Argent Media is pleased to announce that we have begun marketing to Hispanic markets in the United States, as well as to Spanish-speaking markets internationally for Online Reputation Management services.

Online Reputation Management in Spanish Language

While Argent Media is primarily an English-speaking agency, we do have background in translating language processing applications and websites of Fortune 500 companies into Spanish. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is generally a language-agnostic discipline, since the function of search engines tends to be consistent across languages. However, many agencies solely focus upon English-speaking markets all while there is growing need for help among Latin-American and other Spanish-speaking populations.

“We have recognized that online brand identity and reputation issues occur in Latin-American countries, via Hispanic media, and in Spanish search results,” states Argent Media’s CEO and founder, Chris Silver Smith. “So, we are now extending services to assist individuals and companies that are struggling with online reputation issues.”

Argent Media has launched a site specifically to cater to Spanish-speaking markets: Reputación Online.

Argent Media has increasingly specialized in assisting clientele with online reputation issues including: online reviews, negative items appearing in Google and Bing search results, damaging image search results, mugshots and arrest records, boyfriend/girlfriend revenge websites, defamation lawsuits, and more.

Visit Reputación Online for more information at: https://reputación.online/

[Related: reputación online | reputación en línea | reputación en la red ]

At the end of December, I reported at Search Engine Land on what what seems to have been a major change in Google’s internal policy. (See: Paradigm shift: Has Google suspended defamation removals?) Google has effectively begun to decline requests to remove defamation from its web search results, although it has been honoring those takedown requests for many years now, when accompanied by properly-executed court orders.

Stormy weather forecast ahead for reputation.

While I phrased the title of that article “Has Google…” and ended with a question mark, the reality is that the company has completely stopped removing URLs for defamation. The Search Engine Land editors and I opted for that interrogative title phrasing because Google declined to make any official statement about the matter. This lack of transparency around this has created a lot of consternation among attorneys who deal with online defamation, along with their clients — I polled a number of attorneys across the country and consistently found they had all encountered a change in their dealings with Google in the past few months. It seems that some stuff that was already being processed prior to Google’s apparent policy change may still be acted upon, but most new requests are getting denied with no reason provided. Read the rest of this entry »

Issues involving the application of trademark laws relative to online media content have been present since the beginning of the internet. However, the legal ramifications of how trademark infringement may be evaluated and litigated have evolved over time, and company executives and internet marketers may be unaware of the options and risks involved with their online activities.

Chris Silver Smith will speak at SMX West 2017.

Chris Silver Smith will speak at SMX West 2017.

Those educated in the basics of business law are aware that infringing upon a company’s marks may open one up to liabilities, if a claim of trademark infringement is made. However, if traditional online marketing activities are also involved in a trademark dispute, there is now significant potential that damages could become multiplied. Combining Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) and/or online advertising — such as Pay-Per-Click ads (“PPC”) — with occurrences of trademark infringement, may increase the instances of “misimpressions”, which are individual exposures of a company’s marks used in an improper context. Total numbers of misimpressions may be accounted by courts in determining the degree of infringement, and used as a basis for calculating damages to be awarded to a plaintiff.

Chris Silver Smith, a frequent legal expert witness and experienced online marketing consultant, will bring valuable insights to these topics, based upon his experiences in working on “PODS Enterprises, Inc. v. U-Haul International, Inc.”, a landmark federal trademark infringement lawsuit (see U-Haul Boxed In With $60M Verdict In PODS Trademark Suit). Read the rest of this entry »

A year ago, I stated that the Ashley Madison hacking scandal was not over, and that is proven yet again. A member of the Electoral College has now had his reputation attacked online using details from the Ashley Madison data and other apparent details from his life, because he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times declaring his intention to not cast his vote for Donald Trump for president.

Faithless Elector Reputation Attack

The Texas elector in question, Christopher Suprun, wrote a piece on December 5th, “Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump“, where he described how he had decided not to cast his Electoral College vote for Trump based on his principles. An elector that opts not to vote for the presidential or vice-presidential candidate for which he or she has pledged to vote is called a “faithless elector”, and is something of a rarity. Since the beginning of the United States, there have only been about 179 faithless electors out of over 20,000 total electors — so, less than 1% of electors have ever turned rogue.

