Owning search results for your brand name

Negative mentions in search results can be damaging for a brand, potentially discouraging customers from using your company. If someone searches for your brand name in Google, what will the results look like? For brands such as Sky and Argos, the Google search results look good, with no negative results at all in the first page, even though each company must have had a few unhappy customers at some point. However, other retailers aren't doing so well... Take dabs.com for instance; five of the results on the first page of Google results for the company are negative, mainly from blogs and review sites. There is an excellent article on SEOmoz with some tips to help brands manage their search results. The first tip is to target pages on your own site and optimise them. Tesco provides a good example of this, by managing to take control of nine of the results on the first page of a Google search on its brand name. This may be possible for large companies like Tesco and Sky, but what if you can't dominate the search results in this way? Another tip is to create search results from other websites. The article mentions Squidoo and Hubpages for this, but here are some other suggestions:
  • LinkedIn - The business networking website recently added company profile pages, and this is now an excellent way of ranking for your brand name.
  • YouTube - Another excellent method of promoting your brand in Google, especially as the introduction of universal search, will give video search results more prominence.
  • Facebook / MySpace - As with LinkedIn, companies can create profile pages on these sites which are indexed by the search engines.
  • Wikipedia- In the case of Tesco, the only search result that wasn't owned by the supermarket giant came from the online encyclopedia. Not every brand will be able to get on Wikipedia, but it's certainly worth trying.
  • Twitter - The micro blogging site is also worth getting involved in, especially for publishers. These pages can also rank well: E-consultancy's Twitter page is the tenth Google result for our brand name.

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