Backstory: My friend and myself run a local SEO/Web Design/IT company and I attribute a lot of our success to BHW. The methods and ideas shared on here are so unique and valuable I am constantly amazed, and at least once a month we add a new service or tweak an existing one based on ideas we read from this site alone. Most of this will be written without a thorough proofreading, so if I make mistakes please excuse me and feel free to correct. Like many others I read 7878's Letter method quite a while ago. In short, we gave it a shot and found it didn't convert well for us. However, we already had leads calling the business a couple times a week asking if we offered reputation management due to a page we had put on our website offering this service. Since no other company in our region offers the service (or ranks for it apparently) we had leads but for the most part did not wind up performing reputation management for them but cross-sold our other services. Most of the callers were local politicians and law firms surprisingly, although there were also a few small businesses. To date we have had a lot of luck working with the local politicians and legal firms, and we are just starting to move forward with the small businesses just because the work is more comprehensive and involves a proactive approach to acquiring reviews. Once we have a successful case study recovering the online reputation for a small business I will be sure to post that as well. Here is how we recovered the online reputation of one local lawyer in just under two months, with a 12-month contract @ $XXX/month it's nothing huge but it was a great experience and some nice supplemental income; as well as case study material for our website. Day 0: We were contacted by the secretary of a local law firm who's business name was his name (very common in this niche). He had some negative reviews posted on some reputable legal websites, as well as a very respected Blogspot user running a smear campaign against him and his last name; primarily targeting his son who has been convicted for some minor crimes in the past. I took a look at the 'competition' so to speak and knew we would be able to put positive/neutral material above all of the negative, it was just a matter of explaining to the client that this would take time. He understood this and it was not a problem, and we moved on to talk numbers and eventually reached an agreement. Week 1: I acquired all current social account information from the client that I could, and proceeded to change all permalinks possible to his name or slight variants (FIRST-LAST, BUSINESS NAME). This was mainly his personal Facebook and his son's Twitter account, knowing these were both active accounts it would give us a jumpstart on the reputation management campaign. Week 2: I wrote thousands of words of generic legal/law related content and prepared it to be posted to Web 2.0s, social networking accounts, and Youtube videos we would create for the client. In addition, I also found websites that had only positive reviews for his business and submitted requests to change their permalink to his business name/personal name instead of [example] www.lawyerreviews.com/kentucky/239849081.html. Of the ten sites I messaged two complied, and considering I expected a response rate of zero I was pretty pleased. Those two sites actually wound up being 2 of the top 10 results for his business name after this campaign was finished. Week 3:We registered on every major Web 2.0 site that we knew of, some of the major ones you want to be sure to hit: Google Sites, Blogspot, Tumblr, Weebly, Webnode, Jimdo, Wordpress, Livejournal. Again, we were sure to register usernames as FIRST-LAST or BUSINESS NAME. We also registered a few EMD's for his business name, personal name, and son's name and setup a number of Wordpress installs with unique templates on our Reseller hosting (aka cost us nothing besides domains). Week 4:We began registering accounts on all major social sites as well as a few up-and-comers (Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, G+, LiveJournal, Reddit, DeviantArt, Keek, Reddit) with usernames such as FIRST-LAST or BUSINESS NAME. Where applicable, we followed some people/added pins/+1's/submitted websites so the accounts were a little active and not just dormant/ready to be pruned. Week 5: Working with the client, we recorded 5 unique Youtube videos with some generic content of him giving a brief introduction of his legal practice and how his firm would help if you had a specific legal issue. We also registered a new Youtube account with his exact name. These videos actually bring him leads to this day, so his reputation management campaign has already paid for itself many times over! In addition, one by one we went over the Web 2.0's and added the content I had written weeks prior, embedding the Youtube videos randomly. Then on the Wordpress EMD's we had created we added personal and business images from the client and placed ~1000 words of content on each site generally talking about his business. We took the images from these Wordpress sites and embedded them randomly into the Web 2.0's forming a tiered linking setup. I have found it works wonders for ranking relatively easy keywords like name/business name in a short amount of