Following Suprun’s published intention to not cast his electoral vote as pledged, there was a lot of online recriminations against him. He’s been insulted, castigated and threatened. But, perhaps even more harmfully, Suprun has now been targeted by the conservative-leaning yellow press site, GotNews.com, which is the brain-child of Charles C. Johnson, who was declared by Gawker to be “The Web’s Worst Journalist“.

On December 12th, Got News published a tawdry slam-piece that claims that Christopher Suprun was Read the rest of this entry »

Whenever we have managed Facebook pages for businesses or individuals that are the target for online reputation attacks, I’ve been struck with how odd it is that Facebook doesn’t provide an option to allow all comments to be automatically moderated so that one may review them and approve or disapprove them before being published. It seemed like a glaringly obvious need for a great many businesses, and I can see that others out there would also like this option.

How to hide Facebook comments setting

I’ve developed a workaround that essentially provides the ability to set all your Facebook page comments to be automatically moderated, and we’re providing this solution for free — so read on! Read the rest of this entry »

In my recent article, I predicted that the worst was far from over for Ashley Madison users whose personal information was exposed by the massive hacking. Indeed, our research has now uncovered that over 500 domain names have been registered, indicating that the next stage of this reputation apocalypse is about to happen.

Ashley Madison Domain Names

Read the rest of this entry »

Practical Ecommerce is sponsoring their first conference in Dallas next month. The conference is geared towards internet ecommerce website marketers and entrepreneurs. Argent Media can provide a significant discount for friends and clients!

The three session topic tracks are Marketing, Conversion and Management.

Practical Ecommerce Ignite Conference Dallas, 2015

IGNITE 2015 is the inaugural conference by Practical Ecommerce on Sept. 16 and 17 in Dallas, Texas. IGNITE 2015 brings together industry visionaries and seasoned ecommerce entrepreneurs, who share critical insights on growing revenue, saving money, and succeeding in a hyper-competitive market. IGNITE 2015 features 39 in-depth sessions, 2 inspiring keynotes, and 8 networking events. IGNITE 2015 is the must-attend event for ecommerce entrepreneurs. Read the rest of this entry »

People sometimes select expert witnesses for legal cases based merely on surface qualifications and comparative costs. But, you may get what you pay for — cheaper fees may give you someone who isn’t experienced enough to be thorough in their research on your issues, and that upfront savings may result in a costly loss in court.

Also, for some of us, the satisfaction of a job that’s well-done for a worthy client is more than merely a fee — we believe deeply in the SEO expert witness work that we do and aim to provide the highest quality possible to insure best chances of success.

This is why I was so very gratified to receive the following thank-you note this morning:

SEO Expert Witness - client testimonial note.

“I just wanted to let you know that we settled the ______ v. _______ matter at mediation. While the terms are confidential, our clients were pleased with the result and are happy to finally put the case behind them. I believe your great report played a significant role in getting the matter resolved.

Frankly, I believe the best strategy where lawsuits are concerned is to not go to court at all.

When two parties take a dispute to court, it can often be an example of lose-lose, because both sides will often end up paying a considerable amount to attorneys, court costs, and all the ancillary costs involved with lawsuits — including sapping the time of the two parties involved that might otherwise be able to invest their time into further building their successes. It’s easier in life to achieve destruction than it is to create and invent something. Read the rest of this entry »

Argent Media CEO, Chris Silver Smith, was interviewed recently by Gemma Birch of Webcertain TV on the topic of “Online Reputation Management – The Dark Side of the Internet”.

