RepuTrack™ - Online Reputation Monitoring
Categories: Opinion, 453 wordsSend feedback • Permalink
Hat tip to PC World for letting us all know about Google's new tool that helps us take action against online reputation attacks. Curious mostly about the implications for removing objectionable content, we decided to check it out. In the post, we see a number of mentions on persistent issues facing brands who have online reputational issues - the post states:
The new application, called Me on the Web, is aimed at people interested in tracking online references to their names and to other personal information that may be slanderous, inappropriate or incorrect.
The post goes on to state that in order to take advantage of this new reputation managing tool, you need to have a Google Account, and that the Me tool is located in the Google Accounts dashboard section.
We visited the site and found the link that allows one to manage their online profile - just as the article suggests, it's called "Me on the Web."
The links under this section are as follows:
Set up search alerts for your data
How to manage your online identity
How to remove unwanted content
About Me on the Web
We took a moment to visit the "How to remove unwanted content" link and quickly found a familiar reporting mechanism called Remove a page or site from Google's search results. I mention it's familiar because we have attempted to use this tool in the past to deal with defamatory/libelous online blog posts on Blogger and found that it got us nowhere.
With this being branded as a "NEW" offering, we thought to try again anyway. Because we had been through this before, we skipped all the conditions for removal and jumped straight to the removal tool/form, and we were presented with several options specifying the nature of our request.
When trying to select the option which states: I have found content that may be defamation/libel, Google emphasizes rather clearly in bold text:
We do not remove allegedly defamatory content from www.google.com or any other U.S. dot com domains.
Contrary to what the PC World article suggests as far as Me on the Web helping with defamation and libelous posts, the above bolded quote clearly states that without a legal basis (i.e. copyright violation), Google's objectionable content removal tool does nothing to help. In fact the form doesn't allow you to proceed any further unless there is a legal basis for content removal.
So it seems more same-ole same-ole with regard to Google tackling content removal, and with the majority of reputation harming content being defamation and libel, unfortunately Google doesn't appear to be doing anything new, much less tackling online reputation management with any teeth.
Categories: Opinion, 140 wordsSend feedback • Permalink
However using Facebook's search function to find people just isn't that easy. Privacy filters aside, Facebook's search function has serious quips that seem to choke up far too often, and I find it much easier to just find people using "FirstName LastName on Facebook" searching with Google.
These are my own observations of course, and my experiences may be different from others, but it appears more like putting the carriage before the horse with respect to a brand new "what's happening" feed feature when the current search feature on the site underwhelms, and appears to require the outside assistance of Google to get the job done properly.
Categories: Opinion, 385 wordsSend feedback • Permalink
This post comes from a series of observations which seem to indicate a movement towards one-on-one, more personalized Web experiences that may not be consumed as intended by your customers and new audiences. We've seen it first-hand
monitoring marketing campaigns running on Facebook and/or Twitter, which were meant to draw in crowds, new or loyal, young and old, to witness a brands online experience, having the opposite effect than was originally intended.
How does this happen? We've caught feedback rumblings of nagging login screens when trying to view fan/contest/event announcement pages, buggy interfaces, and/or pages which aren't loading content properly due to UI changes, or device/software limitations. Is this a campaign execution issue, or are we witnessing a chink in the business models of social media platforms, who may themselves be unsure, unsettled or divided on how to monetize their site and what they eventually want to be when they grow up?
Whatever the reasons, the result can be one that makes a shambles of your best laid plans, as everything may appear to be humming along nicely on the 3rd-party platforms, and on the screens and apps of in-house staff and managers, but are not producing anywhere near the kind of joyous and supportive bridge crossing experience for new audiences, whose first impressions of the company's online endeavours is one associated to annoying, frustrating and temperamental experiences.
This traverses to brand risks as well, which we touched on with our post on reputation blind spots. In another example, we've fielded concerned calls regarding botched plans which missed key elements of damaging and well orchestrated smear campaigns because their choice of road warrior device, used to keep a pulse on social media developments, was found unexpectedly, to be ill-equipped in loading the "full Web" experience needed to do their job properly.
We may have arrived at a point where the familiarity of a well-pitched software and/or tool, with their numerous conveniences and promises of greatness, have instead distorted our view of an online social reality that's taken us several steps back, to an era of software incompatibility, walled gardens, and an online bandwagon riding experience that may be well-lauded by cliques, peers and friends, but is exclusive and leaves passerby's and new business prospects feeling underwhelmed.
