In the fully-connected online world, our reputations are the foundation of our online presence. A good reputation helps to drive business growth; those people searching for a company to do business with are influenced by positive information. Bad reputations, on the other hand, can negatively harm business prospects. To restore damaged reputations, both companies and individuals can use a practice known as online reputation management or ORM. Not all online reputation management companies are the same. In order to get the most from the practice, it is imperative that one selects the very best reputation management service provider possible. Here’s how.
Table of Contents:
In simple terms, online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of helping to suppress any negative search results that may appear in online searches using Google, Bing, or any of the other popular search engines. ORM service providers use a combination of proprietary methods and time-honored digital marketing practices to push negative results down in searches. Eventually, and with a bit of hard work and expertise, these negative results may disappear altogether from first-page search results.
Businesses may want to monitor their reputation on other websites, such as Twitter or Reddit, but their search engine results are the most important to have cleaned up.
When a searcher finds information about a company or person, he or she is likely to be influenced by the reputation of that company or person. Imagine if you or your company were to have a negative news article posted about your operations, or if a disgruntled employee posted unflattering opinions – or outright falsehoods – about your practices. Your reputation could be harmed, and this negative information, unfortunately, often appears at or near the top of search results.
Since you cannot remove your name or brand from search, a suppression strategy can be put in place. To achieve this, ORM companies help create new content that showcases the abilities, skills, and products of a given person or company. This new information is indexed by search engines as relevant and timely, effectively pushing negative listings further down the search results page. ORM isn’t only good for restoring a badly-damaged reputation; it can also be used to build brand awareness or to further reinforce a great business reputation. The more positive content available to the search engines, the more search visibility improves.
There are hundreds of companies that offer ORM services. As can be imagined, many of these companies offer promises that are simply too good to be true. One of the most common promises is that of “guaranteed removals” or “internet removals”.
Here are the reasons why internet removal services are NOT a good strategy:
‘Guaranteed’ removal is a myth. Short of a legal takedown notice or other legal means, websites are under no obligation to remove information that is damaging to a company’s or individual’s reputation. The best that an ORM company can do is to ask the offending site to remove negative information, which is typically ineffective.
Negative information removal is not sustainable. If an ORM company is successful at getting an offending website to take down information, there is nothing stopping another site from reposting that same negative information. If the negative information reappears elsewhere, the search engines can index it and deliver negative results to search users, effectively negating any improvements that have been made.
There is no real control over search results. With shady ORM practices, quick improvements can be made, but these never last for long. Without the services of a quality ORM provider, bad information can reappear and online reputations are at the mercy of anyone with internet access. Having no control over what others do and say on the Web is incredibly frustrating, not to mention expensive both in terms of lost business prospects and the fees associated with ORM campaigns.
Prominent reputation management companies like ReputationDefender and others use sky-high promises in their marketing materials. It is important to be skeptical for this reason: There are no promises or guarantees in the world of Google. If a strategy worked in 2010, it does not mean it works in 2020.
We recommend finding an honest, transparent reputation management firm or consultant who is results-based and shows a passion for helping individuals and businesses repair their online reputation.
If your online reputation is damaged, choosing the right online reputation management company is critical. Thankfully, there are reputation service providers who offer great services and results without having to resort to false promises or misleading practices. Here are some tips for selecting a company that can actually deliver positive and sustainable results:
Online reputation management is an important component of the digital environment. With a great service provider, businesses and individuals can take charge of the information that appears in online searches, helping to suppress negative information and to improve positive search visibility – visibility that drives business growth. Click here to receive a free analysis from our reputation experts.