Here’s a friendly heads up: If you claim to be an injured war veteran and take benefits from people who have actually made sacrifices, well, you’re a scumbag, Braulio Castillo. You deserve everything of what’s coming. What’s coming, you might wonder?
S-to-the-E-to-the-Oh, my God.
As in, “Oh my God, my professional name and entire reputation are ruined because I can’t escape my search results!“
It’s pretty easy to ruin a professional reputation online due to knee-jerk stupidity (just ask “fail whale” Geoffery Miller, Ph.D.). It’s another thing to underestimate how long it will take to clean up your mistakes online. The words “Braulio Castillo” and his contractor companies “Signet Computers” and “Strong Castle” will suffer in an attempt to outrun to the long arm — not of the law, but of search.
(Which some might say is damn fine justice for a $500M cheater.)
These are crosses that I bear due to my service to our great country and I would do it again to protect this great country…
Castillo said this regarding a prep school football injury.
The truth is, online content doesn’t die very easily. Especially when it is reported widely and linked through and between high-authority sites. That’s really bad news.
Also bad is if a military brat like me has a personal desire to pick up the story and add more noise to the conversation. That just adds more negative references to you in search, which is unfortunate. (Welcome to 2003 and the introduction of WordPress. Everyone has a global publishing platform now! Wow!)
Here’s how you can try and reverse the search damage, Castillo. Or you, if you’ve found yourself in a similarly fubar situation. Note the word “try” — no one has control over Google and Bing, not even the U.S. military:
- Create New Content — Lots of It! Hire a spin doctor PR agency — likely a very expensive one — to give you brand new positioning in the form of a New Image. (Tip: Playing the “victim card” probably won’t work for you again, Castillo.) Then, create a bunch of content showing what an upstanding citizen you really, truly are (befitting New Image). Make sure you produce content that shows you petting puppies and/or kissing babies. Both are recommended, especially if you can do it at the same time! That stuff is shareable! Now, don’t limit yourself to just video. You need audio, podcasts, PDFs, infographics, the whole lot. This is war, Castillo, war! You know all about war, right?
- Get Authority Sites to Link to It! Easy-peasy! Approach sites with quality page rank to talk about and disseminate all of your content. Make special note of all the big sites that already carried your damning news. They love a comeback, hero story! (Note: This is what is referred to in the writing biz as “PLS,” “paragraph-length sarcasm.” I’m just fooling you! It won’t be easy, and no one will care about your PR meltdown repair strategy!)
- Rinse and Repeat. Sure, there are sites that offer to help you “repair” your online reputation. Those work really well for burying photos of collegiate keg stands. But you? For something like this? You’re in what’s called a bag of dicks. You’ll need a full-out multimedia, multi-channel, multi-year content strategy to repair your search situation.
Sorry, I won’t help you.
That’s it. Simple stuff, really. Quality content. Lots of it. Get started on that search repair strategy stat! Otherwise, you risk a life of social judgment, eating beans and motherf*****s!
Katie McCaskey is SixEstate's content director. She tests real-world application of content marketing techniques using the cafe she co-owns as a laboratory. She was Tech Editor of Chief Content Officer, 2010-2011, and contributes to the Content Marketing Institute. Connect with her on Google+ or @KatieMcCaskey.