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On online reputation management and online perception marketing

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tl;dr: We at Gerris are in the ring with you. With our online reputation management and online perception marketing services, we’re in your corner. With our help, you’ll win the fight for your good name on an online search.

On online reputation management and online perception marketing

Chaff flare countermeasure

I won’t lie to you: influencing Google is tough. There’s really no quick fix. Google Search has trust issues, rightfully. That said, curation is not only possible but probably, with enough persistence, commitment, patience, and time. Like any endurance sport or strength training regiment that is also hard and takes time, you’ll get some quick gains almost right away; then, however, it’s all about building base, doing the work, and being consistent. It’s also about rolling with the punches and getting back up. 

Gerris is an army of two-plus. We are partners, Dan Krueger and Chris Abraham. We have been working together since 2007 and have been running Gerris since 2012. We’re made up of agile, virtual, teams and have much more in common with Hollywood production companies than with PR agencies, SAAS platforms, or law firms. 

Like Hollywood productions, we ramp up for campaigns and change out teams and our supporting vendors based on the needs of each client. Influencer teams are different from online reputation management (ORM) and are different from video teams. 

We’re agile, we adapt, and we have the relationships and connections to onboard, spin-up, deliver, and dissolve if that’s what’s needed. We do have a steady-state, persistent, research team and tech/web dev team that have proved themselves indispensable to us across the board as support and backup for everything we do, but we expand and contract based on the specific needs of our specific client base. 

Like everything we do, it’s all bespoke. No fast fashion here. Everything’s cut-to-order. We never give our prospects any sort of cookie-cutter anything. We consider proposals to be auditions. Sending someone the equivalent of a cookie-cutter, template-based proposal the sort that a general contractor would submit for a new roof doesn’t cut it when you’re selling brains rather than shingles and tar. 

Our goal is to encourage the bubbling-up of both positive and neutral content. The exact definition of what is positive, negative, and neutral is unique to every client’s point of pain. They—you—define that for us. 90% of the time, our job is to activate and reactivate content that had gone fallow, had been relegated to the dusty dead letter office, to the darkest, dankest, archives. 

Originally, before the act of repairing negative search results on Google was officially called ORM by a nascent industry, we called it Reverse SEO. Because, unlike search engine optimization (SEO), our job isn’t about optimizing one site so that it bubbles up to the pole position, #1, on Google search for the specified keywords; but, rather, bubbling all 19 or fewer sites that surround the prescribed negative search result—none of which we control— up, allowing the negative search result to bubble down to page two or three of Google Search. 

While we do create visitor-focused sites for perception marketing clients, our online reputation management (ORM) work is much more behind the scenes. Literally sites behind sites. Fully reduced, they’re a little bit chaff and flares, a little bit distraction, but they’re mostly created to link and to reactivate and reënergize current, future, and especially old, “archived,” content that has been relegated to the sidelines and the bench. 

Google loves “hot, fresh, donuts,” as we all do. When we tactically and strategically buy out a dozen or so domains, not only do we secure them, but we also activate them. It’s a little like SEO but it’s more like “reverse SEO” in that we link, interlink, and also work really hard at promoting not just the GOAT articles and posts but everything else as well—excluding any and all points of pain (and only the client can tell us where their point of pain is). A lot of it would be “excerpted” and “repurposed” and “quoted” content, including links to new, current, old, aging, and archived content. The purpose is to reactivate the old content and to start to “kick up the sediment” and “squirt lots and lots of squid ink” into the search results. That’s why this is our ORM mascot, a C-130 throwing out cascades of flares: countermeasures!

All of those sites and that content—new, spun, or repurposed—are to mitigate the sore thumbs of your client’s embarrassment and humiliation. And because some humiliations are worse than others, some clients allow us to even promote “I am over that humiliation” content because they would prefer to be thought of as a lothario than a fraudster. 

We work in multi-tiers: we use directories and we use social media and we repurpose content into audio and video and make them searchable and findable podcasts and vlogs. None of the content is supposed to be featured content, it’s just part of the fog of war. We’re an online Ghost Army

The Ghost Army was a United States Army tactical deception unit during World War II officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. The 1100-man unit was given a unique mission within the Allied Army: to impersonate other Allied Army units to deceive the enemy.

“The visual deception arm of the Ghost Army was the 603rd Camouflage Engineers. It was equipped with inflatable tanks, cannons, jeeps, trucks, and airplanes that the men would inflate with air compressors, and then camouflage imperfectly so that enemy aerial reconnaissance could see them.”

