The good name of your brand is your most important asset. Imagine this: A potential customer has decided he probably wants to buy his product from your site (Aardvark Imports). He goes to Google to run a search for your site (either to get the link or to run a last minute check), and the second search suggestion that pops up in the toolbar is “aardvark imports scam.” Not a pleasant thought, is it? A few negative comments about a company on the internet can get out of control fast. That’s why it’s so important for you to monitor search results for your brand name.

It’s pretty easy to do this on a basic level. Run regular searches for your brand. In fact, subscribe to search results with Google Alerts or a similar service and get them delivered right to your inbox. Also, don’t just search Google or Bing. Try Technorati as well. Technorati specializes in searching blog posts, so you can see if someone has a gripe about your company.

If you do find negative press about your brand, respond immediately. Don’t just hope it’ll blow over. A lot of big companies (and at least one royal family) have learned this the hard way. Get involved in the conversation. Offer to redress any wrongs. If bad press starts showing up in your brand’s SERP, consider creating content or leveraging existing content to push unwanted results lower on the SERP.