online reputation management case study


Digital Trails was tasked by a client (who will remain anonymous) to help them clean their branded search profile from negative results damaging their reputation and revenue potential significantly.


Push two negative results ranking 4th & 5th in Google for the client’s two main brand keywords to the second page of search results, in order to dramatically reduce the views these received (estimated at 157/m).


The negative search results we were tackling were quite established (were old and ticked all the boxes to rank well on the first page of Google and received significant user interaction, which the search engine was perceiving as a positive ranking factor. As is the case with most types of negative content regarding a brand, be it in search results or social media, these are likely to attract the public’s attention. This is why it’s recommended for brands to act quickly and in a transparent way whenever their reputation is under attack.


To overcome the challenges we were facing, we decided to employ a multifaceted approach, which would not only help push the negative content down in search, but will also ensure the first page is populated with our client’s website properties and factual information from third party editorial content, which would help users access transparent and unbiased information when searching for branded terms related to our client.

For this purpose we used a mix of digital tactics:

1. Optimised some of the client’s own website properties to rank for the target keywords.
2. Created new landing pages and optimised them to climb up on the first page of Google Search results.
3. Used PPC to push down organic results by two positions for the duration of the campaign.
4. Cleverly interlinked the client’s own properties with neutral, third party editorial content.
5. Secured PR placements in industry specialist media outlets and encouraged comments to virality (and rankings).
6. Used a clever mix of AI enabled and manual link-building to positive assets we felt deserved to have higher visibility up in the searches.


The campaign lasted for 12 months and achieved the objectives we set with the client in the beginning. The two negative results we were tackling were pushed down to the second page of Google search results, and even stopped ranking for lengthy periods of time throughout the final months of activity. The positive impact was clear, with SERPs being populated by positive and neutral content upon performing a branded search.

As a result, visibility for the negative articles dropped by 80%. The first page of search results in Google was populated with various of the client’s website properties and third party neutral editorial, such as industry specific round-ups or listings as well as social media assets.

Are you or your company dealing with negativity in the press or other online platforms? The sooner you act, the lesser the damage to your reputation. Get in touch for a fully confidential free assessment.