This is a case study outlining an individual executive reputation management program conducted for a high-profile member of the financial industry. An already good reputation was transformed into a stellar one.
Executive Reputation Improvement
Reputation X provides reputation management services to executives. Sometimes to fix "broken" search results and other times to improve already good results. In this case, the issue wasn't one of internet reputation repair, but of online 'reputation sculpting' to improve the way our client was seen when people Googled him.
First Step: Research
The first step in any quality web reputation program is to research similar entities. We examined the web results of ten similar people in his industry. It revealed that our client already had content in 75% of the major industry online web properties - he was already somewhat famous. He already had LinkedIn, Bloomberg, NYT, and many more web properties common to people of his stature. But many of the results languished on pages two through five and were therefore invisible to most people researching him.
His industry had been hit hard by years of financial boom and bust, crisis and regulation. Our first step was to find out the relevant key phrases often entered into Yahoo, Google, or Bing when people looked for him online. We found the primary key phrase and variations and ranked them by priority. Using IP addresses located in the city he worked in, we also found geo-specific variations of the key phrase and company specific variations as the client had spent time with two major financial companies in the past ten years. Rarely used search phrases were discarded so focus would be on the phrases that mattered most. Ultimately, we'd compiled an approved list from which to move forward.
The next step involved identification of positive reputation content already being returned in search results. The executives' search result resume was already significant, but positive search results were overwhelmed by neutral search results and outdated results on the first page of all major search engines. We targeted twenty positive results that met our technical and the clients content criteria for improvement. With the key phrase list and content list in hand, we moved to the next phase of the process.
The particular mix of reputation services included leveraging existing content, as well as creating new web content. Since his industry was highly regulated by FINRA compliance laws, online content had to be closely controlled.
Because most of the major publishers revealed during the research phase already existed in our clients search results, we made the decision to focus on new content about current guest speaking engagements, as well as augmenting existing positive content with links and comments to increase word-count and freshness.
We worked with contributors of major online publications to bring new attention to existing online content that was in line with trending topics. New posts were generated, and links to relevant content mentioning our client were embedded.
We created a few key 'hub' web destinations with highly relevant domain names. We expanded online profiles like Facebook and LinkedIn as well as standalone web sites created to aid people and search engines find relevant information. Because we controlled these sites in their entirety we were able to embed schema markup code into each of them helping search engines understand their relevance.
We used these centrally controlled pages as launch pads for relevant content people would find useful, as well as a creating a 'relevancy network' - a network of links that tied relevant web content in diverse locations together and focused their "energy". This inter-linking program was then augmented by search engine optimization intended to significantly boost the perceived relevance of the web destinations we had created.
Promotion to Cement Results
The search engine optimization (SEO) program was expanded to include positive search results already in existence. These included papers written by the executive, articles co-authored, SEO press releases, quotes, and other favorable regulated content.
The web reputation program began to bear fruit within 30 days and continued to improve dramatically across all key phrases and search engines over a period of fourteen months and have proven stable. The first pages of Google, Yahoo, and Bing have been completely re-engineered to show the most positive content related to the executive. Search engines now return the most relevant information about him, and when search results change slightly we help them find their way back.