Dealing With a “Scam” Listing For Your Company Name in the SERPs

Anyone who deals with the public sector will have to deal with negative listings about them in the SERPs at some point. The most damaging of these is the “scam” listing. In this post I’ll discuss some tactics you can use to handle them.

In this age it’s inevitable that some will say something negative about you and you need a strategy to deal with it…

I got the idea for this article when I read a post by Tim Ferris called Tim Ferris Scam – How to Deal With the Haters. The article offers some practical real world advice ( I’m particularly fond of the Colin Powell quote), but this post is really just about dealing with the SEO aspects.

First and foremost, approach the problem from a customer service perspective. Drop the person an email or, better yet, a phone call and FIX THE PROBLEM. If someone wrote a bad post about you when they felt they got the shaft, chances are good they will post another when you bend over backwards trying to fix it.

Let’s say that won’t work–or maybe you’re in an unsavory industry, like one that engages in rebilling. What do you do? Because you are almost always going to be an authority for your own name, ranking for “brand name + KWD” should be easy. One post, a bit of internal anchor text, and a few scraper links should do the trick. Make sure you use “brand name + scam” in the title and in the anchor text when linking to the page and try and use the phrase in the main body copy at least once.

Have more than one negative listing you want to displace? Wait til your post is scraped, rewrite your original post, and link to the most authoritative scraper and that too. Need another? This is the time to maximize the list of parasite SEO sites, like squidoo, google knol, wordpress.com, and others.

So what should you talk about on these pages? Explain why your product or service isn’t a scam. Speak directly to the problems or issues people are having. Don’t sidestep or put a spin on it. You can fool some people, but most people know when they are being lied to.

In this age it’s inevitable that someone will say something negative about you, and you need a strategy to deal with it. You can choose to be part of the conversation, you can use some of the tactics discussed here, or you can try a combination of both.

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