Categories: Opinion, 573 wordsSend feedback • Permalink
Several months ago, we received a call from a client asking us if we had any advice to offer on a matter. It seemed a customer had contacted them explaining how they had "Googled" their brand name, and in the top 5 results, they had stumbled on an incident which alleged a serious issue with their company. They were already aware of the incident and were in the process
of rectifying the issue, but when they had tried to repeat the search themselves using Google, they were not seeing any such incident appearing in their search results. This was one of the first in a series of discussions with numerous clients on the topic of personalized search.
The idea of geographically matching relevance to a users search criteria is not new. However the application, uses and the appearance of geographically restricted content has started to quickly surface as the race to deliver the most locally relevant and real-time results heats up. Google is still King as far as vanity searches go, and while the impact of personalized searches is shifting our understanding of relevance, it is also an emerging reputation blind spot that should not go unnoticed or ignored.
Content providers and search portals algorithmically restricting content based on geography is one aspect of the way the Web delivers content that is unique to each one of us. Every time you log in to a social networking platform or check your Gmail account, information is being collected that relationally ties your person, alias or online identity to online uses, visits, shares and interactions.
The combination of geographically restricted content can certainly be made more meaningful when an ad pops-up about our favourite Pub, which all too coincidentally is a name that's been dropped when conversing with friends via email about places to meet up after work.
Going back to the example with the client who couldn't replicate the same Google results their customer had contacted them about, if you run into a similar issue with a potential employer, your boss, a supplier, partner or client asking for an explanation on an incident you can't seem to locate in your own searches, then you might well be experiencing first-hand the reputation blind spots of personalized search.
If you use Gmail, log-out, clear your cache, and repeat the same search to compare previous search results you got when you searched while being logged-in. This seems to correct the situation most of the time as far as performing a Google vanity search. Broader searches on varying social media platforms may require a little more browser tweaking and heightened awareness of privacy filters and settings to override algorithmically edited and geographically restricted content.
One approach we have been using to counter the issue of personalized search blind-siding company's and brands not seeing the same results others are seeing is a feature in our RepuTrack toolset called the SEO View.
The SEO View is one of six views offered through RepuTrack, providing a summary view of incidents scored by tonality, geography, source type, and numerical rank (top 100), and this works to inform subscribers on the likelihood of negative incidents appearing in the first 10 pages of results when someone performs a vanity search in any of the widely used search engines.
The video below is just a little over 7 minutes in length, and shows the SEO View feature in action (makes it's appearance at 5:35 of the video):
Categories: Opinion, 565 words4 feedbacks • Permalink
Did you ever have that idea? You know, the one that started off as a random thought that sounded so perfect when it rattled around in your head? How the idea got parsed, shared or acted on are another thing altogether, and this, is where the inspiration to this post may be found. Namely, the inaction that follows many brilliant ideas that one could claim as there own.
Except for the fact that someone else acts on that idea and will gladly take all the credit for you.
One of the great things about social media (and there are many) is how opinion and insight become a part of the collective conscience. And the amazing way organic thoughts and opinions are co-opted rather simply through the function of sharing, and facilitated through the break-neck speed of syndication. One of the best reasons to monitor social media has to do with the way knowledge transfer and shifts in cultural awareness can potentially translate into new and marketable insights and technologies.
There are many everyday examples of social media sites that have taken those thoughts and ideas shared by the crowds to the next level. In the category of pro-consumer resources, there are, to name just a few, review/testimonial sites, fan sites and hack sites (in the context of a piece or body of work that produces something that is desired, wanted or needed by a community of users). The "hack" phenomenon is something that continues to fascinate because it gives us all a peek into both, the resourceful nature of consumers, and the democratized tendencies of social media.
So should it stand to reason that if a consumer needs to take their own initiative to make consumer goods function or work better, that this happens because companies aren't listening to what people actually want or need? Perhaps, and I think there is some truth in the details, especially when looking at the example of fan-sites and how they are able to capture the imagination and creativity of online audiences in ways that the companies who produce the goods being hacked never dreamed possible. In such situations, there is an inclination and maybe an overall tendency to overlook or shut out the ideas that take shape and form online.
It also stands to be reasoned that not all thoughts and opinions are going to be the next best social media idea, however neither should all of it be dismissed at wholesale. The value of having a trend, industry or brand monitoring strategy in place is found in gauging those opinions - it follows that the listening, teasing out of promise and meaning is where the best social media ideas are born. I've seen it go both ways, and more than I'd care to share in the direction of corporate blinkers and muted hearing coming in the way of something great.
Don't get caught looking away, otherwise what happens is the same deflated feeling that overcomes someone when they have a "hey, that was my idea" moment. Except when it happens with a social media idea that could have been born with a little investment in monitoring online thoughts or opinions, it's an alarm of lost opportunity that rings around the world. And you can bet that everyone online that you wouldn't want to see or hear it will be paying attention and taking notes.