant back in court again. This time it is a man from Japan who alleges that he lost his job with the auto complete bringing up criminal acts when his name is typed into the search box. The man demands that the defaming words be removed and that he gets compensated for all the embarrassment he has had to go through.

Clearly a case of  reputation damage and though the court has ruled that the offending words be removed Google has towed the ‘not subject to Japanese law’ line. However, the present case is about compensation and yet again Google defence points out that such cases are rare and the algorithm decides things on what is already available online.

A man from Italy won a case against Google for similar reasons and so did a Frenchman who had to deal with words like ‘rapist’ being suggested with his name. Google does screen for pornography, profanity etc, so can easily oblige if  a court sees it as having caused reputation damage to a plaintiff.

However, with Google claiming to have more and more requests from governments to remove content all this could well eat into the brand losing its sheen of being impartial based on its algorithm, which gets tweaked every so often to weed out spam and information of low value among other things. So will Google pay up??

Google+ vs Facebook – its not over yet!

Have you given up on Google Plus, already? The Google+ rollercoaster has been nothing short of mercurial – The fanfare, the golden invite, the Google+ launch was on hype overdrive; then came the ‘is it dead’ questions and Facebook launching new features to stay in the game. Google is now talking about brand pages in Google+, yet another feature in Facebook; and hence the question – ‘Does Google stand a chance against the social media behemoth that Facebook is?’ 

Google+ syncing seamlessly with Android devices: Google+ of late seems to be more about bringing all your web presence onto a single platform with easy icons and circles. So from easy instant upload of photos from your Android phones to video chat hangouts, its about getting you organised the Google way. The best part about this is that, the photos that get instantly uploaded are not available to your Google+ circles by default; you have to make it available or shared on Facebook etc manually. Google scores on privacy which has always been a sticky point for Facebook always. Continue reading “Google+ vs Facebook – its not over yet!”

To have a Wikipedia page or not? Small Business Reputation Management

Wikipedia began with the noble intention of providing all with free information on anything under the sun. So yes, the content should be impersonal or neutral and in an openly editable model. So unlike an encyclopedia, which is written by experts, the Wikipedia content is largely written by volunteers who do so without pay.

The big advantage: By virtue of being a favoured site by Google, the SEO or ORM implications of having a Wiki page for your small business are huge. Wikipedia pages usually rank on the first pages of Google and other search engines.

Should you have a Wikipedia page for your small business?  Continue reading “To have a Wikipedia page or not? Small Business Reputation Management”

How to avoid accidental social media disasters

Do you have an active social media life? If the answer is a ‘Yes’ you need to be reading this post.

Post the ‘Weinergate’ incident, when an accidental tweet with an obscene photo that should have been made via direct message to an on-line girlfriend went public on Rep. Weiner’s timeline forcing his resignation, it is time to list out ways to avoid such social media disasters.

Armed with Android smartphones and numerous social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter is by itself a challenging situation. So you have your personal Twitter and Facebook account, and your companies’/clients’ both on a computer and sometimes even on your smartphone. Juggling these daily is daunting to say the least.

The other aspect is your own social life and how you conduct yourself in social circles, what pictures you post on Twitter and Facebook and so on. Ask around and you’re sure to know quite a number of people who have suffered the ‘Freudian slip’ or in this case the ‘Freudian click’ sending the wrong message to an ex-flame/spouse. You end up dealing with not just the horror of such a predicament but also the sinking feeling that it could have been easily avoided.

Here’s how you can avoid accidental social media disasters: Continue reading “How to avoid accidental social media disasters”

Top Ten Reputation Management Tips

Ok, here should be a comprehensive guide to managing your own online reputation and the things you SHOULD be doing to preserve your own/brand name. If you’re here, you’ve already shown an interest in making sure you’re doing what you can to keep your head above the proverbial current of the internet. Or you’ve found yourself in an unpleasant situation and are facing unwarranted negative press/publicity and are seeking ways to rectify your situation.

Continue reading “Top Ten Reputation Management Tips”

Doctor, Doctor – I Found A Picture Of You Drunk And Now I Don’t Want Surgery.

There’s one of two reasons you’re not laughing at the moment. Most commonly it’ll be because the joke wasn’t funny. Then you have the group of doctors who’ve just realised that the pictures they posted of last year’s New Years party might well cost them clients.