Chris Silver Smith interviewed by Gemma Birch on Webcertain TV about Online Reputation Management

Description:

“It has never been easier to create smear campaigns and publish defamatory content online – and the impact of such campaigns on individuals can be huge. Chris Silver Smith discusses the challenges the industry faces to reduce this, the responsibility of search engines and social networks to remove content and how individuals can help to protect themselves.” Read the rest of this entry »

Argent Media CEO, Chris Silver Smith, will be presenting a session on “Repairing and Safeguarding Your Brand Online” at the Rocks Digital Marketing Conference in Dallas next week. Request a discount code if you’d like to attend!

Chris Silver Smith Reputation Management Dallas

Chris has worked on various aspects of Online Reputation Management (“ORM”) for many years and has extensive experience in Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) and other aspects of online marketing and internet technology.

Your company doesn’t have to have a problem with the impression that’s created when people search for your brand name for you to need to work on your online reputation! All companies are likely to be criticized or even attacked online at some point, and proactive online reputation is a necessity for you to reduce the impact and avoid later costs when this may happen. Read the rest of this entry »

Hallelujah! Google has announced that they’ll soon accept takedown requests from any revenge porn victims! This is a truly fantastic bit of news for anyone who may be the victim of revenge porn — where someone posts nude and compromising photos of one without consent online.

Google Revenge PornThis is really, really great news! Unfortunately, this doesn’t put me out of business in assisting victims of porn revenge. I hate to say that, since this is a very good thing that Google has done, but it’s somewhat only a portion of the whole picture surrounding revenge porn and similar reputation-attack issues. Thus far, this sounds like it only will be limited to the removal of images. So, that leaves videos, right? And, some cases of revenge porn I’ve dealt with involved both text and image content — there would continue to be text content showing up unless the victims go to further lengths to remove that. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the most controversial areas of online marketing is that of business reviews and ratings. Companies intensely feel impact to their pride and their bottom line when they receive negative consumer reviews, and this consternation does little to reduce the desire of other companies to publish them like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, online yellow pages, and others. Google and Bing both display star rating values in search results as well, rendering average rating values highly visible, too.

Business Reviews & Ratings In Search Engine Results

I’ve been writing on business reviews management issues and presenting sessions on the subject at various conferences of late, and I’ve been involved in online reviews for many years. Members of my team at Verizon worked on the technical development of the online reviews system used by Superpages.com, for instance, and having this insider view of how large companies editorially manage reviews has been very useful in my consulting work where I assist businesses in developing ratings markup to appear in search results, help companies develop strategies to elicit more positive reviews for SEO value and promotional advantage, and in addressing negative online reputation aspects (see “10 Ideas: How To Fix A Damning Business Review“.

Argent Media works on many aspects of Online Reputation Management (“ORM”), including issues involving company reviews and ratings. Read on for details… Read the rest of this entry »

As part of the SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle, Chris Silver Smith, Argent Media CEO, will be speaking at the Local Search Advantage Workshop on June 4, 2015.

Local Search Advantage

 

The Local Search Advantage Workshop provides a deep dive into many of the primary aspects of local marketing, covering all of the topics necessary for local businesses to be found online by buyers when they’re looking to purchase.

Chris Silver Smith will be presenting a session titled “(Re)Building Your Online Reputation” which will cover: Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve been very excited that Search Engine Land‘s editors have recently allowed me to start a new column series dedicated to Online Relationship Management, which will be published on their sister site, Marketing Land! My first article for it, “9 Key Points for Cleaning Up Your Online Reputation Nightmare Via SEO“, appeared a few weeks ago. In that article, I tried to provide some basic steps for people who wish to try the do-it-yourself approach, or for agencies less familiar with this type of work.

Online Reputation Can Be a Car Wreck on the Information Superhighway!

I’ve worked at various aspects of Online Reputation Management (“ORM”) for a number of years now, as a sideline of Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”). This has involved a whole range of aspects of ORM — from handling local business reviews, fighting RipOff Report pages, removing lies and defamation from Wikipedia, and helping clients to deploy websites and social media accounts to counter and displace negative materials that damage their reputations.

