Search Engine Conquesting, the brand battlefield

This article is originally from August 2007. I decided to dust it off, simply because it was correct two and half years ago and continues to highlight an important trend regarding how search engines and businesses interact online. Once you understand this concept, several other more advanced ideas regarding online reputation and brand management begin to have a clearer picture (such as search reputation and brand value)


When most people think of the word “conquesting” they probably think of roman soldiers claiming Europe or Celtic barbarians ravaging peasant villages. While the term may invoke memories of epic stories, it is also beginning to see a revival in the online marketplace. Conquesting in regards to marketing is when a competitor purposely places advertising and brand message side by side with similar businesses. In the real world conquesting has been around for years in grocery stores where like-minded products are side by side or in retail malls where cell phone booths are packed within arms reach of one another. In print media conquesting often took the form of advertisers purposely buying strip ads near larger competitive ads in an attempt to leverage the competitors larger ad. Read more

Online reputation specialist? expert? consultant?

I was flattered last year when a long time reader referred to me as not only an online expert, but as one of the grandfathers of online reputation. For me online reputation is far beyond simple search engine tricks and knowing what social media communities you need to be involved with: it is about knowing how an individual professional and corporate brand exists both online AND in relation your strategic future. I originally began working with the concept of online reputation while I was working at TMP worldwide and promoting the flagship recruiting product (that was a long time ago!)

There are a lot of vultures hopping onto the term looking for is easy money to be made, but the reality of online reputation is that it is one of the hardest professions to excel in. It is also one of the most damaging professions to error within (a mistake in online reputation is often like a mistake in brain surgery.) Even in the last month, I saw several large venture capital investments in groups that have questionable service platforms. The industry evolves daily, has major technical overlap, and connects into dozens of business fundamentals. Read more