Politicians, celebrities increasingly gaming search results

Politicians and celebrities are increasingly turning to reputation management companies to push out unwanted search results that reflect on them in a negative way.

A reputation management company has reported a 70 percent surge in British politicians, businesses, and pop stars who are secretly using its services to push out unwanted “damaging” information.

Over 90 percent of web users go straight to search engines when looking for information. As such, for people or businesses that depend on reputation, it’s awkward for them when unwanted details are near the top of search results – whether they are true or not.

The claim, from reputation management company Veribo, says its work covers “global household names”, including international businesses and “public figures and executives for whom protecting their online reputations is worth millions of pounds”.

Veribo’s CEO, Roei Deutsch, is Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid’s top new media advisor, and has cultivated a Facebook following for the politician.

A spokesperson for Veribo told TechEye, in brief, what the company does.

“In short, Veribo uploads and promotes relevant content and websites while pushing down unwanted search results,” the spokesperson said. The company does this “by creating content and websites that will overcome existing results and blend in naturally in the individual’s search results page.

“Veribo push down unwanted search results by pushing up positive or neutral ones,” the spokesperson said. “They create relevant content and use their special tools to promote and optimise it along with the existing content that the individual is happy to showcase”.

The spokesperson said the company mainly works on search engines to alter the visibility of search, rather than affecting actual content.