RipoffReport.com Home Page Delisted in Google

ripoff-report-removed-google-search

Apparently because of a legal complaint, the home page of Ripoff Report has been de-listed by Google. If you search for Ripoff Report in Google, the site’s home page is no longer listed in the search results. However, another page appears, the search.aspx page. [Read more…]

Dr. Gwen Korovin, MD’s Google Plus Page Receives Review Spam

A day after it was revealed that Dr. Gwen S. Korovin, MD was the doctor who performed the biopsy on Joan Rivers and took a selfie during the procedure, the doctor’s Google Plus page is being vandalized. A Google search for “Dr. Gwen Korovin, MD” shows the doctor’s Google Plus page ranking number one:

dr gwen korovin md

I won’t post the reviews that have been posted by Google Plus users, but all of them are not very positive. In fact, they all pretty are very bad, and it’s a shame that people will go to the levels that they have in posting them. [Read more…]

Fight to Be Seen Online


Image courtesy jobmob.co.il

As a manager at various companies search marketing agencies over the years I have had to do my fair share of hiring. I believe that it behooves me to share with the job-seeking public, some words of advice. Having been in this industry for over 6 years, I have seen the landscape change. In fact, the whole game is different and people who are looking for employment have to work with different rules and requirements today. Because I don’t source suitably qualified applicants for any one field in particular, I hope you will receive my advice in the holistic tone in which it is intended. If I were giving a lecture, my opening statement to you would be simple – You people are messing up, royally. A little harsh, a little succinct, but very necessary.

I’ve reviewed many applications and processed hundreds of resumes for various companies and positions and what I am encountering is disappointing and scary to say the least. It would seem that book sense has almost completely taken the place of common sense, leaving applicants all thumbs when it comes to what they need to do and how they need to fight to be seen online.

To give you some real life perspective, I am at a point where I will short list candidates who lack both experience and credentials simply because of the way in which they present themselves on paper and because of how well they have managed their online presences as well. Shocking? Maybe – but the reality is a lot of applicants seem to negate the importance of keeping personal and professional lives separate and while you may not put all your activities on your résumé, trust me, if you’ve done it and its online, I will find it. And if I can find it, don’t put it past a potential employer, your potential coworkers and potential clients to find it all too. So in an effort to help save you from yourselves, I present a quick list of things you should and shouldn’t do to get into my good books or the good books of any recruiter worth their weight in gold:

1. Don’t have a link to your personal facebook in your email signature. Facebook, while widely popular, is still for social networking. If you’re fresh out of college or high school and you don’t have a circle of professional friends, access to your facebook gives me too much insight into who you are off the clock.

2. Do include your LinkedIn url in all professional e-connections. This is the facebook for professionals. You won’t see pictures here of anyone scantily clad or in any other state of inebriation or undress. This is where people put up their work and education history and connect and network with people within their fields.

3. Don’t staple a picture to your hardcopy résumé and application unless you are told to do so. This is a fairly outdated concept and again, if I want to know what you look like, chances are I can find you online.

4. If you can’t keep track of your online reputation, get professional help to do so. For example, Reputation.com is the online reputation management source. Go through their list of services and choose the ones that will help you find those comments and pictures that no one, especially a potential employer, should ever see.

Image Source: jobmob.co.il

Ripoff Report Strikes Back: Removes Code on Site Left by Hacker

The Ripoff Report has struck back against the so-called reputation management companies that claim to be able to remove posts about companies on the RipoffReport.com website. In a recent press release, Ripoff Report claims that they have removed code on their website that was left by a hacker hired by reputation management companies.


A sample advertisement claiming Ripoff Report removal is shown above.

Ripoff Report explained what happened.

“Earlier this year, a hacker, promising his customers “reputation management” services, had embedded code into the website to prevent search engines from recognizing certain postings. In some cases, website visitors were misdirected to a false message stating that the posting had been redacted.”

Although the press release itself offers no specific proof of the fact that malicious code had been embedded onto the RipoffReport.com website, I am personally not surprised that something like this was done by a hacker. There are a lot of companies out there that would like negative reviews of their products or services removed from the Ripoff Report website. From what I can tell, the website only really exists in order to report negatives about a business, company, or individual. So, naturally, a website like that would have enemies.


Another sample advertisement claiming Ripoff Report removal is shown above.

If you search at Google for “remove ripoff report”, or a similar phrase related to getting a Ripoff Report removed, there are a lot of reputation management companies that claim that they can get a listing removed from the RipoffReport.com website. And some will even charge thousands of dollars to get the report removed from the website.

Currently, however, according to RipoffReport.com, there is no way to completely get a negative review or negative post removed from the website. There is a way to respond with a rebuttal. The company says that “Once a company has been named in a consumer’s report, the company may respond by posting a rebuttal. Both reports and rebuttals are posted free of charge, and once submitted they are not removed. Before a report may be submitted, users are required to create an account by providing a valid email address and warrant that any report submitted is truthful and accurate.”