I’m fascinated by the human stories involved with ORM work — it’s highly compelling to me because it has such a big impact upon people’s lives, compared to the mere jockeying to attain high rankings for commercial keyword phrases. To a large degree in the interactive world of today, your name is equivalent to your identity. You don’t realize just how much your online identity is central to your relationships and success in the real world until it becomes damaged — the perceptions created by the materials that appear when your name is searched in Google, Bing and other search engines is nearly inseparable in people’s minds from your actual identity.

I’m compelled to work in this area by the human stories and how much my work can help people so directly. I have come to know so many things through the various cases I’ve worked upon — fascinating stories about what often happens behind-the-scenes to what you see in the shallow surface you see represented in the search results. Read the rest of this entry »

On the second Wednesday of each month, DFWSEM (Dallas-Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association) presents a social and networking event, complete with a speaker who can hold the attention of a hungry after-work crowd. They were fortunate enough to persuade Andy Beal, from the UK via NC, to take the lectern this month.

Ukulele addict and online reputation management (“ORM”) expert Beal presented Reputation Roadkill — Learning from the ‘OMG’ Moments of the Biggest Brands. His examples were both international and capable of inducing winces before he concluded with some cases of companies handling social media challenges right.

Andy Beal at DFWSEM Meeting, March 2015

He began with some statistics: 83% of corporations will encounter hits to their reputations in the next five years, and 87% of consumers will associate the reputation of a CEO or other leader with the reputation of their company. A reminder that could’ve helped the first of Beal’s examples, Satya Nadella.

In October of 2014, after having been Microsoft CEO for less than a year, Nadella was asked for his advice to women who are uncomfortable requesting raises. His response, that women shouldn’t ask but rather rely on the system and karma, was more than a little controversial, and caused a social media backlash. Beal’s takeaway from this was simple: You only have one reputation. The public will connect leadership’s views and statements with the company, whether you want them to or not.

Beal’s second example was Uber’s Emil Michael. At a party, Michael suggested to a journalist that Uber should Read the rest of this entry »

One melodrama I see played out time and again is caused by the disconnect between an individual’s desires for data privacy, and the need for good, proactive online reputation management. Many well-educated people think that by not having much about themselves on the internet, they’re protecting themselves and their families. They’re both wrong and right.

Data Privacy vs. Online Reputation

It’s absolutely true that you don’t want to have your data spread across the public internet, willy-nilly. You don’t want people to readily find your home address, your phone number, your birth date, and many other details, such as where you will (or won’t) be at certain times and dates. You don’t want to make it easy to be victimized — limiting data sharing can keep your identity from being stolen, your bank account logins compromised, and your home from being burglarized while you are away.

Unfortunately, people equate good data security practices with not having Twitter accounts, Facebook profiles, or personal websites and other social media accounts. Even the desire to avoid having digital copies of your photograph on the internet may fit into this category of misguided concerns.

This extreme avoidance of having any presence at all on the internet creates a big fat hole in one’s online reputations. Nature abhors a void and seeks to fill it, and the internet is no exception. Read the rest of this entry »

Argent Media CEO, Chris Silver Smith, will be speaking at SMX West’s Local Search Advantage Workshop in March on the topic of Building or Fixing Your Online Reputation.

I am speaking at SMX WestConsumer sentiment about a business is heavily influenced by both the recommendations provided by acquaintances as well as by opinions posted by other consumers online. A Nielsen study in 2013 found that 68% of consumers trusted the opinions of other consumers online. As such, building, maintaining and defending a business’s online reputation is vital to the success of a company.

Chris Silver Smith will provide a session that will educate business marketing professionals on how to elicit positive reviews, increase chances of reviews supplementing one’s profile on sites such as Yelp, Google+ and other online directories — without invoking the automated suppression filters that can cause real reviews to disappear. Smith will also cover how reviews impact Local SEO, which sites provide valuable reviews, services that help businesses obtain positive reviews, and strategies for handling negative reviews.

Also, Smith will provide an overview of how businesses may conduct “Proactive Online Reputation Management” (“Proactive ORM”) in order to insulate themselves from online attacks or other damaging materials.

