SMX – Social Media Search and Reputation Management

SMX – Social Media Search and Reputation Management

19th May 2010

Overall this was one of the best panels at this year’s SMX London covering an area that is very often overlooked, Search Engine Reputation Management.

Some of the sessions’ takeaways can be found below.

Kristjan Mar Hauksson – Nordic eMarketing
Kristjan started by saying reputation travels at the speed of light, once you release a story make sure you’re looking at exactly who is picking it up as they may be journalists who are about to syndicate that story. 98% of Journalists go online daily so it’s really important that you understand how the information flows and spreads.

He illustrated a proactive approach to SERM and do the following basics:

  • Plan against the worst case scenario and have a PPC campaign ready
  • Saturate your brand and product search proactively
  • Listen and monitor. Use google and yahoo alerts, vocus, radian 6, check your brand including negative keywords and saturate that with positive content
  • Evaluate all feedback constantly– is non-reaction an option? What type of crisis is it? Does it present an opportunity
  • Act – source of your problem is also a source of opportunity

Above all don’t wait until trouble happens be proactive.

Kevin Gibbons – SEOptimise
It’s important to realise that most people will see Google’s front page on your brand before your website. Twitter search is now even more important with the new Google layout. Trust is a major factor for all brands, Nielsen showed 90% of consumers trust decisions that they know whereas 70% of consumers trust people they don’t know.
To accurately determine the impact of the coverage cross reference the search volume with the position of the negative SERP, this will help quantify the impact. Ultimately quantifying is difficult, United breaks guitars was a very harmful campaign to UA which resulted in a 10% drop in their share price!


  • Claim your social media brand profiles , crunchbase, slideshare, linkedin, twitter, freindfeed
  • Define your smo goals, habitat spammed hashtags through twitter, big no no
  • Use social media to open opportunities : seooptimsie engages thorugh twitter and results in an increased profile
  • Real time search is becoming more important, Twitter and Google are working on quality and this is going to be more important. New Google layout makes it far easier to impact in all the other verticals
  • Look in Google suggest

Arthur Coleman – OnlineMatters
SERM tips

  • Use sitelinks
  • Optimise PR
  • Optimised partner sites, recruitment sites
  • Multple content pages
  • Use linkedin

He went further to explain a fairly new concept, Author Rank. He suggests Google is profiling people and determining influence in the web community, RTs etc build this brand authority thus helping SERPS. A Google profile helps improve your author rank.
He suggests the following steps to create an amplifier

  • Choose a set of keywords
  • Buy name on
  • Setup account
  • Link all accounts
  • Feed content

He created an article around htaccess grammar which got 9/10 rankings in the short term then resulted in top position in the longer term.

Mikkel deMib Svensson
Everyone has the right to free speech but that doesn’t mean everyone needs to hear it!

  1. Identify keywords – focus on the keywords that have brand impact, product and company, executives names etc
  2. Analyse your keywords – impact report for each keyword
  3. Analyse the negative websites, is the keyword competitive or not? Does the site have trust? What strats are likely to work?
  4. Develop the right stats for the goals – damage control and proactive tail gating
  5. Execute your strategies – be cautious and careful, check for positive pages, if they exist link build to them
  6. Monitor and benchmark your results – make sure you can compare those numbers

If youre going to go and buy a site to get rid os it and use a stealth acquisition service and read up on your social engineering skills!!


It was a great session and really something that all search marketers have a responsibility in pushing out there. Bigger brands have to be aware that the actions of staff and others can have a massive impact on the brand in the SERPS and this in turn has a massive impact on the conversion rate and loss of customers both short term and lifetime.


Written By
Louis Venter is the founding director and CEO of MediaVision, a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) company specialising in all areas of search. His particular interests are organic search marketing, paid search marketing, conversion strategy and online PR.
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