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Music mogul Simon Cowell, judge on a myriad of over-the-top talent shows, has been suggested to be using SEO to manage his online reputation; ensuring any Google search of his name returns only positive results.
Although the Cowell camp denies the manipulation of Google results (Cowell's UK spokesman called it a conspiracy theory), a quick Google search does indeed reveal a heavy bias towards more positive stories. Now this could be entirely natural, but given the nature of the man I wouldn't imagine it is. Cowell seems to have made his money by carefully controlling his public image, reputation and generally getting what he wants. Taking into account his money, personality and his knowledge of the importance of reputation management I can't see him leaving Google to return entirely natural results once he's discovered they could be manipulated.
Recent critics of Mr Cowell have noted that they're finding it extremely difficult to find any of their Simon-bashing articles on the web, suggesting that they're actively being found and removed. The most serious accusation of this comes from Hans Ebert and his own personal blog, which went down mysteriously for a few days after he posted a long tirade aimed at the American Idol Judge.
Ebert, author of the blog post 'Why American Idol Is Better Off Without Simon Cowell', saw his blog deactivated by providers Wordpress just hours after posting the article, claiming he had 'violated terms of service'.
Mr Ebert launched his own investigation into the deactivation of his blog (which was later reinstated), claiming that he'd discovered the trial let to two SEO companies, one based in Bangalore and another (specialising in reputation management) based in London. Cowell's spokesman is happy to deny this allegation too however, telling NY Daily News that the story was 'complete and utter rubbish.'
If Cowell is using SEO to manipulate the top 10 or 20 results for his name, the company he's using is obviously struggling to remove the brilliant Angry Simon; a flash based game where you fight Mr. High Waist himself in a wonderfully animated boxing match:
This article was worth writing just to find this game! Go and give the acid-toungued bully a black eye for yourself at www.angrysimon.com
Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a1/Simon_Cowell.jpg