Today Elixir Interactive has published the results of an ongoing case study documenting a systematic attack on our online reputation. “Brands Under Attack” details the tactics used by unscrupulous companies and/or individuals in an attempt to overwhelm search engine results with negative, slanderous reports for a given brand or brand-related keyword. The case study is the result of months of research and analysis that was sparked when Elixir came under attack in early 2010, as originally outlined here in March.
Taking full advantage of the anonymity of review and complaint sites and employing black hat linking tactics, someone has been attacking online reputation management companies since at least the Fall of 2009. When we first noticed they were attacking Elixir, rather than ignoring it or dealing with it behind closed doors, I decided to document the tactics used by our attacker as well as the actions we took to counter it and to bring everything out into the open on the web. While we certainly garnered sympathy with our first blog post four months ago, we also triggered a more vicious and persistent attack, which continues to this day.
As an experienced Online Reputation Management (ORM) company, Elixir already had a solid web presence and we have been able to increase the visibility of some of our assets as well as create additional ones to counter the unrelenting creation of fictitious reports against our brand. The case study explains the steps we took, and continue to take, to maintain clean SERPs for our branded search terms. It also analyzes the complicity of complaint sites in these types of attacks, the surprising lack of legal recourse for what would otherwise be considered slanderous reviews, and the price of living in a instantaneous and anonymous web.
“Brands Under Attack” can be found at www.elixirinteractivecomplaints.com where we will continue to update the case study as needed.