If a search for your company name or your personal name in Google reveals a RipoffReport.com listing, you have a few options:

— Respond by posting a rebuttal.
— Hire a company or individual who has online reputation management experience that can help bring more positive web pages about your company towards the top of the search results. By emphasizing the positive, the hope is that the negatives are pushed down.

I recommend that you stay away form any companies that claim they can completely remove postings from RipoffReport.com, as that does not appear to be the case.

In a related story, you might recall that recently Ripoff Report removed themselves from Google, which was apparently only a mistake by the company. In one of my recent blog posts, I examined how removing your website from Google can help–or hurt–your search engine rankings.

Monitoring Your Company’s Brand Online with MutualMind

Have you ever wondered what people are REALLY saying about your brand? Some people think they can just send out a couple of surveys, or do a few focus groups, and gather all the information they need about the public’s opinion about their products. While these are useful ways to gather marketing and demographic data, you still need to know what people are saying behind closed doors. Customers can say the nicest things when they are speaking to you directly, but may make the harshest remarks when speaking with friends, and co-workers.

If you’re looking for a way to find out what people really think of your company, MutualMind, has all the tools you need to do just that. MutualMind takes the different aspects of social media and brings them together into a concise, and helpful way. Imagine being able to look through the different twitter feeds and finding out what good (or bad) is being said about your brand. MutualMind is able to list all the different tweets across the internet in one control panel. MutualMind can also allow you to see what is being said about your competitors, and see how your company compares.

MutualMind is a highly innovative and dynamic web application that helps marketing firms and public relation firms monitor the “word on the street” in regards to brands that they are following – both your own, and your competitors. MutualMind also helps companies promote brands on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, while providing powerful, and comprehensive statistical analysis to maximize results from analytical social media monitoring. In layman’s terms, MutualMind helps you make money by helping you guide the public perception of your brand.

Needing to find out if you are being found via your targeted keywords? MutualMind does a great job of gathering statistics from several social media sources. You can set up an alert schedule that lets you know when your keywords are being used to find your web page across the web (even on Facebook). Although people may spend a little time on the internet in chat rooms, and the like, more and more people are flocking to Facebook to talk with friends, and family about the different products they come in contact with on a day to day basis. MutualMind helps you to find out what fans on Facebook are saying about your brand. You can even set up email updates to alert you if there were any keyword hits at any time throughout the day (without being too spammy). Also, getting your Klout score has never been easier now that MutualMind has access to Klout’s API.

If you want to be successful with your social media campaigns, and want a solid, and innovative way of doing so, then MutualMind is a must have for almost any business, research center, and marketing firm.

How Not to Increase Online Credibility: MediaPost Fail

Let me first say that I’ve been a fan of MediaPost for years now. MediaPost has, over the years, reported some great stories. But I’m actually embarrassed by a recent article in their Marketing Daily column that I read from time to time. I’m not sure if this is just a lack of attention to detail or not, but a friend of mine tipped me off, showing me this. And FreshAvails gave me inspiration for this blog post.

Pay particular attention to the website that’s reportedly the Aldi home page:

marketing-daily-fail

This MediaPost article is about how Aldi Foods recently “released a study showing that Aldi shoppers spend up to 26% less than those who shop at discounters like Walmart, and up to 37% less compared to those who shop at traditional supermarkets.” That’s great news, since I actually would like to see Aldi’s come into our area and start offering an alternative to Walmart. But wait.

Is that MediaPost graphic claiming that the home page of Aldi’s is a Parked Domain Name?

That’s right, take a look again at it. Rather than doing some simple research by Googling Aldi to get the facts right, the image used in the story is a graphic/screen capture/thumbnail image of Aldis.com, a domain name that is not owned by Aldi Foods.

I find this very embarrassing, on two fronts:

First, there to be a lack of attention to detail by the author and the editor at MediaPost. The image of the parked domain name, aldis.com, and the image of clouds on the website makes it horribly obvious that this is NOT the Aldi Foods website. Furthermore, it appears that the graphic was resized and therefore someone had to have looked at the photo.

In a world where us online writers and bloggers are begging for respect, this is does absolutely nothing for our credibility. In fact, I’m trying to decide if I should continue to keep up my subscription to MediaPost and read anything that they have to say in the future. Yes, it’s that bad.

Secondly, and, more importantly, I’m very concerned over the fact that Aldi has not taken the steps to protect their online brand. They do own Aldi.com, but they need to realize that the term that their customers use to refer to the company and their stores is “Aldi’s”. Apparently the phrase is searched on Google at least 33,000 times every month. Not only should they own Aldis.com, I would also expect them to own the domain name Aldis.de.

