Although the typical use of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase the visibility of a company and get references to it to the top of a search engine results page, one growing trend in SEO involves bettering a company’s reputation.

In a recent piece for BusinessWeek, Andy Beal, reputation management consultant at Marketing Pilgrim, notes that companies should regularly check what is being said about them on the web. If the content is negative, they should do something about it.

Beal points out that companies should create new content in an attempt to push the negative results off of the first page of Google or any other search engine. To do this, Beal tell BusinessWeek that companies should have a blog and grab a profile on any number of social networking sites currently populating the web.

Reputation management appears to be a growing need for companies as more people are expressing their opinion about businesses online.

One company, Visible Technologies, recently unveiled its TruReputation service which promises to help improve the online reputation of companies. Although the company doesn’t say it will remove the negative comments, it does say it will push the content down on searches.

"If you have misaligned content, getting it off those first two pages and pushing it down is what we work with brands to do," says Blake Cahill, senior vice president of marketing at Visible Technologies. "We work with brands to outrank whatever is out there."

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.