Negative publicity or affiliates may end up eating a large amount of the search results for your brand name.
If it is negative publicity of course you should take the message on board, but what do you do if you solved the problem and the bad search results will not go away? Directly contacting them and showing the problem has been fixed might help. Maybe even offering to donate to a charity may help, but if the person will not work with you it is going to be up to you to create other content that can be deemed more authoritative than theirs.
If the affiliates add a lot of value of course them listing below you for your brand name is no big deal, but what happens if they are thin affiliate pages that add no value, or worse yet try to use your brand to push people to a competing product with a higher payout? Is there another way to add search results to the index that will not cost you a percent of your sales?
The first thing you want to do is ensure you are leveraging your authority and brand correctly. Are you well known? Has your company been covered in the press? If so do not be afraid to point a few links at the good press pages.
Extend Press Coverage:
Look for press coverage in search results for your brand name. Also look through your backlink data. You may be able to talk to people who were mildly interested and get them to do more in depth coverage of your goods and services.
If you have a strong enough brand you may be able to list your company in the Wikipedia. If your stuff is legitimate I typically recommend creating a whole page instead of just adding a link because I believe most pages have to go through a deletion cycle vote before they are deleted. Make sure to reference media coverage in your Wikipedia article.
Creating your own topic page in Wikipedia also makes it easier for it to rank for your brand since the whole page is focused on your brand, instead of your site just being mentioned in a link.
Keep in mind that if you are trying to block out negative comments and have not changed the business model or issues that caused them you may be giving people another avenue to criticize your business in the Wikipedia page about your company.
The earlier you get into Wikipedia the lower the bar will be. As they create more content, get more citations, and have logarithmically growing costs it will be harder to get into the Wikipedia.
Set up pages on sites like MySpace.com, Facebook, and Twitter. Sites like Knowem make it easy to register your brand on many sites.
Press releases typically do not pack a huge punch in the search results, but they do well in news search, and if you point a few links at them it could also help them outrank other pages that are not on high trust websites.
Good press releases can also lead to other media coverage.
Interviews and Writing Articles:
Just like press releases it is another easy way to create content that is highly relevant to your brand or name. Make sure you link at it to help build it up. If you write for a somewhat well known site, and especially if you can make something a bit controversial or appealing to a link authority rich group that page should pack a punch in the SERPs.
If you interview someone else that is popular then others may heavily link at it. Add a few more links and it may be able to rank.
Blog for Others:
You have to build up some amount of trust before you can do self promotional stuff on other sites, but if you are creative with how you write you can keep a page from sounding too self promo while virtually guaranteeing it will rank by including the right words in it and placing it on an authority site.
Sites like Lockergnome have guest authors write some of their channels.
Sell software? Do you have a profile page on Download.com, HotScripts, or sites like ZDnet.com? If not why not?
Give away software? Are you listed on all the software AND freeware directories?
Highly Relevant Second Page on Your Site:
Create an about page that you link to sitewide. When you write content and submit it to other sites point some of the signature links and whatnot back at your about page instead of at the home page. Do this to try to get a double listing.
You probably do not need to create many of them for this purpose, but maybe you can create a subdomain for part of your business and then link it up.
Create sites for different regions. Maybe create sites for different user groups. One domain for consumers, one for distributors, etc.
MSN's Small Business Directory allows you to create a company profile page. Make sure you point a few links at it and it should rank for semi competitive phrases.
There are also other types of profile pages that may require deeper thinking to find and then deep thinking to debate the consequences of. Creative Commons has a directory with profile pages.
Rent a Pre sell Page:
Rent a whole page advertisement on someone else's site.
Create forum user names and make a few posts. Link back to that profile to build up its authority.
There are many ways to leverage big ideas that are not your own. For example, what is to stop you from creating a Wordpress theme that is named after your company.
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