CONSUMER ALERT: Warns Consumers of Reputation Management Companies Who Engage in Black Hat SEO

Online reputation management leader,, reveals the murky side of the reputation management industry: Black Hat SEO. Reports of consumers burned by Black Hat SEO tactics are on the rise.

Jan 30, 2012, 06:00 ET from Reputation Changer

NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- When was the last time you "Googled" your name or your company's name?  Are you aware of the results?  If you're discovering information that is less than flattering, consider yourself amongst millions of other Americans who are experiencing online reputation management issues.

Today's business card is your Google reputation.  Whether you're looking for a job or working to bring on a new client, the first thing most people do is Google your name.  From ostracism to loss of employment, it's a fact that negative listings in the search engines can have a detrimental impact on one's life. 

It comes as no surprise that the online reputation management (ORM) industry is one of the fastest growing business sectors in today's economy.  As in any new and booming trade, a litany of companies have entered the ORM vertical, many of whom are using dangerous "Black Hat SEO" shortcuts on their client accounts. 

Black Hat SEO practitioners tend to see search engine optimization as a kind of "virtual war."  Their enemy is the search engine and they are focused on controlling search results at any and all costs. The technology these individuals use is meant to "trick" the search engines into believing that the content and web pages are of value.  There is danger in this approach when used for reputation management.  When Google discovers that a "Black Hatter" is attempting to wrongfully alter search results, Google penalizes the site by delisting it from search results.  The original negative listings then find their way back to the top of the search returns and become "much more difficult to suppress," stated Jamie Niles, a former Google Engineer that consults with's client strategy is 100 percent White Hat SEO-based, which is the polar opposite approach to Black Hat SEO.  White Hatters view Google as an ally who can help drive business and improve the reputations of clients. 

The White Hat Reputation Management Approach is simple: new, highly engaging content derived from authoritative sources will eventually outrank negative publicity. releases content and other assets through self-owned media outlets, blogs, newswires, mini-websites, social media pages such as Google+, Wiki articles and other digital vehicles.  With original content and creatively designed pages, searchers often find the content more resourceful than the negative listings seeks to suppress.  In general terms, Google recognizes user engagement and starts to rank the newly created websites higher than the harmful listings.

"When it comes to online reputation management, there are a lot of moving parts, and it is not as simple as just creating content for a website or publishing an article online," stated Justin Singletary, Chief Executive Officer of "Google changes its algorithm over 600 times a year.  Our engineers chase the tail end of this algorithm and run analytics on a daily basis to ensure that our clients' web assets are following Google's best practices."

Singletary states that Black Hat SEO can actually land the consumer in greater trouble.  He stresses the importance of working only with an online reputation management firm that promotes white hat and above-board technology.

"The growth in this industry has provided for the emergence of Black Hat SEO firms.  These organizations actually have the ability to do more harm than good to an online reputation," noted Singletary.  "Many firms in the ORM industry use a template-like approach.  This approach simply doesn't work.  Each client's case is different and requires a custom tailored solution.

"When an online reputation management firm operates via shady, Black Hat dealings, it not only hurts the client, but it also hurts the industry as a whole.  At we employ only the best-in-breed technology practices that are designed to suppress negative information.  We are not looking to defeat Google, instead we view them as a partner in the reputation management process.  From the design of websites to the implementation of the content, our intent is to add enormous value to the Google search engine," stated Singletary.  "This alone separates from firms who seek to compromise Google search results through Black Hat SEO tactics such as website hacking, content spinning, and back link buying." has been identified as an industry leader based on the organization's ability to show results through White Hat SEO.  The company has a network of over 500 PR4+ bloggers and an advanced social media and SEO team that includes Eric Enge, the co-author of "The Art of SEO."  Additionally, recruits talent such as former Google Engineers.

Singletary noted, "A website like Yelp is constantly updating their content and always publishing new information, therefore, a firm that operates under black hat technology cannot beat this site, even with non-indexing code.  The only way to control this animal is to suppress it, which is what technology has the ability to do."

Moreover, many online reputation management firms do not understand the need for quality on "the whole package," i.e. there is rampant outsourcing of written material to India which destroys the quality of the content.  When someone comes across this information on Google, they quickly identify it as lacking value and click off the page.  Google then scores the website as having a high bounce rank and subsequently suppresses it in its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). 

" only employs domestic, highly skilled web developers and journalists who comprehend the principles behind SEO and who are held to a strict code of ethics and conduct.  There is a great importance in the quality of writing, the quality of design and layout of a website, that ultimately adds more value when a reader discovers it during a Google search," stated Singletary.

Search engine giant Google has stated that the organization is stringently putting online reputation management firms on notice and that if "link schemes or other online violations" are uncovered, they will take action to the fullest extent of the law. At the same time, firms like gained the respect of Google for their ardent adherence to Google's best practices. 

"At the end of the day, respects not only the reputation of our clients, but also the integrity of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. does not operate under the principles of an online 'shell game'," commented Singletary.

The caveat of the message to consumers?  If looking to partner with an online reputation management firm, do your research and work only with a company who is committed to White Hat SEO Practices and the quality of their own reputation.

Singletary stated, "It's as much about [the online reputation management firm's] reputation as it is yours."

For more information or to request a free quote, please contact the online reputation management professionals at  


Reputation Changer is an online reputation management company.  Founded in 2009 by reputation management professionals, Reputation Changer has assisted politicians, professional athletes and high profile public personalities, as well as Fortune 500 companies and other organizations, interested in protecting their brand and promoting their image.  The company is the owner of several media outlets and has proprietary backend technology that allows for 24/7 online reputation monitoring and defense; serving the interests and the needs of its diverse and high profile client base.

Reputation Changer has acquired market share belonging to competitor, formerly known as, based on best-in-class product offering and technology platform, excellent customer service and the world class team that includes some of the premier SEO and design experts in the reputation management space.

For more information about Reputation Changer, its services and how it can assist in reputation management and promotional campaigns, visit

SOURCE Reputation Changer