Saturday, January 13, 2007

01/13/07 - Industry growth - Handling negative publicity


For those of you who are new to the ...VLUeM, the purpose of this e-memo is to update the Vitamin Lawyer and Vitamin Lawyer News web sites for my contacts and client list. You got on this e-list by opting in or becoming a client of the Vitamin Lawyer Consultancy. If you want to be taken off the list, please “reply” to this email with the word “remove” in the subject line. On the other hand, you are welcomed to forward this to your own elist… :)

And do remember to check out the Online ...VLUeM Archives: and my Online Seminar listing of briefs and white papers: .
Here’s what I cover in this memo:

1. Vitamin Industry continues rapid growth.
2. Handling negative search engine postings

1. RAPID GROWTH! -- It’s going to be a great new year! The latest figures show that Vitamin Industry sales have increased to over $28,000,000,000 – that’s 28 billion dollars – per year! As recently as 1993 some sources list annual dietary supplement sales at under one billion dollars. In about a decade and a half, sales may have risen at the astounding average annual rate of two billion dollars a year! What’s your share of the industry? Where will this rate of growth take it over the next decade? Are you ready to rise with this rising tide – or, rather, with this tsunami of sales? Looks like an interesting year ahead!

2. NEGATIVE WEB PUBLICITY -- I’ve recently been asked by several people to help clear search engines of negative postings. While their own web sites rank near the top for their chosen search terms, or for their own names or company names, they also found some rather negative postings also having very high search engine positions. This is especially true regarding negative postings from such sources as the now largely discredited “Quackwatch” web sites. Once a “quack attack” has been launched, though, it tends to linger on the web. When, as was recently the case, a negative posting including confidential government investigative materials that are privileged by law, a strongly worded Cease and Desist letter from a lawyer to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) providing the web space for the offending site will often cause the deletion of the page. Other times, litigation is necessary. See my site, . The Vitamin Lawyer is available to send C&D notices for you, or to consult with local counsel if litigation is needed. The sooner you start, the quicker the negative web pages will disappear!

But, often, there are “lawyerless” approaches that can help reduce the search engine ranking of negative postings. The following excerpts from a recent issue of Entireweb Newsletter contain a wealth of ideas to deal with negative press.

"Entireweb Newsletter * January 9, 2007 * ISSUE #299 - Ten Tips To Clear Search Engines of Negative Press

"What do you see when you search for your company or brand name? Is there anything on the first page of the search engine results that you wouldn't be proud to display on your home page? Consumer review sites, blogs and forums have made it easy for anyone to say whatever they want about your company, whether they be disgruntled customers or competitors who like to play dirty. ... If you're in a situation where negative publicity is front and center in search results, there are ways you can reclaim search engine real estate for your corporate identity. Though you can't make negative results disappear from the search engine indexes entirely, the following strategies can help them slip off the first few pages of search engine results.

"1. Good Old Fashioned Networking - Even if you take none of the advice following in this article, the first thing you should do is contact the webmasters of the sites in question with a polite request for removal of negative comments. There's a good chance they'll be willing to co-operate. ...

"2. Tap Into the Power of Wiki - Wiki websites allow users not only to add their own content, but also edit pages. ... There are many wiki pages like and that you can use to create content about your company. ...

"3. Raise Your Profile - Some websites like allow you to post your company's profile. ...

"4. Wet Your Pen - Articles can help you kill three birds with one stone. Not only can articles rank for your company name, they also build valuable backlinks to your site and position you as an expert in your field. You can use your company name in the resource box at the end of an article along with a link back to your site...

"5. Become A Socialite - Using social bookmark sites like Netvous and is an easy way to quickly create a page that ranks for your name. ... The links themselves are not given much weight by search engines, but you have an opportunity to use your company name in the titles and descriptions of your bookmarks and photos. ...

"6. Become A Lensmaster - A company blog is certain to rank well, and it's easier than ever to create one with When you create a "lens" for your site, you can easily upload pictures and also make use of tags. Unlike other blogs, Squidoo won't show the posting date, so your lens won't look neglected if you ever stop posting. You can build your blog's link popularity by submitting it to blog directories like LSBlogs and BlogHub, and linking to it from your site...

"7. Broadcast Yourself - Do you have promo videos or other visual media about your site? Why not create a channel [on sites like YouTube]..

"8. Explore Shopping Engines - If you sell products online, consider listing them in comparison shopping sites, or "shopping engines" like, Bizrateor Nextag. ...

"9. Use Directories For Deep Links - Search engines still consider a page's number of relevant backlinks to be a strong indicator of quality and relevance to a search term. Octopedia, WorldSiteIndex and Microsoft's Small Business Directory are a few examples of solid directories ...

"10. Post An E-Help Wanted Sign - Leverage the strength of sites like to post your company's current job offerings. Make sure you use your company name first in the posting headline...

"Tracking Results - I strongly recommend setting up an account with Google Alerts (free) which monitors the top 50 results, or with Google Alert, a professional tracking system that will monitor the top 200 results for you for as little as $4.95/month. You will be notified daily when new references to your name have been found in Google - not only to see when your articles, profile pages, blog posts and so on get indexed, but also to keep on top of any new negative or positive references to your name outside of your own reputation management efforts.

"How Long Will This Take? - Results may vary but they won't come overnight. You will get out of your reputation management efforts what you put in. It could take anywhere from a few months to a year. Expect monitoring and tweaking your strategy to be a long-term activity. As new pages are being added daily to the Web, search results for your name can fluctuate daily, even hourly... The key is to look at reputation management as a long term activity and to take advantage of all the options you have to keep the search engine results positive.

"About the Author: Linda Bustos is the Marketing Director for Image X Media, a Vancouver web design and Internet marketing firm. She also blogs about social media and business."

Well, that’s all for now.
Prosperous New Year!

Ralph Fucetola JD

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