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Reputation Management and Google Suggest: Tips for Marketers

Have you ever begun to type a keyword into Google, only for the search engine to finish what you‘re looking for before you‘ve written it?

That‘s Google Suggest working.

Google Suggest (or Google auto complete, as it is sometimes called) is a neat feature which second guesses what you‘re looking for based on commonly searched keywords. 

Often, this is achieved with stellar accuracy. The feature attempts to provide a more interactive search experience for users and aid in navigation, and most of the time, it achieves this. 

This is not a feature unique to Google however. In fact, almost all large search engines like Yahoo and Bing use their own version. 

As good as this feature is for consumers, though, it presents a problem (and a unique way to manage) online reputation.  Reputation management companies and professionals recommend that all businesses no matter their size check their online reputation at least once a month. The problem is that the internet is huge and users can create and publish whatever they like at will. If enough internet users search for your company name + scam + rip off, this is going to show in the Suggest box and tar your brand name.

So what can you do?

Here‘s some essential reputation management and Google Suggest tips for marketers.

On-site page creations

If your brand name appears in the Suggest box alongside ‘scam’ or other derogatory terms, you can create pages around the exact search terms, so that your page appears at the top of any results and even if you don‘t have a Suggest issue, you can still create the pages for long-term security. 

Your page might have social proof, such as happy customer testimonials in writing or video, or it might be a series of FAQ‘s addressing any concerns customers might have. Although this isn‘t going to stop people searching for your company + scam, it will give you the opportunity to deliver targeted and valuable information.

Autocomplete on-deck

Autocomplete on-deck is a little known about feature of Google Suggest. It is a tool for discovering Suggest terms that don‘t make it to the main results. To use this feature, delete your browser cache (or open a private window), so that your search history does not impact Suggest results. Then, type in your primary keyword (brand name, organisation name, individual name), and go through the alphabet – and yes, that means for example ‘Epic New Media A’ Epic New Media B’ and ‘Epic New Media C’. 

By simply going through the alphabet, Google will offer up potential search terms of interest that do not show up in the standard Suggest results. This is a fantastic feature for brands as it will allow you to see exactly what people are looking into.

What should you do if you find something bad?

Don‘t panic, first and foremost. If you find negative information about your business or your name start working to counter existing content. Create new pages that address concerns and have them target the direct keyword term and long-tail keyword terms that get searched for. 

If it‘s a negative review or blog post that‘s causing concern, try to address the criticism by contacting the writer directly. Just remember that politeness and an end solution is key – the last thing you want is a complaint blog post to be updated with an ignorant and potentially harmful e-mail conversation.

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