I work on behalf of a company with a fairly unique company name. They rank #1 in Google for it and the rest of the page one results consist of other firms talking about my client.
Including one at #4. This is a site where consumers vent their frustrations about firms. The page has title tags starting with (my clients) company name and it also includes an alternative way of searching for it - with space or without. I can think of no other reason to do this that isn't SEO related. It also does this within the page.
I am not sure if some of the negative posts are from competitors but my client has asked how we get rid of it or diminish it's rank. Yeah!
I can only think of contacting the site in question and seeing if they will remove seo-type tricks. Any other ideas?
See if the site will allow your client to respond to the accusations or complaints. I've seen sites like that with complaints, but sometimes if the company responds, it makes it seem like it evens out the bad.
If they're valid complaints, I'm not really sure what you can do other than ask them to try not to SEO for the company name. Then again, that request could itself be more bad PR, since it could be posted on the site and make the company look like a whiner.
Tough call. I think I'd see if the company could respond on the site in question, and if not, tell the client just to let it go: there's no way to influence an outside site.
Personally, I would create a few article threads on other websites, describing how wonderful and unique your clients site is. No duplication, just write articles with different stand points [maybe some interviews with the site owners or a tips page which helps the site user to get more from the service], which will have some value to readers and eventually you will saturate your competitor in the listings.
I've always thought that competition is better than censorship in these cases.