Well, Google SearchWiki is still causing storms in the IM world about what it may or may not mean, or be intended to do. WebPRo News have a lengthy article on reputation management which goes into some of the issues being raised. The comments make interesting reading to see the differing views of SEO people, and it is worth watching the video.

Reputation management in the olde days meant using a press clipping service or similar to find all the newpaper column inches about your company and brands. And using press releases to cope with the bad press – crisis management, and also to get good news out there about your company.

The Internet has given us a huge variety of tools to track the many instances when our company or business gets a mention, be it good or bad. You do need to keep a weather eye on what is being said about your company and products, and one of your New Year’s resolutions should be to set up Google alerts for all the major keywords and phrases which might be used when someone is having a pop at your business, or saying something nice.

For those with an axe to grind, it is worth taking measured action ie don’t feed the fire, but you do need to try to damp down the flames. There are also people out there who have great things to say, and you should make sure you are aware of these potentially loyal customers, show them you have noticed, and reward them. This might just be “Hey, thanks for such a great review” in a comment on a blog, or you may find that there is the potential for a JV or similar.

So, set up your Google alerts today, and remember that great reputation management starts with excellent customer service, not web based tools!

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