Online Reputation Management

Like Pig Fat Slinging Mud

By DOM Team| 4 Min Read | October 7, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, my dear, lovely wife and I, embarked on a little trip down the road to our local Hungarian eatery. Although, having spent a bit of time in Hungary in the run up to the Kosovo crisis, the idea of dabbling in their cuisine for fun seems a bit off. Not that I’m being disparaging to Hungarians, but any nation that has as many uses for pig fat as they do is either very inventive or lacks imagination. Great big blocks of the stuff they’d have just hanging about the place for slicing off and slipping into your pasta or dubbing your boots in the winter.

Pig fat – great for indoor or outdoor use!

Anyway, me and Steph were sat at our table sipping our sodas, when the owner – some ancient native Magyar woman who probably arrived some time after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution – waltzed over and started gently stroking Steph’s cheek with the knuckle of her right index finger proclaiming what a pretty thing she was. Perhaps a touch odd, but nothing too bizarre considering Hungarian women aren’t known for their reticence and the influence of America may have emboldened her in not being backward at coming forward.

In the same breath she turned her still crooked finger towards me and asked Steph, “Who’s this, your father?”

I tried to smile politely, but soon turned quite a shade of pink ham as Steph let her know that I was in fact her husband.

The look on the Gypsy interrogator’s face will forever be burned into my mind’s eye as an expression of disbelief on the first take made way for revulsion on the second. You could tell that her general busy-bodyness was getting the better of her as confusion began to reign and meddle with her mind as she obviously pondered getting out while the going was bad or really digging herself into some cesspit.

But, she did what every Hungarian woman I’ve ever met would do and felt the need to comment just a little bit more. In order to qualify what in her mind must’ve been the type of relationship she felt ought to see me put on some sex offenders’ register, she managed to pluck up enough fake decency to say that it didn’t really matter so long as I looked after her.

The day had already beaten me. This could wound no more.

And as we discuss the dirty-old-man-with-woman-young-enough-to-be-his-daughter dynamic, thoughts move swiftly to John McCain. Or, to be more precise, the Obama campaign’s launching of their own mud pie yesterday – the Keating 5 Scandal Video and accompanying mini-site.

In microcosm, this is a perfect example of how to launch something like this online.

Essentially, from a search perspective, they’ve done a simple one, two. Not only is it nearly impossible to start ranking for organic searches as soon as you launch a site, it’s even trickier if you don’t know exactly when, if ever, you intend to launch said site. (However, they do rank #1 for the term ‘keating economics’ which is the keyword phrase contained within the URL.)

So, let’s look at what happens when you do a search for Keating five in Google.

First up after the news results, you’ll see the Wikipedia entry which somebody has edited to add a link and explanation to another Wikipedia entry about Keating economics – the name of the Website being – that in turn talks about the scandal and links to the site itself.

The Obama campaign has also bought PPC keywords related to the scandal, which are going to be dirt cheap considering they’re the only ones bidding on them. Take a look at the search link again and you’ll see the sponsored link sat atop everything else.

So there you go, you’ve cornered the top informational organic query by proxy while you’re paying a pittance for your PPC.

Easy. Although, it might be an idea for somebody to explain to McCain’s campaign that a bit of online reputation management wouldn’t go amiss. You know, a counter video with your own take on events and buying the same keywords to show up in the sponsored results and adding a paragraph or two on Wikipedia.

Even if it is just a video of Sarah Palin winking. The base should love it.

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