I discovered last year that a few online reputation agencies are partners-with or owners-of the very reputation-damaging sites that their clients seek their help in addressing. Perhaps the worst of these types of sites are “revenge-porn” sites that encourage individuals with no ethics to supply nude photos of ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends for the purpose of embarrassing them and damaging their reputations.

 

FTC Shuts Porn Revenge Site, IsAnybodyDown.com

There are other sites that similarly focus on promoting materials that damage individuals’ reputations in addition to revenge porn — mugshots sites, arrest records sites, and tawdrier business review sites — and, these types of sites frequently are reliant upon thinly-veiled extortion demands. Essentially, the focus on obtaining defaming content and rendering it highly-visible through search engine results, and then they require people to pay them to take it down or modify it to be less-damaging..

A number of us who work in online reputation management (“ORM”) have sought to apply pressure to remove these sites’ ability to make money. These efforts have made a little impact, here and there. Some credit card companies have taken the step of refusing to allow merchant services for these companies, because they recognize that they’re highly distasteful. I suspect that there may have also been higher percentages of charge-backs on transactions as well. But, due to the rising barriers to the reputation attack sites, some have come up with schemes to dupe consumers into thinking they’re paying others to get the negative materials cleaned-up. Read the rest of this entry »

SMX Advanced 2014Argent Media founder, Chris Silver Smith, will be speaking next week at the SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle on the panel, “Keywords on ‘Roids: Advanced Workarounds For Vanishing Keyword Data“, along with industry veterans Christine Churchill (KeyRelevance) and Rae Hoffman (PushFire).

As all search engine marketers are aware, Google has steadily reduced the keyword referral data available to webmasters. This sea-change, purportedly for the sake of improving end users’ privacy, has been a challenge to search engine optimization experts. SEO historically relied heavily upon this data to help in ascertaining whether optimization efforts had been fruitful, as well as in the process for discovering potential new keyword phrases that consumers are using to find content featured on the website. Google has altered the dynamic for Pay-Per-Click keyword analysis as well in 2014 by encrypting the keywords in URLs, rendering web analytic systems that are competitors to Google Analytics and Google AdWords unable to track the search query referral data (albeit the impact for paid search data is less, since you may still obtain referral information from your AdWords account, and from analytic systems that may obtain the data through the AdWords account API). Analytics systems may not display the keyword referral data as “Not Provided” or “Not Set”. Read the rest of this entry »

PageRank diagram

Diagram of PageRank – Google’s method for analyzing links to create ranking scores.

We wrote previously in “Local SEO 101: What Are Local Citations?” that Google’s earliest algorithm was based upon automatically evaluating the links pointing to a webpage in order to calculate a score, upon which rankings could be based. While we further explained in that post how Local Citations are essentially the “Link” where local search rankings are concerned, links themselves actually remain very important.

While Google’s ranking algorithm is different for the purpose of ranking businesses associated with map locations, many of the classic search engine ranking signals continue to apply and are influential in determining who ranks higher than who in the search results.

In fact, there are many instances where you might be able to receive a link where you wouldn’t be as likely to receive a local citation. For instance, if an article on your business website contained information or details that someone wished to mention — they might link to that page from their own article or blog post. People may also link to pages on your site from their Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus accounts. The PageRank value that streams in on all these links can be passed around on your website via the navigation links you may have on every page. Read the rest of this entry »

About [Ag] Search Blog

Research, thoughts, commentary about Internet Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Online Reputation Management, and SEO Expert Witness Service. Provided by Argent Media.

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  • Chris Silver Smith: Good point about Gawker being a muckraking site in of itself. But there are a number of others who [...]
  • Rob M: Referencing Gawker for character assassination isn't so helpful since they were sued into oblivion b [...]
  • Chris Silver Smith: Don - it might be more motivating, sure, but my argument remains the same: someone shouldn't be vili [...]
  • Don: It would help your argument if you could say the Got News claims are totally false. [...]
  • 10 domain name secrets to repair your online reputation: […] Naturally, you could include all sorts of things — your street address, city, state, [...]

Chris Silver Smith at SMX West