In physics, horror vacui, or plenism, is commonly stated as "Nature abhors a vacuum". It is a postulate attributed to Aristotle, who articulated a belief, later criticized by the atomism of Epicurus and Lucretius, that nature contains no vacuums because the denser surrounding material continuum would immediately fill the rarity of an incipient void.[1] He also argued against the void in a more abstract sense (as "separable"), for example, that by definition a void, itself, is nothing, and following Plato, nothing cannot rightly be said to exist.
Before you embark on a costly campaign to repair your first two pages of Google search results after you, your company, your brand, or your product have been slandered or besmirched online, understand that it’s a life sentence. While your initial contract with me or another ORM shop will be expensive and lock you into a year, it doesn’t stop there.

If, after a year, you don’t maintain all the work that we have done over the previous three-to-twelve months, including website hosting, domain names, and the naturally-occurring activity and updates associated with the dozens of bespoke and hosted sites, the hundreds of social networking sites, thousands of links and millions of words, then your ORM provider might yank all of that content overnight. This results in not just a vacuum—which Google abhors—but in a black hole.

A black hole is a powerful entity — it has such strong gravitational effects that nothing can escape. That’s one hell of a lot worse than a vacuum. And what rushes into this reputational black hole when the entire superstructure isn’t maintained is catastrophic because it’s generally not as gentle and gradual as a vibrant city like Detroit slowly, over decades, going to seed and slowly decaying over time turning from a major metropolis into a ghost town. It’s more along the lines of the Chernobyl disaster—it’s the equivalent of getting completely nuked.

It’s what’s called in the online reputation management world as a China Syndrome Event.

A news reporter (Jane Fonda) and her cameraman (Michael Douglas) are unintentional witnesses to a SCRAM incident, an emergency core shutdown procedure at a nuclear power plant in California. The crew prevents a catastrophe, but the plant supervisor (Jack Lemmon) begins to suspect the plant is in violation of safety standards, and tries desperately to bring it to the attention of the public, fearing that another SCRAM incident will produce an atomic disaster.
The China Syndrome, 1979

Unless you’re older than I am, you might not know what a China Syndrome is. Well, according to Wikipedia, “the ‘China syndrome’ is a nuclear meltdown scenario so named for the fanciful idea that there would be nothing to stop the meltdown tunneling its way to the other side of the world, China.”

This is a compelling enough reason for most clients to honor their contract—sometimes. Getting nuked is a lot worse than getting the bends from garden-variety decompression sickness or another vacuum- and pressure-related diving injuries.

But it’s easy to prevent. It’s called maintenance mode and requires a maintenance fee. There are different levels. There are active and passive modes. Do you want us to continue to maintain and update all the content and use those social and blog and site platforms to continue to armor and defend your good name online? Passive is what it sounds like: just paying to keep the light on, the hosting fees paid, the platform software updated, the security of all the content maintained and protected.

After our contract is fulfilled, maintaining the hundreds of pages and dozens of sites and properties that have filled that vacuum that Google abhors, pushing down all the negative search results past page one, two, or three, is a small price to pay for peace of mind, for inner tranquility.

It’s like needing to take anti-rejection drugs—Immunosuppressants—religiously, every day, for the rest of your life after you get heart, kidneys, brain, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestine, and thymus organ transplant surgery. Or the insulin you need to take until the day you die resulting from your Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

Using online reputation management (ORM) strategies to repair negative search results on Google is a life-long commitment: you’re taking insulin every day, forever. But it’s a much-needed commitment, as you’ll be in trouble without it.

So, this article is a little bit of a warning. There are no half-measures in online reputation management.

You either commit 100% or you might as well just simply work on filling the vacuum of who you are online organically and by yourself or using internal resources. Because if you hire an ORM company and can’t keep up with the payments, or decide to bail out halfway like D. B. Cooper, then you might do much more harm to your online reputation and Google search than if you just suffered through the negative search results on your own.