Google dominates the search engine market with a whopping 92.24% share worldwide. This is great news for online business owners because it gives them access to a vast customer base. Since most people use Google to discover new brands and conduct market research before making purchase decisions, you’re guaranteed visibility. But it’s crucial to acknowledge that while ranking high on Google’s search engine result pages is great for branding, negative search results can bring your business down. As you know, the internet is littered with negative reviews, malice, and other forms of harmful content. If your target audience were to constantly view negative content when they search for your brand, you would lose public trust, and this would affect your bottom line.

Unfortunately, Google Autocomplete, an auto-suggest feature that is supposed to elevate users’ search experience, could be giving prospective customers a false impression of your brand. Since the feature completes users’ search queries, some prospective customers could end up with a warped first impression of your brand. The autocomplete suggestions could be neutral, positive, or quite negative, depending on what a prospect is searching for. And since Google doesn’t publish data regarding the number of website visits prompted by the auto-suggest feature, there’s no knowing how many prospects’ buying decisions got influenced by autocomplete.

And the thing is, even if very few prospects end up perceiving your brand in a negative light because of a misleading autocomplete search result, you should be concerned. After all, losing even one qualified prospect each day is a huge loss for your brand in the long term. And suppose most prospects don’t follow autocomplete’s suggestions; seeing them repeatedly is likely warping their perception of your brand. That’s why you should take the time to find out how Google autocompletes search queries your target audience is likely keying in. This way, you can determine if you have a serious PR problem and begin repairing the brand damage before it gets out of hand.

Google Yourself

Now that you know how much influence Google Autocomplete has on the first impression prospects have of your brand, it’s crucial to take matters into your hands and define your online reputation. A good place to start is to constantly monitor your customers’ search behavior to know when negative autocomplete suggestions start showing up in their search queries. Once you know what your target audience is encountering when they key in keywords tied to your brand, you can begin to manage your reputation.

Consider integrating innovative monitoring tools into your website, social media, and other digital platforms to simplify your observation. This way, when your target audience engages with your content, you can identify when they receive negative feedback. You can then take action before the negative content finds its way to Google search results. Essentially, Googling yourself and knowing what autocomplete says about your brand is the first step towards establishing a positive online reputation.

How do Autocompletes Affect Brand Reputation?

Your brand reputation matters because it is the informational social influence that guides your customers’ buying journey. A good business reputation incentivizes more prospects to engage your brand, while a bad reputation repels even qualified customers who would have otherwise found your offerings valuable. The social proof prospects get from customer reviews, and ratings shorten your target audience’s brand research because prospects tend to trust customers’ words.

Since your established online reputation controls what Google features on search engine result pages about your business, it’s almost impossible to gain customers or increase your customer retention rate if you have a bad brand reputation. So, if you’re engaging in all the right brand promotion strategies but don’t see your effort translating into a higher profit margin, you might want to look into your online reputation.

To pull off an effective online reputation management plan, you’ve got to acknowledge that autocompletes affect your brand reputation. Google’s algorithms have been designed to pick up on popular social issues and trending topics in an effort to keep users up to date. So, if, for instance, your reputation goes under fire and several people start tracking the story, even more people end up knowing about your scandal without intending to.

This is because the more people search about the negative story, the more Google autocomplete will suggest it to any unsuspecting user who wants to know more about your brand. It seems like a never-ending vicious cycle, doesn’t it? Well, not exactly because you can put an end to the circus before the situation spirals out of control and completely tarnishes the good reputation you’ve worked hard to establish.

How Are You Going to Fix My Negative Google Autocompletes?

Once you identify where Google autocomplete gets the negative suggestions it gives your prospects, you can proceed to nip the problem in the bud. This way, you can go back to leveraging the power of the internet to create positive brand awareness. Sieving out any harmful content related to your brand before it reaches your audience ensures that this information doesn’t come to haunt you.

Since online platforms pose the greatest risk to business brands, this is the first place you should look when hunting down harmful content. You should keep an eye out for negative reviews and address them before Google autocomplete picks up on them. In case of genuine complaints, ensure that you address the concern your customer is raising and compensate them for any inconvenience caused. However, when you find malicious reviews, the best way to deal with this is to remove them from the internet. This way, your customers’ positive perception of your brand doesn’t get compromised by a malicious person’s insincerity.

Create a Strategy

The surefire way to remove harmful content relating to your brand from the internet is to strategize. You need a full-proof plan that guarantees dependable results, so you don’t end up with a recurring reputation problem. Creating a strategy also ensures you’re always ready to manage negative publicity on various digital platforms and on search engines. Here is a guide on how to go about online reputation management;

·   Contact the Publisher/Host Platform

When you find negative content relating to your brand, the first step you should take is to contact the publisher or the host platform and request a removal. For instance, if you find an ingenuine review on a review site, explain to the host platform owner that the author of the review isn’t being honest, and if possible, provide proof of the author’s malice. If there are no signs of collaboration, move on to the next step.

  • Push Negative Content Down the Ranking

You should start strategizing on how to push down any negative content you find down SERPs when it’s clear the publisher will not pull it down. Your focus should be on ensuring that the malicious content doesn’t end up outranking your real brand content. To guarantee that you succeed in suppressing the negative results, hire a reputation management company for their professional intervention.

The Reputation Management Company

Working with an online reputation professional reassures you that the existence of malicious content on the internet is a temporary dark cloud that will soon pass. The experts understand how time-sensitive removing harmful content from the internet is, and thanks to their innovative resources, they’ll remedy the situation before customers start slipping through the cracks.