By Michael Gray
Search engine reputation management (SERM) is a growing discipline under the larger umbrella of search engine optimization (SEO). If you deal with client services, and you don’t already have at least one reputation management client, chances are you will in the very near future. The more tools or options you have at your disposal for this type of project, the easier the task will be. In this article I’m going to look at one of those tools; directories.
Let’s take a high-level look at the concept, so we have a better idea of what we’re trying to accomplish. Getting a negative search engine listing taken down, removed, or changed, is a tricky process–with the potential to blow up in your face if you aren’t careful–so we’re going to assume it’s not a possibility. Your main goal then shifts to identifying positive SERP listings, and looking for ways to boost them above and displace the negative results to page two or beyond. This is where directory listings can come into play. Many companies or websites have listings in directories like Yahoo or Business.com, the problem is your listing is mixed-in on a page with other websites. Secondly the title of that page, which is one of your strongest on page SEO elements, is usually the category or sub-category name, making it practically useless. What you really need is your own page on that directory, with a title that you have some influence on.
Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, unless the name of your company actually is “Buy Cheap Blue Widgets Online” chances are pretty slim that you’ll be able to get a page/listing with that type of title. Most directory owners are concerned about the overall quality of their website, and aren’t going to sacrifice themselves over the long-term to help you meet your short-term goals. In most cases you’ll be able to get your company name or your DBA name.
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