Reputation Management vs. Search Engine Sabotage

An article in yesterday’s Washington Post follows the online reputation misfortunes of Sue Scheff, a consultant to parents of troubled teenagers. Scheff found that Google searches on her name produced many negative results from a disgruntled customer, and she didn’t know how to fight back. Scheff hired an online reputation management company to fix the problem.

Online reputation management has been around for some time. And with the advent of Web 2.0 technologies and social media, the opportunity for feedback itself outranking a website is greater than ever. Companies, and even individuals, are finding it more important than ever to outrank (or even push out for that matter) the negative results about them in the search rankings.

Pilgrim’s Picks for July 3

You can tell we’re in the middle of the weekend and a holiday as there’s not much news to report. Still, we dug deep to bring you these additional items:

Does Europe Have the Power to Kill the Google/DoubleClick Deal?

I must admit, international anti-trust law is not one of my strengths, so perhaps someone could explain to me how the merger of two U.S. companies could come under the rule of the European Union?

BEUC, backed by consumers in Germany, Italy and Spain, has urged the competition commissioner Neelie Kroes to investigate the deal, arguing in a letter seen by the Guardian that it “may have a negative impact on the selection of online content available to consumers and on privacy”. The US federal trade commission is already investigating on similar grounds.

If Ms Kroes finds that the deal is in breach of European regulations, she could quash the takeover or force Google to divest large parts of its business.

With Social Media Everyone’s a Critic

Over at CNET, Michael Kanellos takes a light-hearted look at the proliferation of consumer review web sites. Focusing mostly on Yelp.com and TripAdvisor, Kanellos explains how it can be difficult to find useful information when reviews are littered with two extremes – nitpickers and evangelists.

The best line? Kanellos succinctly describes how the impact of social media on reviews…

It’s like meeting the global community, and finding out they are all my mother.

:-)

Google Starts Giving Away FeedBurner Upgrades

I’m sure many Feedburner users felt butterflies when they learned that Google had acquired the company. What would happen to the service we so dearly love, would we get to keep the features we wanted, would we have to put up with AdWords in order to maintain a free service?

Well, the first changes are here and they’re all great news for FeedBurner users. First up, you can now get FeedBurner’s MyBrand for free! If you’re not familiar, MyBrand is the service that lets you use your own domain name for your RSS feed URL, instead of Feedburner’s. It used to cost a few dollars each month, and now it’s free for everyone! The sign-up process is a little archaic – send an email and request the upgrade, but still, it’s free!

The Next Ad Frontier: Mobile Video?

With the launch of the iPhone last week, Telephia’s Mobile Video Report is well timed to say the least. The study reminds future and current mobile marketers of the potentials of mobile video, making it the next appealing ad frontier.

Based on Telephia’s 35,000 mobile subscribers and 1200 mobile video users in the US, the study found that mobile video revenues in Q1 2007 increased 198% over the previous year, and that mobile video users had the best ad recall of any mobile data user group.

Measurement 

2006

2007

Growth

Mobile Video Quarterly Revenues (in millions)

$49

$146

198%

# of Subscribers (in millions)

3.3

8.4

155%

Penetration (as proportion of all mobile subscribers)

1.6% 

3.6%

 

Source: Telephia Mobile Video Report, June 2007

Yahoo: New Vision, New Ads

Yahoo has two big news items garnering publicity today: an article about Susan Decker in the New York Times and a new ad format.

“Can She Turn Yahoo Into, Well, Google?”
The New York Times (via) starts off asking the right question: can recently-promoted Yahoo president Sue Decker change Yahoo fortune’s for the better? Well, if finally getting a turn in the Sunday Times counts, then perhaps. Or if her resume counts for something, yes.

However, the reporter didn’t actually interview Decker (she declined), so the article doesn’t provide a ton of new information. If you need to know more about the “Can They Save Yahoo?” debate and a laundry list of Decker’s successes and shortcomings within and outside of Yahoo (along with several concerned parties reminding us that she has little operations experience). Still, if you’ve not been apprised of Yahoo’s situation and the goals of their new leadership, it’s a good place to start.