Let’s call him John. For more than a decade, John had cultivated a successful profile and business as a sales educator. He was widely travelled, a keynote speaker and a bestselling author with a decent following. One day, he was offered a job as a marketing director for an international cryptocurrency investment company. He saw it as an excellent opportunity to put his skills to work and dove headfirst into the world of cryptocurrency. That’s when his reputation trouble started.
Bloggers and other concerned parties started turning up at his seminars, accusing the cryptocurrency company he was representing of being a fraud. Articles started to appear calling out John for promoting a scam. At first, he didn’t believe it, but further investigation revealed something was wrong—the cracks were beginning to show. John hastily departed the company, but his reputation was tarnished. Google searches associated his name with scams, fraud, criminal and other nasty labels.
When John spoke to Iron Road Communications, he was desperate to move on, to start another business, but he couldn’t attach his name to the new company because googling his name produced nasty articles that referenced him.
Domain authority (DA) is defined as a predictive measure for PageRank—Google’s proprietary algorithm that plays a part in determining page ranking.
This means that every website has a domain authority. Brochure websites that are relatively new and have minimal content may have a rank of three DA, while news websites like Scoop have a DA of around 70 – 76 (similar to Stuff). The NZHerald, when I last checked, had a DA of about 85. Kiwiblog, which is political commentator David Farrar’s personal blog, has a DA 35.
This means that pages with a higher DA rank above those with a lower DA. There’s an old saying: “Where do you hide a dead body?” Page two of Google.
One solution to clearing a person’s name, at least on Google search, is to suppress the negative search engine results to page two or even page three of Google by publishing content featuring that person’s name on websites with a higher DA than those with negative mentions.
Iron Road partnered with a search engine optimisation specialist to create keyword-optimised content on Steve’s legacy website—the website he had as a sales trainer before he went down the crypto path. The website had a reasonably good 28 DA, but the harmful mention websites were still slightly higher. The job was to increase the DA of specific pages on the legacy website to eventually outrank the negative mentions.
John was also a published author, which allowed us to optimise his Amazon page. Amazon’s DA is 100. We also published premium quality content on other websites with a higher DA than those that had the ‘negative mentions’.
The solution is to create premium content and find ways to publish that content on websites with high domain authority and on social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. And to keep doing it, even when the negative search results have dropped in the rankings to page two or even three of Google.
Eventually, we were able to ‘ bury’ the negative results and ‘clear’ John’s name, allowing him to get on with his life.
1. Identify existing collateral, websites, blogs, and social media. Update and optimise.
2. Identify higher DA sites where you can publish premium content.
3. Continue to generate copious amounts of keyword-optimised premium content.
Names and scenarios have been changed to protect the individuals involved.