How To Protect Your Online Reputation: Lessons From The Ftse 100 – Alex Judd

09 April 2019

Posted in: BSEO

In this talk, Alex Judd takes a deep dive into branded search. By using his company Grayling’s FTSE 100 study on online reputation, Alex explores how even the UK’s biggest businesses are suffering from negative search content, and provides valuable lessons on how brands can still thrive in this environment.


Speaker: Alex Judd

Job role and company: GCore Business Director, Grayling


Twitter profile: @AlexJuddz

LinkedIn profile:

Link to the slides: 

What was the talk about?

Alex Judd’s talk honed in on how search engines are a vital touchpoint to any brand, using some fascinating stats from his company’s FTSE100 study on online reputation.

Branded search is one of the most powerful elements of SEO; search results are perceived to be the most credible source of information.

Everyone uses branded search: customers/clients, potential employees, investors, journalists and legislators are just some of the people searching for your brand for a whole range of reasons. And a whopping 54% of these important people — who all have an impact on your business — will see negative content about your brand.

In fact, 80% of FTSE100 brands had negative content on the first page of their search results (and it’s the media that produces 99% of that content). The impact of negative search results for brands is huge: there are up to 14.8 million potential leads going elsewhere, which is a massive number.

By analysing what influences these search results, Alex gave listeners online reputation management strategies that could lead to success.

Fave quote

“Search results are perceived to be the most credible source of information — yet we rely on a faceless algorithm to give trustworthy results.”

Potential impact on the industry

Being the number one search result looks great for SEO, but we need to look further than that and think about the other results on that page; what else is going to impact people choosing your business or have a negative response?

One stat from Alex’s FTSE100 study that really struck a chord was that just one negative research result can cause 22% of potential leads to go elsewhere.

And this is happening to everyone — brands aren’t managing these negative search results at all.

how to manage online reputation slide

Alex provided practical tips and strategies in his talk to tackle this. By managing media relations, creating quality content, engaging social, brands can cultivate a positive relationship and positive search results. This could potentially save a huge amount of lost leads.

Key takeaways

  • Branded search results are a vital touchpoint for any business, and shouldn’t be neglected
  • By leveraging simple search hacks (bid on brand keywords, implement organisational schema mark-up, claim knowledge panel), you can manage your online reputation
  • To build on success, brands can create positive media relations and promote positive branded news stories (creating blog posts etc to bump up stories)
  • Stop driving engagement/traffic to negative reviews by sending a link around your whole company — especially if you’re a big brand. Instead, make a PDF and circulate this.
  • Get serious about employee review sites like Glassdoor (all too often, this can be taken over by disgruntled ex-employees)
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