By the way, if you’re not familiar with the process, there is what is called a “domain dispute policy”, officially called the “Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy) or “UDRP” for short. If you believe that someone else owns a domain name that you have a right to own then you can file a UDRP request and have a third party officially decide if it should be turned over to you or not. In this case, I recommend that Aldi file a UDRP and take over the Aldis.com domain name and redirect it to their own site. [Read more…]

Reputation Management Seminar to be Held in Dallas Texas May 13

online reputation management
Photo Courtesy Sean Dreilinger on Flickr.com.

How is your reputation? What about your online reputation? If you search for your name or your company’s name in the search engines, what shows up in the search results? I bet that you probably would like something else to show up in the search engine rankings when you search for your name, right? Well, if you’re going to be in the Dallas, Texas area this month (on May 13, 2009), then you might want to check out the online reputation management seminar being held by the Dallas Search Engine Marketing Association, the local search engine marketing association that I founded a few years ago.

On May 13, 2009 at the Renaissance Hotel In Richardson Texas, the Dallas Fort Worth Search Marketing Association will be hosting a panel discussion about “Reputation Management – tools, tips and techniques for monitoring, protecting and defending brand reputations online”.

Panelist include Tony Wright, President of WrightIMC and Derick Schaefer, Managing Director of Orangecast Social Media Marketing.

Tony and Derick will delve into the details of the strategies and techniques they have developed over the years to monitor and improve a brand or companies reputation online. This presentation will provide practical examples and insights that every company should be aware of as they promote their brands online. Topics covered will include:

• tools and techniques for reputation management,
• practical examples of reputation management work for different companies,
• strategies and tactics for crisis communications.

If you’re concerned about your online reputation, then you’ll want to attend the DFW SEM event on May 13, 2009. To register online, go to http://www.dfwsem.org for more details.

Tony Wright of Wright IMC has extensive experience in online crisis communication and brand reputation strategy, including corporate blogging and corporate monitoring, most notably directing the online corporate reputation management strategy for American Airlines immediately following the events of September 11, 2001.

As President of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Search Marketing Association, Wright is a sought after speaker at industry events, including Search Engine Strategies, E-tail and others. His frequent contribution of articles, columns and quotes to various national and trade publications are widely read and cited. Wright’s work for his clients has been recognized in several local and national award campaigns, including the Excellence in Interactive Marketing Award, the Katie Awards, Webawards and the PRweek awards.

Derick Schaefer is the founder and Managing Director of Orangecast Social Media Marketingin Dallas, TX. Orangecast provides eMarketing solutions for a variety of industries including Reputation Management Services. As a part of their Reputation Management practice, Orangecast has successfully removed or displaced content on sites including CBS Televisions “The Insider”, RetailDish, TMCNet, and Hollywood Gossip.

The Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Organization (DFWSEM) is dedicated to education and promotion of the Dallas/Fort Worth search engine marketing industry, conversing various topics related to search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click search (PPC), as well as other emerging media. The group meets monthly at the Renaissance Hotel in Richardson, Texas, and is open to anyone interested in search engine marketing, including in-house marketers, independent consultants, and agencies.

www.dfwsem.org

New Survey Proves You Must Manage Your Own Online Reputation

The Creative Group

Results from a new survey reveals that half of all employers surveyed said that they search online for information about prospective hires at least some of the time. This means that if you are looking for a job then it is extremely important to make sure that if someone Googles your name and does some research about you then they must find good results.

The survey was conducted by The Creative Group, a company that offers online job search services.

Making a good impression online when someone searches and researches you is imperative nowadays. You absolutely need to make sure that you manage your reputation online, which includes things such as making sure that positive things about you appears in the search engines’ search results. You can keep up with your online reputation by setting up “alerts”, which are available for free from Yahoo! and Google. You can be notified via email whenever a new web page or instance of your name appears online.

Bill Hartzer Online Reputation

As you can see from the screen capture above, I’ve been handling my own personal online reputation for a while now. In fact, a search for my name at Google reveals about 75,000 results (this varies from time to time). Obviously, this blog, right here, is going to rank very well. But take a look at the other search results…articles I’ve written, others sites I own, and other stuff. If you’d like to monitor your own reputation, then set up a Google alert by going here. I recommend that you set several up for different versions of your name if that’s appropriate.

Fifty percent of advertising and marketing executives recently polled by The Creative Group said that they search online for information about prospective hires at least some of the time. Among those who search for information about prospective hires online, fourteen percent have decided not to hire someone based on what they’ve found.

The survey was developed by The Creative Group and was conducted by an independent research firm; it included 250 responses, 125 responses from advertising executives and 125 responses from senior marketing executives.

According to The Creative Group, advertising and marketing executives were asked

“How frequently, if at all, do you use Google or another search engine to learn additional information about a prospective hire?”

They responded as follows:

Always      19%
Sometimes   31%
Rarely      24%
Never       24%
Don't know   2%

           100%

Of those who search online for information about prospective hires were asked then asked:
[Read more…]