time. Also be sure to alt tag your images on the Wordpress sites as FIRST-LAST or BUSINESS-NAME. At this point we were already seeing a few top results from Twitter/Blogspot/Reddit in the SERPs and could see things were working. I supplemented the Youtube videos with a few 1000 views each, then bought around 50 likes/subscribers for each video. Week 6:This week we didn't do too much but monitor the search results for his two targeted terms, and we could tell the client was getting excited because he would send us e-mails every other day with screenshots of his 'Google' . The only item that remained was the blogger running a smear campaign against our client, and even this page was ranking near the bottom of the first page. Week 7:Realizing that we need to rely on links rather than site authority alone to rank for this client, I took a trip back to 2009 and found a spin/submit article directory service and pointed links to every property we had created with anchor text set to FIRST LAST and BUSINESS NAME as well as generic keywords for the niche (lawyer, DWI attorney etc.) Within a day the first page results hadn't changed, but a HUGE number of our other properties were showing results on page 2/3 after this blast. Week 8:Our client was extremely pleased with the results, but wanted that blog post off the first page! It was now pushed down to #10 on the first page but none of our properties were taking over. It was then that I hopped on our company blog and posted an article about the client and how we were designing his new website and the leads it was bringing his business. This was really a half truth, we had created him numerous web properties that were bringing him leads but the reality is he hired us for reputation management. Clearly I wasn't going to talk about that in the blog post however! In the post itself I linked to a few of the Web 2.0 properties that were at the top of page 2 in the SERPs. A couple days later, we received an ecstatic e-mail from the client that page 1 of Google for all of his targeted terms had content that we either directly or indirectly controlled and he was extremely pleased. He actually referred us to a partner of his who is having similar problems in another state and we are in talks for how we can help him out. On top of this, the leads our client is getting from his Youtube videos has shown him the power of SEO and he has since canceled his links service from FindLaw and Lawyer.com (note: all these companies do is run blog networks with massive footprints, how Google does not find and deindex these properties is beyond me...unless maybe they are protected by their massive Adwords budgets!) Our plan is to get him on a monthly SEO retainer soon and use his success and connections to branch out into SEO for the legal niche in our region. Hopefully some of that information was helpful to you, that was our first real experience with online reputation management and both the client and ourselves are very pleased with the results. *For those that don't want to read all that, here is the tl;dr version: 1) Optimize current social accounts 2) Register social networking and Web 2.0 accounts with username as first-last or business name 3) Spend 10 minutes being active on each new account you create to give the appearance of being real, which should also help your profiles get indexed 3) Write thousands of words of unique content. As a guideline I would recommend at least 200 words per Web 2.0 property you want to create. I believe we used closer to 300 per property. 4) [OPTIONAL] Create unique Youtube videos and a new Youtube account with an account name like FIRSTLAST or BUSINESSNAME. Supplement these videos with views/likes/subscribers based on your competition for these videos. For us, we only needed a few 1000 per video to outrank the competition. If your current SERP competition has Youtube videos ranking in Top10 you will not want to skip this step. 5) Register EMDs like FIRSTLAST and BUSINESSNAME, and setup Wordpress installs with unique templates on some cheap hosting. Add some unique text content and images. 6) Add unique content to the Web 2.0's, and link images from the Wordpress sites. 7) Write/spin/submit with links to all of your Web 2.0s using AMR (or outsource this task) using anchor texts related to your client as well as exact brand name/personal name. We did not use any 'click here' or naked URL, I imagine many of you would like to and that is up to you. For any medium-high competition term I feel this is important, but when it comes to brand name and low competition I don't worry too much about it. 8) If you have access to an authority blog, make a post and link to some of your top ranking properties to give them a little boost in the SERPs. You could also do this with submissions to a private blog network or use many of the services on here. For low competition keywords this should give you the boost you need to get those properties hanging around at the top of page 2 to page 1. If anyone needs help with a reputation management campaign or just has ideas on what may or may not work, please feel free to share them here or PM me if you like. I am always looking for ways to offer better service to our clients and really appreciate this community as a whole and everything you guys contribute.