Businesses engaging in search engine marketing may run into the problem of negative listings appearing in Google searches.

While it is impossible to make such negative results – like customer complaints about certain products and services – completely disappear, companies can engage a number of tactics and strategies to increase positive listings on the first page of Google results, E-consultancy researcher Graham Charlton said in a recent blog posting.

Businesses can do this through six different methods put forward by Mr Charlton. Firstly, companies should monitor the performance of their brand online by setting up Google Alerts that highlight any mentions of the brand in blogs, news articles and message board postings. This will allow the company to move quickly to resolve issues.

Setting up a company blog can also work wonders for Google rankings, as well providing another channel through which to publish positive content about the business. The blog can also act as a medium for obtaining feedback and fielding complaints from customers.

Another way in which to create more positive listings is to promote brands on social networking websites such as Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, as well as creating Wikipedia listings, Mr Charlton said. Meanwhile, sharing images on photo website Flickr can help, as the site tends to perform well on Google.

Companies would also do well to create sub-domains, such as those for careers information and corporate profiles, to gain extra listings on Google. And creating top quality, useful content can go far in pushing the website to the top of Google rankings and encouraging others to link to the site.

According to WebProNews, managing online reputations is critical as failing to do so could result in a significant proportion of the money and time spent on boosting search engine optimisation going to waste.

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