Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on January 20th, 2012

5 SEO Reputation Management Techniques That Will Make You Smell Like Roses

In today’s social-savvy society, the phrase “your reputation proceeds you” is limited to the few and famous no longer, as any and every interesting piece of content is instantly spread across the Web within minutes, literally.

If you are making your way up your industry ladder, you will most likely get ‘googled’ hundreds of times throughout your career during meetings, interviews, conventions, speaking engagements, or whenever you so happen to drop a business card on a new contact. You want to come out smelling like roses, don’t you?!

As an immediate representation of your personal or company brand, your professional online reputation can now play a significant factor in all types of business relationships. It is crucial that your company or personal brand’s online reputation management is monitored closely to ensure that “your reputation proceeds you well” from SERPs.

My intention is not to make you paranoid about your online presence, but to show you sound tactics that will help you avoid any embarrassing situations. With a few SEO techniques up your sleeve, you can easily manage your personal or company brand’s reputation. Here are five SEO reputation management techniques that will have you smelling like roses:

#1: SEO Your Biography or Profile

If you or your company appear in media, press, in a blog, at events, or anywhere else online, there’s will be a basic ‘bio’ or ‘profile’ that is practically required by most publishers. This bio or profile is an excellent opportunity to link back to several relevant pages on the Web or on your website. Check out this example of my bio on this blog:

Notice that I have links to my Drupal 6: Search Engine Optimization book on our website as well as at I used relevant, optimized anchor text pointing back to powerful pages that I retain some control over. This will work reasonably well for businesses, but are most effective for individuals – i.e. CEOs, directors, specialists, etc. – because these bios follow you everywhere you go with your professional career.

When you do send these bios out to press, media, etc. be sure to follow up to make sure the links are still included when they publish. Half the time you’ll need to send a remainder email to make sure they do get published.

#2: Personal or Company Brand Blog

You have probably heard this one a hundred times, but it still rings true: blogs naturally attract links and external references, and are great for SEO reputation management. If you are starting a personal or professional blog, try registering “” or “” as your domain name. Once you have the domain optimally registered, you can start using SEO on your blog as well to drive even more traffic to your personal or company brand.

Another method that isn’t being used–but is incredibly successful–is an alternative blog. You can also start an alternative blog that is very similar to your professional or business’ brand, but on a peripheral topic. Let say, for example, you are the CEO for a computer reseller, but you also are a self-proclaimed grill master. Set up and run a “”, or something to that effect.

Yes, this is extra work, but if you post some juicy content and spread it on the Web, your reputation can soar through the virtual roof, and not just as a grilling machine. People in professional niches love to know that you have passions outside of work as well - it makes you more likable.

#3: Use Social Media Profiles Correctly

One of the biggest mistakes many professionals make with social media is that they set up dozens (or hundreds) of profiles across the Web, post as many links to them as possible and then let it sit and try to climb to the top of the rankings. Social media takes consistency, engaging content, and effective strategies for profiles to work for you instead of against you.

Don’t just dive into as may social media sites as you can. Choose wisely and concentrate on optimizing your presence on the select few. I recommend the big 5:






From my experience with social media, it is best participate heavily with a few sites and avoid spreading yourself too thin. Spend time engaging and build relationships rather than requesting external links–the links will come naturally. Upload photos and sets, make friends, get people to comment on your photos, statuses, and articles. This type of activity will show that you are passionate and active about the community, and not just there to belly flop into the social media pool. Consistent and authentic participation is key.

Here are some basic social media SEO tips:

• Name your profile correctly: Don’t use nicknames, pseudonyms, or abbreviations. Use your full first and last name (or brand name) either as a single word or phrase with hyphens.

• Finish your profile: too many professionals get as far as the ‘about me’ section and stop. You need to completely finish whatever profile you are working on. This includes a photo, bio, videos, links, topics, and tags.

• Use your social address book to your advantage: Friend/follow/contact all your friends across all the network platforms you are both on, and friend their friends that are relevant to you. Make new contacts that you see are there for the same reasons, conversations, and commitments. Add comments, like, or retweet your stable of colleagues and you should build up quite a following yourself.

If you invest some time and attention to your social profiles, you will find the work is worth it when your profile links pop up in the SERPs for your brand or personal name.

#4: Speaking and Donating

Now that you’ve got social profiles, bios, and blogs rocking the Web, now its time to spread them out. There are some very effective ways to get your profile/bio/blog propagate to a relevant audience – speaking at events, conferences, and conventions is a great way to promote yourself or your brand and will almost guarantee quality links for your bio.

Donating to non-profits or worthy causes is another excellent way to get some great karma for your brand while spreading your bio out on the Web. And it doesn’t need to be tons of money, a small amount will carry some clout from web pages, press releases and media articles that will boost your links.

#5: Link Building

Not all links are created equal. There may be some source material online that you want to link to, but it isn’t of the highest most quality. With these links, you should point them to your social profiles rather than your website or other controlled domain. That way, if the search engine spiders aren’t entirely impressed, your website doesn’t take a rankings hit.

Social profiles bring a certain amount of authority with them already, so a few links to weaker-than-usual pieces of content will not affect a profile ranking significantly. I also would like to mention that you should never buy links. This is a huge no-no with the search engines and doesn’t bode well in white hat SEO circles either.

Online brand reputation can have a significant influence on your real life professional reputation. In this social-savvy world, you’re reputation will always proceed you. If you manage your personal or business brand well online, you should avoid any embarrassing pitfalls in your professional life.

What do you do for SEO reputation management?

Thank You For Reading!