May 30, 2023

Class A Moron – Negative Publicity in 30 Rock

Posted on April 13, 2008 by in Business, sales, SEO

A recent episode of 30 Rock featured a Google reference — Jack being called a Class A Moron on NY Post’s Page 6, and consequently, he was showing up #1 in Google for the search phrase “class A moron”. class a moron Page 6 on 30 RockDuring the course of providing SEO service in NYC I’ve had the dubious challenge of dealing with negative publicity. Typically, a company or person will encounter some bad press, angry bloggers or forum posts in consumer sites like the — and this negative publicity appears high in the search engine result pages for my client’s brands or personal names. Since we are unable to control what other people write, I advise a three pronged approach for dealing with this sort of internet publicity:

  • Technical – doing things to web pages to effectively move the negative publicity off the first pages of search engines like Google.
  • Business – If the problem is not a single lone angry blogger, but a pervasive problem, I advise my clients to consider altering the business practices which are generating the negative publicity.
  • Direct Social or legal pressures – Contact the bloggers or people who are talking smack. Start from a point of win win — in a nice way, try to negotiate with them to take down the negative pages. If that doesn’t work, consider talking with a lawyer to see if you can put pressure on them that way.

As a search engine optimisation professional, I can only really help with the first bullet point, which I’ll discuss below a bit, and I suggest the other strategies, which fall outside my realm of expertise and within the professions of public relations, business procedures & strategy or law. The strategy of pushing negative publicity off the front page of Google involves placing positive web pages above the offending posts on the Google result pages for the predefined phrases. Presumably, your site will already appear above the negative publicity when people are searching your brand — if not…you need more SEO services and call me ASAP. 🙂

Beyond that, essentially, the strategy involves the use of publishing new content that is optimised for the target phrases. We publish the new content on sub-domains, job postings and 3rd party sites like wikipedia. Job sites are great because they often score high in Google and it’s an obvious place to publish a brand. Sub-domains are still treated as separate web sites by google. You need to publish unique content on the sub-domains because Google has at least two or three ways of filtering duplicate content out of the index. Here is an example of a client who dealt with negative publicity by this strategy . Notice how the rippoff report is way down off the first page of Google when searching their brand. This wasn’t always the case — it used to appear directly under their site, so when their potential clients were searching their brand, they saw it. Of course, the devil is in the details and this is only the basic strategies. I hope this helps people who are getting hit with negative publicity. If your firm is really under attack, however, consider contacting somebody like me to manage the process.

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