One of the things we do with all the sites, profiles, and online products that we create, in addition to the domained blogs, etc, is creating the sort of permanent, dedicated, and obfuscated syndication network that we then mix in with a lot of other platforms. We can use all of that content and all those social media and social networking platforms to activate and amplify and accentuate the content you already have as well as the new stuff. We can even turn it all into a recursive wall of content “noise” by syndicating the syndicators. It’s amazingly powerful. We’re happy to offer you all of these strategies in the form of products, services, strategy documents, coaching, training, doing, hourly, etc.

We’re always happy to work based on gigs, projects, tasks, etc. In fact, we love it. There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. And there’s a point of success and an opportunity to pop some bubbly.

We’re also always happy to be your team. We’re a consulting company with products, not a product company with consulting. We’re a hearts and minds company and we’re pretty platform-agnostic. We believe that, in addition to our suite of client services solutions in the form of products and services, both retainer/subscription and project-based, we fit as advisors as well. We’re happy to offer these services ad hoc. As needed. While we’re not a law firm, we’re built on that framework. While “prepaid monthly retainers” is our love language, we’re happy to bill by the hour, by the services, or by the project. 

The reason we need to do set-ups and retainers for ORM is that it’s more a subscription service than it is like a law firm’s retainer. It’s the monthly operating capital required to run a bunch of websites, as well as physically populating them, SEO-optimizing them, making sure content isn’t duplicate, creating the right visual and content tone that none of the sites or any of the posts are suspicious since a lot of our ORM clients want to be out of the news not, even more, a part of it.

There are a million directories where you can submit news where it will be syndicated and shared, including Reddit, Hacker News, Flipboard, and even sites like Pinterest, where you can submit your URLs and create social signals and encourage serendipity and inbound links and traffic to the content that you and we create and share with the world. 

Our goal is never to be the only traffic source, our goal is to appeal to the Internet’s FOMO. They don’t want to miss anything. We’re the Vanguard, we’re the catalyst. It’s like the old days when you would put Xerox copies of your band’s gig or your next show or the next event at Black Cat under the windshield wipers of all the cars in the neighborhood. An old-school papering campaign, but with bits and bytes. 

The goal of online reputation management or perception marketing is always simple: dominate the top-20 results on Bing and Google search by hook or by crook by activating any and all positive and neutral content and driving/bubbling down any and all negative content below the 2nd page, but certainly below the first. 

Most people never dig deeper than the second page except librarians, conspiracy theorists, your adversaries, and (yikes) journalists (naw, joke, they're so lazy). In fact, only 25% of folks who use Google search past the first page, leaving 75% perusing only the first ten results. And it 

Optimizing the sites and the content and the properties we own, control, and can influence is what we live for! It’s why we breathe and wake up every morning!

We also have a Google search result link removal or deindexing service that offers an “it works of you don’t pay for it” stipulation because, as with anything this volatile and out of our control (Wikipedia is like this too), the probabilities can often commonly be as low as having 60% success rates. 

OK, definitions now. When we say link removal, we mean that: you go to the exact URL of the search result and it’s a 404! It’s just not there anymore. If this isn’t possible, by hook or by crook, then deïndexing is the next best thing. This means that the negative site content is still there if you input the URL directly into the search box; however, it’s no longer indexed by Google, so it’ll never again show up in a Google search. Once you deindex a page, Google will no longer be able to index it. 

The long and the short of it is that we at Gerris end up becoming an integral part of your online brand perception. The happiest of our clients have been with us for years. We become their hype team, their herald. And, for those of you who aren’t students of the 14th century, “heralds were originally messengers sent by monarchs or noblemen to convey messages or proclamations—in this sense being the predecessors of modern diplomats.” That’s what we do. We fiercely protect how you’re perceived if you’re under attack online; and, if you’re underwhelmed by how you come across on Google—or don’t come across at all—and you want to be tops on search for you, your brand, your legacy, or just you—then we do that as well and we call it online perception marketing. This is especially powerful if you have a very common name and want to break through all the other John Smiths and Jane Does. 

If you’re interested, we’d be happy to help. Pop us a note at [email protected] or [email protected] or schedule a call at and both Dan and I would love to answer any questions you might have. Via the blog.

Chaff and flare are countermeasures used by military planes and helicopters to help evade a missile attack by an enemy aircraft. For the non-stealthy fourth-generation assets that make up the bulk of the services' inventory, these systems are pivotal to that aircraft's defense.

Oct 13, 2021 11:55 AM