Google – the new frontier of reputation management

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On 7th June Horizon hosted over 30 business and communications leaders at Sydney’s State Theatre to introduce them to our new partners, US technology and digital reputation consultancy, Five Blocks.

The event featured a presentation by Five Blocks CEO Sam Michelson who led a discussion about online reputation management and how leaders and communications professionals can influence search listings to ensure their brands are represented online in a way that reflects their business and brand objectives.

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This can be achieved through three simple steps:

  1. Leverage public source platforms like Wikipedia to align information that is publicly available to your business/ brand needs.
  2. Analyse and use peer data to drive content strategies that influence your search ranking.
  3. Take control of your online reputation to ensure stakeholders get the right impression of you online.

Communications professionals responsible for brand reputation used to worry about how their brand was represented in traditional media. In recent years this has shifted towards social media where brands spend huge amounts of money managing their reputation and engaging audiences with ‘positive content’.

Whilst traditional and social media remain important, the new frontier for brand reputation managers is search, with Google the equivalent of Facebook or The Wall Street Journal in terms of its power to influence. Today Google arranges search much like a traditional news editor, prioritizing content that is in the public interest. Understanding how to work with Google’s protocols to influence search representation is the new secret sauce for brand reputation management.

Sam’s full presentation is available to view on Horizon’s YouTube channel.

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Sam Michelson’s visit to Australia resulted in a commitment from Five Blocks to deliver world-first research examining how Australia’s top 50 listed companies are represented in search. This research will build on previous studies Five Blocks has completed in Hong Kong and the United States, providing comparisons of how each country’s top listed entities are represented online. It is hoped this new research will empower local communications leaders to better manage the online reputations of the companies they represent.

Publication of the research report will be through Five Blocks and Horizon websites and is planned for July.