Regular SEO means practicing positive online reputation management and making sure your website reaches the top of the search engine rankings. But reverse SEO means doing the opposite, and pushing negative press and negative reviews further down the search results.
Use Reverse SEO when your name or brand has been defamed in the online world, and that negative review is showing up at the top of the Google search results. Reverse SEO pushes the negative pages down in the ranking, but doesn’t necessarily put your page at the top.
We have a friend who once had a very unpleasant experience with his personal bank, and blogged about the experience. For months afterward, if you were to Google the name of that bank — and it was a small one, so it’s not like you were spoiled for choices — his post was the #1 result. Even now, it still appears in the top ten. But if the bank were to practice a little reverse search engine optimization, they could have that problem solved in no time.
What about when customers are Googling your name or products, but your competitor’s name is showing up at the top? While you have to admire the other guy’s online reputation management, it can be aggravating when you’re selling roses, but your competition’s tulips keep popping up instead. While you can hope and pray that the other guy goes out of business soon, you’re better off trying a little reverse search engine optimization instead. It’s cost effective, easier, and doesn’t cost other people their livelihoods.
Search engine marketing experts tell us that most people don’t visit the second or third pages of results. So the goal behind reverse search engine optimization is to push a negative review like that off of the first page, and possibly into the fourth or fifth page.
So what are some reverse search engine optimization techniques? What can you ETHICALLY do to make sure your bad press or your competitor’s results are being pushed farther down the search page?
The biggest weapon in our reverse search engine optimization arsenal: start blogging. Search engines love blogs, because they provide fresh content. And the more fresh content you have, the higher you place in the search engine results. Publish a new blog post at least two or three times a week (10 times a month).
Another reverse search engine optimization technique is to write press releases filled with your search engine marketing terms. If you sell roses in Chicago, write press releases about roses in Chicago. It helps search engines find your content useful, which boosts you up in the rankings, and pushes the other websites down.
Leaving comments on other websites is another effective reverse search engine optimization practice. By leaving comments on other blogs, discussion forums, and social networks with links that point to your blog posts, you tell the search engines your blog is important. If you find a blog about removing thorns from roses, leave useful comments like “I wrote about five ways to safely remove thorns on my own blog,” and then link it to your blog.
Finally, joining social networks is another great reverse search engine optimization method. Believe it or not, search engines will even post results from Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube in their search results. So don’t forget to include valuable content (including keywords) on these other sites, which will then start appearing on the top search pages.