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After Cancellation Notice, Offshore SEO Company Threatens Negative Reputation Management Campaign

Dec 15, 2010 / by Ash Buckles

A company received a smear campaign threat from its outsourced SEO firm because the firm knows Google’s algorithm improperly ranks negative results, which Google claims helps to show an impartial view of the Web.

Reference this e-mail and tell me if you’d rather hire offshore to save a few dollars or go with a reputable SEO company that can provide you with skilled SEO link builders and an on-going professional relationship.

This is in response to a request to cancel services for a month-to-month service offering:

negative online reputation campaign

The legal nature of these tactics is questionable in the United States, but hiring an offshore firm doesn’t provide you the same protection from a "Negative Reputation Campaign."

It’s unbelievable that an SEO company would put its own reputation on the line with such an e-mail because a client has decided to go with another SEO firm. I’ve seen these tactics for more than a decade in both Web design/development and SEO, and its extremely unfortunate.

A couple weeks ago, Google tweaked their algorithm to penalize DecorMyEyes.com after the NY Times published an article discussing their alleged fraudulent business practices that resulted in supposed increased Google rankings.

Bottom line: Google took action! They need to continue that effort with sites like RipOffReport.com, ComplaintsBoard.com, Scam.com and other sites that obtain very high positions in the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and seem to be favored by Google’s algorithm.

When searching for brand names, you often see negative complaints published on these URLs at the top of the SERPs. I would understand seeing these URLs with negative information showing up in the SERPs for searches like:

  • Brand name scam
  • Brand name sucks
  • Brand name complaints
  • Brand name problems
  • And other keyword combinations based around negative terms

But when a brand name is the sole keyword and a complaint site URL is showing up #2, there is most likely an imbalance of credibility with Google’s algorithm that gives the complaint site the advantage.

Keep in mind the backlink portfolio to the URLs listed do not warrant a #2 ranking, nor does Google agree that a similarly credible website should rank for every brand in the world with little more than a brand name displayed in a page title, header tag and content body. At least Google’s love affair with Wikipedia can be argued that Wikipedia’s deep pages obtain thousands of links individually and therefore deserve a top ranking.

What did I miss in this post and plea to Google to do the right thing? Please comment and share.



Topics: Outsourced SEO Online reputation Blog Offshore SEO Company orm Reputation Management

Ash Buckles

Written by Ash Buckles

For 15 years, Ash Buckles has worked at the forefront of branding through search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, blog marketing, social media, and ColdFusion development. As a recognized industry thought leader, he regularly speaks at search marketing events put on by organizations such as the American Marketing Association, SLCSEM, and Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum. His experience includes online marketing consulting with hundreds of enterprise clients as well as small businesses.

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