Don’t Be Evil

Google’s famous informal slogan rings in my ear every time I see its vibrant logo. Monolith corporations the size of Google are far too often shrouded in iniquity and questionable ethical dealings. But Google started with the standard to be good. Good to its employees, good to its customers, good to its clients. Perhaps it is the technical industry which Google operates in that is good, or at least less bad, than the others we have grown accustomed to seeing on the news. When was the last time you saw a tech company committing violations of human rights or running its own nation’s economy into the ground with its jobbery?  Not Google, but is this cuddly search do-gooder really as exemplary as it seems?

Reputation management. Also called public relations or good publicity. Google is a guru at managing its own reputation. Even when it saw controversies in the past, most of them passed in and out of the echo-sphere rather quietly.

Google has created a model of reputation management that any success-seeking business should imitate. ORM is especially important for search engine marketing, as more than ever search engines are taking social trends into account when indexing sites. What people are saying about you matters, a lot. Just one bad review can have dire repercussions for your brand if you don’t do anything about it. Brands should be proactive, as opposed to preemptive, when managing online reputation.

Start your business with good practices as a standard, not just a mission, and it will all be easier. ‘Social’ is one of those buzz words that cannot be ignored and will not go away, thus making the coordination of social media and search campaigns extremely pertinent. Use this immense network of connectivity that we all take for granted to your advantage by reaching out to your customers, following up with them, directly providing personalized special features, and whatever else you can think of to engage your fans! Everyone is just waiting for the next cool or convenient thing that is worthy of sharing with friends. The more you are talked about online, the more crawlable information to be indexed and affect your rankings. But remember this goes both ways. So for your sake and everyone else’s, don’t be evil.

-Kenneth Hurta