If you own a business, you know the importance of reputation management. Keeping track of what people say about your business, your services and your employees is critical. It only takes one negative comment to damage your hard earned reputation. And when your reputation takes a hit, your business runs the risk of losing revenue and clients. If you don’t believe me, just ask Domino’s Pizza about the damage one video can do. So, you ask, “how can my business manage its online reputation?” Let’s take a look at one specific area: photos and images that appear online.
Overview of Google Images
Google Images is a directory of images pulled from Web sites and resources across the Internet. Anyone can search this directory on any topic, including your products and the name of your business. Take a minute and check it out. Search Google Images for the name of your company. What do you find? Are there any results? Are you pleased with the results? Are some of the images a little concerning? If so, you may need to take action.
Online Reputation Management in Google Images
If you don’t like the results you found in a Google Images search of your company or its products, you have a couple of options to help you with your online reputation management. Let’s take a closer look at those options:
- Post and share more “official” images to the Web. When you did your search, perhaps you found only a handful of images that appropriately represent your company. In this instance, Google Images simply doesn’t have enough images from your company to include in its index. This is one of the easiest online reputation management problems to correct. Simply post and share the images that accurately reflect your company and its products across the Web. Start with your company’s Web site. Do you have photos and images included on the site? If not, insert them (starting a business blog and sharing them in that space is a great start). But make certain that you use appropriate keywords (the name of your company, brand or product) in the image file name and the alt tags. You can also share photos via social media sites whose profiles are crawled by the search engines (Google Plus, Twitter bio pages, Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn Company Pages, etc.). As you circulate these images, your reputation management problem will begin to shrink because you are providing the search engine with what it needs.
- Crowd out existing images by sharing more of your own. This is a slightly more difficult situation. Perhaps you found that there are several images associated with your brand that are unflattering. These could be pulled from blog posts on the Web from disgruntled customers or people with an axe to grind with your company. First, I recommend investigating the source of the image. Are the complaints valid? If so, you need to try to engage that individual to see if you can help them with their complaint. But in some instances, you may find the complaints are not valid. Your best reputation management defense in this situation is to continually share your own images, much as we talked about in the first option. By sharing more of your images in as many places as possible and as often as possible, you increase the likelihood that your images will be included in the Google Images results page.
Removing an Image from Google Images
In some instances, you may find someone has infringed your copyright by using your company’s logo or product images in an inappropriate way. Google Images does provide a way for you to request removal of that image from their index. Keep in mind, there preferred method for handling this situation is for you to contact the owner of the site that is incorrectly using the image. But they do provide a way for you to formally request that Google remove the image. If the request is approved, it may take a few days for the image to drop out of Google Images, but eventually it will go away.
Online reputation management for your business is not easy, but knowing how to monitor Google Images and position it so that your material can be found is critical for any business.