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The silent Google News update & your reputation online for your business

On the other side of the spectrum – the negative side – the future is quite different. It is a given in 2015 that Google is the most important factor in terms of online image. One negative story, published by a respected news organization with a solid Google presence, could cost you. In certain instances it could be devastating.

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What are the implications of the new Google update on “News” items and company statements affect things?

Did you not be aware of this change? Not surprising, according to Neil McLeod, Senior Consultant at the agency for reputation management PHA Media because Google did not want to make a public announcement about the change. The change was covered by journalists at Reuters and whose story has been able to bring it to the forefront.

The latest algorithm change means that announcements made by companies could be placed at the on top of the list in the section ‘News’.

If the company releases an announcement on a pertinent news story through an announcement A search of the company’s name could see that press release become the first thing located in the ‘News’.

In the past, this wouldn’t have been the case – you could have seen independent news about the company at the on the top of the list while searching.

The ‘News’ tab is a crucial filter for Google because it offers a high level of credibility and usually is the first to be notified of the latest news and news items. This is an important change. Any company which has landed at the in the top spot on the news page due to negative factors will be able to testify about how brutal it could be.

Google explained it this way:

“The goal of search is to get users the right answer at any one time as quickly as possible — that may mean returning an article from an established publisher.

Reuters said that analysts believe that it could cost news publishers users on the internet, as well as deceiving users.

How can it be used for an Online reputation management?

Another news outlet identified a few instances in which this might be beneficial.

It provides an example of the Franco-Dutch SIM card manufacturer Gemalto who in February confirmed that it was the likely victims of hackers. In fact, Apple seems to have profited by putting a promotional website link for the popular gadget taking the top spot in its news page. Both have evident advantages in managing reputation and B2B and B2C PR benefits.

Being able to gain the upper hand in the management of reputation is usually crucial. Allowing the public and journalists to take in the official version of events from a company before being confused by an aggressive, possibly incorrect version. This is typically a component of a plan. A company that has its message at the top of Google news is, therefore, an effective tool to use.

Josh Schwartz, Chief Data Scientist at Chartbeat He said that it is likely that companies will employ search engine optimization techniques to improve their rankings in the news listing. The new system could confuse users and steer them to content for public relations, and away from important news stories.

This isn’t the most effective online reputation management solution.

People, or businesses as a whole should not be taken by a false sense assurance that this is the panacea to their problems with online reputation management. Although the change will allow press releases that are issued through news wire services to be placed in the top spot within the News section this top spot won’t remain for long.

Furthermore, the effect the press release may or might not have on the crucial barometer, page one of Google is yet to be determined. This is the key for the reason that generally, press releases that are issued using paid-for services do not tend to be highly ranked on Google.

It is important to note that the credibility of the statement itself is equally important in the subsequent work being conducted. If the information warrants an article by itself that is worthy of being reported by a reputable news publication, it could usually be beneficial even if it does require that the story be continued beyond the initial story.

The main information is that…

The new policy does not eliminate the necessity of deploying skilled PR professionals (and actually a solid legal strategy) in the event of an emergency or a reputation management problem to be addressed.

The same rules apply to Right to Be Forgotten, that was enacted after an European court ruling that resulted in the introduction of an application procedure to request that articles be taken off the internet. We predicted that this wouldn’t be the panacea to managing reputation, and it’s been the situation.

It’s an illusion of security to believe that the most recent Google update is a security net. That would be completely wrong.

It is essential to be aware of these 10 key elements in this digital age:

1. Remember that every magazine worth its weight has an online presence , and you can’t really believing that a story will not appear online.

2. If you are aware of an issue with your reputation management take the necessary steps to take action at the root and fix any misdeeds in the shortest time possible. Don’t attempt to cover it up as it can make the situation even more serious.

3. If you are in a position where you have to issue retrospective statements, you need to consider whether you had the ability to address it in a proactive manner. It is likely not and if this is the case, then it is a matter that requires to be addressed.

4. Are you able to manage this internally or do you have to consider partnering with a third party?

5. Are you implementing your online strategy on all platforms relevant? Your reputation team must collaborate with digital experts.

6. Take action quickly and decisively Take action quickly and decisively – a single story on the internet can quickly grow into hundreds.

7. If you’re making statements, take note of the details that must be included. The tone and the language along with the specifics, represent of your company.

8. Reputation management for online sites is not something to be dealt with in isolation – what is your plan of action beyond the necessity of dealing immediately with the issue.

9. Create a great website There’s no excuse to not have a great one. First impressions matter, and journalists, and people looking for information about a company on the news will judge much on the credibility of the website.

10. Make sure there’s an area on your site that allows users to respond to corporate announcements. This can be helpful to Google.

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