Can You Do Online Reputation Repair?
The short answer is that continuing reputation management makes reputation repair much easier! IX Brand SEO helps small businesses with search engine optimization, online reputation repair, and website development. Located in Sugar Land, TX, IX Brand SEO works with clients throughout Metro Houston and in other states. Call us at 281-343-3284 to visit about your business and goals for Internet marketing.
A recent issue of Bloomberg Businessweek had a great article called, “Fixing the Reputations of Reputation Managers,” which highlighted the difficulties of and even the impossibility of controlling your brand reputation online. There are many companies that promise to control what Internet searchers find when they search for your business name online, but can they really do it? Unfortunately, the answer is probably “No” according to Businessweek, and according to my experience in helping clients with their online reputations.
According to the article, the most prominent reputation management company, Reputation.com, “can’t entirely cleanse its own profile.”
The company’s first page of Google results is free of negative content, but when a user types the company name into the search box, Google’s auto-complete feature often suggests, “Reputation.com scam” as one of the choices. “To solve this for ourselves is not an option based on the time and money we’d have to put into it,” says Michael Fertik, chief executive officer of the …. company, which is backed by more than $67M in venture funding. “Sometimes you can move content from page two to page five of Google, but the cost becomes so high that it’s not realistic.”
The Businessweek article goes on to discuss possible options for reputation management including creating positive content to displace the negative information, persuading websites with negative content to remove it, and even legal action to force removal. Most times the legal route is more expensive than it’s worth, especially because websites that post, but do not author the negative content, are generally exempt from liability under federal law.
So one of the lessons of Businessweek’s article is that you don’t control your brand. You can spend huge amounts of money trying, but you’ll never succeed in completely controlling what Web searchers can find about your business on the Internet.
Continuing Reputation Management Makes Reputation Repair Much Easier!
The other lesson, not mentioned in the article, is that it’s best to be proactive! If you make it a business practice to ask your customers for reviews, recommendations, and testimonials and you regularly post this information and encourage them to post this information to the Web, you can make it very difficult for someone to do meaningful damage to your online reputation. In fact, a few complaints about you in a sea of positive comments can make the love from your customers even more credible.
So don’t wait for the sky to fall on your business! Call me to start a program of proactive online reputation management that will build protection for your brand year by year. We’ll survey your customers both for business feedback and to identify your boosters, and then help those boosters talk about your brand in visible places on the Web. It will work for your business as it’s working for my current clients — just give me a call to find out how.
One of my clients recently benefited from her year’s efforts in dedicated and proactive reputation management. A disgruntled ex-employee smeared her business name all over the Internet and actually alleged illegal conduct. We were able to get most of this defamatory information removed, but the few negative comments that remain online contrast with the many Web recommendations this client has received from customers over the last year. The few complaints make the many recommendations even more credible. The online reputation repair process was made much easier by this client’s foresight and proactive action. What would you do if an ex-employee libeled you online!
Get this process of brand protection started for your company. Call me at IX Brand SEO Services Company, 281-343-3284, to improve your placement in search results and help Web searchers find good words about your company when they find you online.
- Use Your iPhone as an SEO and Reputation Management Tool (houstontexasseo.com)
- Reputation Managers, Heal Thyselves (businessweek.com)
- 5 Ways To Take Back Your Reputation On The Web (fastcompany.com)