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Completion in advertising is healthy, but when your competition is straight up ranking on the first page of the search results for your name, then you are in trouble. In most cases no one wants their competition to rank for their own brand names. I’m not talking about products like “steel microwave”, I’m talking about real personal names and real business brands. I’m also referring to organic search listings and not just pay per click listings.

There are plenty of reasons why the competition might be ranking for your personal or company name, but most of the time they aren’t good. Here are just a few of the reasons we’ve seen lately.

  • They want to steal your search traffic
  • Using negative domain names to rank
  • Defamation and slander against your company
  • Negative reviews and articles
  • Related products or services

So the next question is what can you do to stop this from happening?

Reputation management has been a big deal lately. Instead of trying to deal with customer service issues, complaints and negative press, companies are now outsourcing the ORM process. The same tactics that work in ORM will also work for protecting your brand from the competition and organic rankings.

Here are some methods that will work well for most companies. You won’t be able to remove your competition from the search results, but you can suppress them by making your content rank above them. The goal here is to push your competitor down the rankings until they are off the main page.

Suppressing Negative RankingsCreate multiple social profiles – Using sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook are great ways to create multiple first page rankings. Since these social sites are already huge, it doesn’t take much to get them to rank on the main page. Create profiles for both your personal and business names and when possible, link back to your profiles so they get more link juice flowing to them.

Focus on your About Me page – Most people think that their “About Me” page is too self serving. It’s actually one of the most read pages on your blog and it’s also a great way to create content that ranks well in the search results.

Buy domains and create new sites – There is no reason why you should be limited to just one site. You can create a wide range of sites about your personal or company names. These sites can be anything from extra content, additional information for your customers or a web site just about you. No matter what it is, make sure it’s quality content that will rank well for your end brand name.

Guest blog on other big sites – Not everyone has an arsenal of powerful web sites and blogs than will rank well in the search results. For times like these you can guest blog on other sites. This will allow you to be setup with an author bio and sometimes even your own page. It’s much easier to rank a high profile site in the search results that you are guest blogging for versus creating a new site from scratch.

The next time you are going through the search results and see your competition sitting there on the main page, be sure to reflect back to this list and start pushing them down in the rankings by using these methods.

Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at BloggingTips.com and ZacJohnson.com, as well as the author of Blogging Tips: Confessions of a Six Figure Blogger on Amazon.com.

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