This week we feature US based startup, SearchManipulator, founded in 2010 by Silicon Valley engineers, that cares about how you look online.
The business model is rather straightforward:
They have a proprietary method to completely remove stubborn websites, such as RipoffReport, PissedConsumer, Yelp, YouTube, news articles, court records, mugshots and others.
How it works?
The company has created an easy to use software designed for an individual or small business. The do-it-yourself software goes to work creating a strong online presence for you or your business by signing you up for high ranking websites such as LinkedIn, Hi.Im, VentureBeat and dozens of other social media outlets. The software also takes it one step further by handling the SEO and back-linking for you, so your websites rank higher in search results.
searchmanipulator.com – Online reputation management.
Competitors: RipoffRemoval.com, Brandyourself, and Reputation.com
Startup stage and funding: $2.2m. https://www.crunchbase.com/
Q&A: Interview with Matthew Peters, CEO, San Francisco
How did you get started with the idea?
I was a contractor at Reputation.com, a competitor that started the online reputation management industry, developing software for the data entry employees. I realized one day that the software I was working on could be used by the average computer user as a DIY. Instead of a client having to pay $5,000+ for a company to do it for them, they could do it themselves for much less and only a few hours of work. So, a few of us left the company, and started SearchManipulator in 2010. After popular demand, we branched into professional services and legal defamation cases.
Who are the main customers of SearchManipulator.com?
We have clients from all parts of the world, and every industry. The typical client has something negative online that they don’t want people to see. It could be a complaint against a business (WebMD, RipoffReport, PissedConsumer for example), a lawsuit from a business partnership gone wrong (Justia, Pacermonitor), a slanderous remark from an ex girlfriend (DontDateHimGirl, Cheatersville).
How do you plan to address practical challenges?
The two main challenges are the reputation of our industry, and advertising. Google is getting increasingly difficult to manipulate, but our competitors are still taking on clients they know they can’t help. As a result, it gives our industry a bad name. To stand out, we had to implement a full money back guarantee and pay per performance options.
Second, getting new clients in the door has proved problematic. Most of our clients find us through word of mouth, of a friend who we had helped in the past. But those numbers are limited. Our competitors use platforms like Google Adwords to find more clients, but the bidding has been jacked up so much that it costs close to $1,000 in advertising to get a client in the door.
What are your plans to go global? We already have offices in US and UK and we have customers in every major region in the world. We plan to continue to build on this. Its an exciting and emerging space and we have a lot of inbound interest from globally dispersed companies around the world that recognize the importance of engaging their entire workforce and creating strong employee experiences.
Tell us about your business model. Where do you see yourselves in a year?
We are planning on opening an office in New York City so our East Coast clients have a PR representative they can easily meet with. We have clients from all over the world already, including politicians, athletes, Fortune 500 companies and international businessmen. However, we would like to increase the quantity of those clients, since they are typically the ones that need the most help and subscribe to ongoing services.
Any other details you wish to highlight about SearchManipulator.com?
We are the only company that can get Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Google Reviews and Glassdoor reviews completely off search results.
We are also the only company that works on a pay per performance basis, so there is no risk. Most of our competitors promise the world, but rarely deliver.
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