3 Fixes for Your Bad Brand Reputation That SEO Will Love

Bad brand reputation happens quickly on the web. Google urges SEOs to focus on building quality sites that provide a good user experience. Specifics on how exactly this is achieved are distilled into the acronym E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authority and Trust.

Bad brand reputation happens quickly on the web. Google urges SEOs to focus on building quality sites that provide a good user experience. Specifics on how exactly this is achieved are distilled into the acronym E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authority and Trust.

This simple acronym has a lot of complex elements bound into it. Instead of presenting an airy discourse on how Google defines quality, an exercise much like considering the medieval problem of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, let’s focus on three practical tactics you can do to improve your site’s quality score.

Show Your Credentials

Tout your expertise in the subject domain that your site represents. Today, SEO requires having lots of quality content. A definition of quality content is content written by subject domain experts.

Beware of creating content that has no whiff of expertise. This is surely going to be considered thin content. This means for evergreen content, tout either:

  • Your business’ expertise; or
  • The qualifications of the expert writing the content

Plan for Regular Link Hygiene

Links still matter and factor into search algorithms. Links have long been used as signals for authority.

Are you letting others corrupt your link profile? If you do not have in place a regular schedule for reviewing your backlinks, then bad links may be negatively impacting your search results.

Use the Google Search Console (GSC) to review and evaluate the sites that are linking to you. If you do not visit this regularly, you may be in for surprises.

Review Your ‘About Us’ Pages

If you don’t already have an “About Us” site section that is easily found via your navigation, then you may be hurting your reputation.

This information is important for building trust for your site. The absence of robust information about your business begs that you are trying to hide important information from users. The “About Us” section should state where you are located and have contact information readily available.

If the information is stale and has not been updated in years, perhaps it’s time to give it a look and refresh it. If you are a commerce site, don’t be tempted to bury this information; because savvy users, unfamiliar with your brand, will come looking for this information before they purchase.

Key Takeaway for Marketers

Follow these three simple tactics, and you will be on your way to improving how Google perceives your site’s quality.

Google: The Elephant for Search Marketers

Pierre Trudeau, the former Canadian Prime Minister, once remarked about the United States: “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.” Search marketers can say the same about Google. Every move that the search giant makes has some impact on the search marketplace. Google announces major algorithm changes as “weather reports” and indicates how Google expects the change to impact sites. These changes are usually couched in terms of what type of Web spam the search giant is attempting to reduce. Although designed to weed out poor quality sites or those that are gaming the system, these changes frequently catch many unwary sites in their net. In some instances, site owners may believe that they are following the rules.

Pierre Trudeau, the former Canadian Prime Minister, once remarked about the United States: “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

Search marketers can say the same about Google. Every move that the search giant makes has some impact on the search marketplace. Google announces major algorithm changes as “weather reports” and indicates how Google expects the change to impact sites. These changes are usually couched in terms of what type of Web spam the search giant is attempting to reduce. Although designed to weed out poor quality sites or those that are gaming the system, these changes frequently catch many unwary sites in their net. In some instances, site owners may believe that they are following the rules.

Few online marketers have developed disaster plans for what to do in the event that their site takes a serious tumble in the search rankings. Many marketers focus huge efforts on improving their search positions, but few plan for sudden, precipitous drops in search traffic. It is incumbent upon all online marketers to build their own disaster plans so that they do not have to react in haste.

  • Do you have a plan for what you might do if you were to lose 30 percent to 50 percent of your search traffic?
  • Do you know the impact this might have on your bottom line?
  • How would you backfill the loss?
  • What other marketing channels could you use to drive sales?
  • Would a huge drop in search traffic cripple your business?

For a pure-play e-commerce business, a serious fall-off in search traffic might spell doom.

Sites do recover, but there is no set time frame for recovery, and the recovery is usually gradual. Troubleshooting and fixing the problems is a time-consuming and costly effort, so it is important to have in place an alternative traffic plan—a search disaster plan. You may never need it, but given that you live next to an elephant with the capability of crushing you inadvertently, it is an excellent idea to have just such a plan in your back pocket.