The Washington Post has an article on online reputation management which describes using SEO techniques to push bad content down in the search results.

Forbes had a similar article a while back.

Charging anything from a few dollars to thousands of dollars a month, companies such as International Reputation Management, Naymz and ReputationDefender don’t promise to erase the bad stuff on the Web. But they do assure their clients of better results on an Internet search, pushing the positive items up on the first page and burying the others deep.

They also explain how these companies continue to collect “from a few dollars to thousands of dollars a month” and can continue to collect ongoing revenue based on this business model:

Still, Google is continually refining its search methods, which means that today’s fix may not work tomorrow.

Some of the sample techniques described included creating MySpace pages, Youtube accounts, custom websites with good SEO-freidnly domain names using multiple different TLDs, creating backlinks to these different sites, or asking the person who had written something negative to take it down.

Google’s response to doing some of these techniques was “if you use spammy and manipulative techniques to get this positive content to rank highly, we may take action on it.”

Interested to see how much these comapnies are charging in addition to the recurring fees?

So Fertik’s team, which works from a Silicon Valley office, offered VanderPal its premium service, using various techniques to promote VanderPal’s own site and suppress the blogs. That service now starts at $10,000.

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