I had an interview today with a reporter who is covering a story about a company that sells the ability to bury bad on-line comments by pushing them down the Google search. In other words, a reverse search-engine-optimization concept.
It is not surprising that someone came up with the idea to sell companies on the idea to get rid of the bad reviews. It's like the Mafia getting rid of the body.
There are so many problems with this that I am not sure where to start. First, brands and reputation are not being build on Google searches like they were 5-years ago. This has now moved to social media--conversations on the Internet. Blogs and micro-blogs (Twitter) are where the action is. Second, this plays right into bad management. If someone is saying something negative about your company, a smart manager should want to know why, whether it might have some truth, and then take action to correct it. This is the opposite. "I don't like what people are saying and I want you should make them go away"