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SEO Tips for People Impacted by Ashley Madison Hack

     
10:34 pm on Aug 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In case you haven't heard there was a hack of the infamous Ashley Madison website that exposed personal details for over 30 million accounts. Many of those accounts are probably fake and were created by curiosity seekers. But what if someone created a fake account using your name? Or let's be incredibly optimistic and some of those accounts were single people looking for other singles. Right now your name is popping up on many sites that are republishing this stolen data and associating your name with an infamous website. This is a great opportunity to revisit SEO reputation management.

Step #1 - Stay Clean. It is easier and cheaper in business not to need reputation management so try to make changes to avoid any future activity that might need to be cleaned up later.

Step #2 - If someone is republishing stolen or copyrighted data (it could be your credit card details, your web content, internal emails, etc) You can legally request that the website owner and/or hosting company that the website owner is using immediately remove it.

Step #3 - You can file a DMCA request with Google to remove the website from the search results.

Step #4 - Build up a positive image for your company or personal name. It can be hard to get rid of all negative mentions from the web but you can make the negative mentions less noticeable by flooding the web with positive mentions. Build up strong profiles on social sites, personal blogs and other free publishing sites. Very few people look at the second page of Google results. By building up the blogs and social sites you can get the first 10 results in Google to be positive.

Step #5 - Monitor for new mentions by setting up a Google Alert or select a paid service to monitor the search results.

Step #6 - If you are in Europe, look into the "Right to be forgotten" option with Google. Does not apply to US.

Step #7 - Probably want to skip SEO sabotage. Unless you are an expert your attempt at SEO sabotage can backfire and make the negative site rank even higher in the search engines.

I'm running out of time, so feel free to add to this list of SEO reputation management tips for complete newbies.
4:40 am on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Apologies, but I have to disagree.

Reputation management is an ongoing process that applies to the steps you've listed.
Damage control is more of an "oh-sh*t", what do we do now when things hit the fan and it's probably going to be quite a bit more expensive.

I try to not be judgmental, but why would a person use "real" access information on a site like Ashley Madison? Did they not realize they were hanging a target on their back?
6:04 am on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I try to not be judgmental, but why would a person use "real" access information on a site like Ashley Madison? Did they not realize they were hanging a target on their back?


AM probably requires users to verify their email address to complete registration (of course, anyone sneaking around would be wise to create a freemail account for the purpose).

If they pay by credit card they'd also have to use their real name.

Edit: 0 votes huh? Is that like... Likes? I've been away a while :)
1:46 pm on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I try to not be judgmental, but why would a person use "real" access information on a site like Ashley Madison? Did they not realize they were hanging a target on their back?


I don't mind being judgmental. People are dumb.This is just one more example.
3:17 pm on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What netmeg said..plus , IMO anyone who is trying the "my name is on the Ashley Madison site , the one that has the accounts had to be paid for with a credit card because someone is trying to mess with me or has stolen my credit card details to use that site"..is "trying it on"..

They got caught "cheating" because some one hacked a site database that was not secured correctly, and which stored details that they should not,.

Lessons to be learned..make sure the right head ( the one on the shoulders ) is doing the decision making online as well as offline..

SEO to mitigate it for those who got caught..Hell no..it won't work..( futile waste of time and money ).and like many others, I'm too busy laughing at them..
7:50 pm on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The only thing more common in the universe than hydrogen is human stupidity (Einstein). The way to manage something like this is to never play the game. (Think the Eighties movie War Games and tic-tac-toe).

I do hope that no one here got caught in that ugly mess!
7:59 pm on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Silly me. I'd never heard of the Ashley Madison site until it popped up in the headlines. (I'm more of a Laura Ashley fan myself.)
11:34 am on Aug 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I don't think anybody is really concerned about their reputation because they were only using it for research.
10:42 pm on Sept 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Silly me. I'd never heard of the Ashley Madison site until it popped up in the headlines. (I'm more of a Laura Ashley fan myself.)

Knew who (what) Ashley Madison is, but had to look up Laura Ashley :)

Leaked docs show actual AM membership to be: over 20 million men & only 1,500 women... giving new meaning to the phrase "tired housewife."