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Using Suppression to Repair Search Results

The first page of search results receive the most amount of traffic. So much traffic, in fact, the the other pages of results only get 8.5% of the total traffic from search engines. This bodes well for online reputation management, because one of the primary tactics is to push down the negative search results beyond the first page.

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This is called suppression, and is an online reputation solution that can push down bad search results from the first page. The results aren’t removed, but they may as well be since they won’t be receiving much traffic.

Replace Bad News with Good

Another benefit of suppression is that prospective customers see a page full of good reviews, awards, charitable deeds, and positive articles instead of bad search results. This isn’t censorship, but a tried and true method to repair your online reputation.

The ways that search engines decide which results are shown and which are not is understood by online reputation companies like Reputation X. By way of suppression, we are able to rearrange the search results by taking advantage of our knowledge of the search engine algorithms.

We work within the quality parameters defined by the search engine by making certain online content more relevant to user intent than negative online content.

The Perfect Online Profile

Every person, company, brand or political entity has a "perfect" online profile. The task of online reputation management companies is to discern that profile and work to create it for their clients. For this reason, package-based reputation doesn't work (it used work, but that was five years ago).

A Happier Ending

The scenario described in the introduction to this article took place in August of 2014. Today it has yet to reach its endgame. Though the spiteful social media posts have slowed to a trickle and media outlets have moved on, Oasis Cafe’s search results remain cluttered with negative mentions, most notably from medium- and high-authority news sites.

But clear signs of progress have emerged, too. Oasis Cafe’s Facebook profile, which appears near the top of its first results page, is now a bastion of positive reviews and expressions of support.

The most recent entries on its Yelp and UrbanSpoon pages include glowing reviews, mostly offering praise for its delicious food, and the restaurant’s star ratings have actually increased since the controversy broke. In fact, many reviews that don’t directly address Oasis’s food and service appear to have been removed, suggesting that the owner has been reading up on Reputation Management 101.The restaurant’s owner will probably never forget the lessons he learned from this experience.

As long as he keeps his foot on the gas, though, it’s not hard to imagine a time — not far off, now — in which this whole tiff is lost in the sands of digital time and forgotten by the paying customers who matter most.

Oasis’s reviews and ratings will continue to improve. Negative press mentions will be replaced with friendlier ones about an expansion or charity drive. The restaurant may begin spinning a web of positive online content on its website, blog and complementary outlets, like local foodie blogs and lifestyle magazines.

And, most importantly, the cash register will ring like it did before. It’s often said that heaven isn’t a place, but a state of mind. Online reputation management is much the same. You can’t expect every accomplishment to come with a parting of the clouds and a sounding of the trumpets.

But the real signs of success — rave reviews, positive press, and swelling bank accounts — could be just as sweet.

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