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Digital Reputation Management for a Governor Candidate

posted Feb 13, 2015, 11:56 AM by Bogdan Lytvyn   [ updated Feb 13, 2015, 11:57 AM ]

I begin with introducing my client – Akinwunmi Ambode, a governor candidate for Lagos state, Nigeria. The candidate has been planning to roll out massive campaign and wanted me to   move the 4 ‘negative’ publications off the TOP-10 Google results page for his persona-related search terms. 


The background 

While major sources of negative information are reviews, negative press, anti-sites, the negative press is the most acute jeopardy to a client’s reputation. Negative press comes normally from well established media sites that are ranked relatively high with Google. Most effective way to address the negatives press is: 

  1. Semantic search entities (knowledge graphs) and
  2. Promotion of person-related quality content.

 

Strategy

Since all negative publications essentially were news sites’ articles, I took a simple view: I need to have Google categorize those posts under News section instead of bringing them to the Main search results page. Also, since negative post shall go, I need some good ones to take their place.

 

Approach 

I have created a virtual entity ‘Akinwunmi Ambode’ and amassed as many facts about him as possible. Thereto, I have created a Freebase entity as well as Wiki Data entity. I have connected all fact regarding the Client together – citations, image, Wikipedia page, Wikipedia categories, other related entities, sites, accounts and many more. Some of them existed, but the majority I have created from scratch. So I created a knowledge graph. 

Google wisdom part. Google has been dramatically changing the concept of search lately including through introducing knowledge graphs. A knowledge graph is how Google goes beyond simple keywords matching and help know that a certain thing (entity) exists, summarize all relevant fact about it as well as introduce related entities. 

In addition to that, I have marked the client’s website content with structured data to make a two way connection between Freebase / Wiki Data and the site. 

I predicted that on the side of reputation management it would have immense importance. Once indexed by Google, this would change the way search results page looks – the Google will know that Akinwunmi Ambode is not a keyword (like for example ‘used cars Nigeria’) – it’s an entity that has a relevant web presence, etc sites, personal accounts, social media, images, news, etc. And Google will present search results accordingly. 

So, all news featuring Akinwunmi Ambode will be removed from the first page. Instead, they’ll go under news section. Instead, all relevant personal sites, Wikipedia pages, social accounts and blogs will show up on the first page. Needless to say, it’s a corner stone of the web reputation management that gives the straight way to achieving the client’s goals. 

Secondly, the country’s authority sites, including encyclopedia / reference resources, news hubs, etc. have become another target of the reputation management. I have found the authority resources in each category and have a planned how to deal with them to 1) push forward to inclusion, 2) change / amend existing content, 3) group content under tags. 


Results

Ta da. 4 negative links gone. They didn’t even migrate to News section. They just became too time sensitive, and therefore irrelevant to the Top-10search results. Knowledge graph appeared on page. And the News section which included 68 entries in the beginning of the project, now counts around 1000 results. 

See the SERP screenshot below or check https://www.google.com/search?q=akinwunmi+ambode


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