Continue reading “Doctor, Doctor – I Found A Picture Of You Drunk And Now I Don’t Want Surgery.”

Google’s yet another attempt to make it big on social networking

Google is to search engine and Facebook with social networking. Just like other website you can search on Facebook, but that necessarily does not make it a search engine.  On the other hand Google isn’t a social website.

But now reports have surfaced that Google wants it search to be more social. The reason behind this move is obviously they want to make a place for themselves in the social networking world.

After the Google Buzz social network fiasco, the search engine giant is stepping carefully with new social features. This time they have introduced “+1” button that will appear next to search results. This is intended to allow users’ to see what they liked and refer them or add them to their data. This is something similar to ‘Like’ button on Facebook. Continue reading “Google’s yet another attempt to make it big on social networking”

Google stops suggesting ‘scam’ on searches

Being plagued by Google auto-suggesting ‘scam’ with your name and directing people to a whole page of scam suggestions is a common problem for most. Well, this latest Google tweak could be the end to all your scam woes.

Google has stopped suggesting “scam” in suggestions and made life much easier for reputation  managers. This is clearly huge for a company or a brand which has had to suffer monetarily and otherwise with the word ‘scam’ being suggested by Google.

Blogs like, Gr8 Example Of Google Drop Drown Suggesting Scam for Scam’s Sake, have been highlighting the problems companies had to endure both in reputation and in terms of enormous loss of revenue.

An active participation in the Google support forum under the head – Remove Google Suggest Keyword “scam” from my company name, has also been discussing Google scam suggestion issues. Often scam was being suggested when there weren’t many scam results in SERPs.

From today when you make searches,  you will have to type the word “scam” and then you will get a clean page of suggestion even with Google Instant on and then press Enter to actually get to the results. No scam suggestions no more!

Surely a blow for review sites like Scam.com who have wielded enormous power over hapless companies with comments and postings in their forums which come up being auto-suggested by Google.

Clearly a much-needed reprieve for those who have been hit by scam posts by disgruntled employees, competitors, pranksters and the like.

Scam is not fully gone either: Google still suggests scam in related searches at the bottom of the results pages.

How Social networking sites influence search engine results

To rank first on major search engines is an objective most internet marketers and websites look for. Most of the companies optimize their websites to get on that first page of search engine results to invite visitors to their website. But is there anything other than SEO to get there?

Well, there are the Social Networking sites, and there’s enough evidence that SNS influences search engines. What happens, for example, when you have a facebook site with 10,000 fans and as many ‘likes’? Do they show up high on search engines?

There’s no doubt that Google closely monitors social media data with real-time Twitter updates integrated into searches. Now how they use it is a different story and it’s very hard to say because strong social media popularity usually converts high ranking on search engines. It’s a clear indication that Google uses it to determine what a trusted source is and this was something they had mentioned long time back.

Brand value of a domain was a ranking factor Continue reading “How Social networking sites influence search engine results”

How do Google Search results with ‘Hide’ option affect Reputation Management & SEO?

Google introduced ‘hide’ option to personalized searches in March 2011 and this is what the Google blog had to say to explain…

You’ve probably had the experience where you’ve clicked a result and it wasn’t quite what you were looking for. Many times you’ll head right back to Google. Perhaps the result just wasn’t quite right, but sometimes you may dislike the site in general, whether it’s offensive, pornographic or of generally low quality. For times like these, you’ll start seeing a new option to block particular domains from your future search results. Now when you click a result and then return to Google, you’ll find a new link next to “Cached” that reads “Block all example.com results.”

At quick glance, you get the sense that Google’s giving up control to the user, so that one can manage blocked sites, control pornographic sites and spam from regular searches.

So far so good, but then, as with all personalized searches, it is all left to the discretion of the user; to his/her ability to discern what is good or bad, right or wrong, radical or moderate, revolutionary or extremist and so on. Herein lies the main problem with personalized searches and being prompted to read what you seem to be inclined to do based on several criteria in your online history  logged in from an account. This being the case, having the option to block out everything from a site is quite akin to wearing blinkers online. Continue reading “How do Google Search results with ‘Hide’ option affect Reputation Management & SEO?”