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Technologies Review | March 24, 2018

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Your Online Reputation Is a Precious Commodity

Mike J

Managing online reputation is becoming an increasingly more difficult task.   As internet anonymity continues to erode, people are relying on a plethora of online resources to background check both professionals and businesses.  As the number of impressions left on the internet burgeons, the possibility of negative interpretation also increases.  Unfavorable publicity regarding an employee or brand can significantly damage the public relations image of a company and ultimately, negatively impact the bottom line.

Maintaining a pristine online reputation is becoming virtually impossible since as the internet community expands, more negative interactions take place.  Simple mistakes like misidentifying a person with the same name can cause irreparable damage. There are also character assassins who will intentionally try to hurt and individual or a company out of malice.

The good news is that in certain cases, it is possible to restore an online reputation.  If the negative publicity is an isolated instance without significant cross referencing, then managing it may only involve a few minor remedies.  The most common way to diminish the impact of a black mark on an online reputation is to push it down the search engine results (SERP) with some directed search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. This technique, known as reverse SEO, has become a vital tool for companies.

Whether the publicity is an isolated instance, it is false, or you or your business is being mistakenly targeted, reverse SEO remedies can shunt a piece of bad press to the hinterlands of unviewed pages.  These techniques can include intensive use of Q & A sites, buying the personal or business name as a URL, or posting videos that reference positive websites.

You may also be able to remove a blatantly false piece of publicity by contacting the webmaster of the website where the information is posted or the search engine’s quality engineer.  If the webmaster is a third party who possesses no stake in the matter, a courteous explanation of the situation can often rectify the situation with the removal of the offending text.

There is also the option of pursuing legal action.  A deliberate attempt to besmirch the reputation of someone, even in the digital sphere, is not legal.  Your right to protect online reputation is constitutionally protected and you may be able to bring a lawsuit against your accuser if they are posting false statements about you.

One of the most successful strategies for eliminating bad press is to develop a positive profile campaign ahead of time. If you or your company wants to head off the possibility of a bad news story, it is often a good idea to flood the internet with positive articles. There are a number of companies that are entering this emerging marketplace that can help bury unflattering information and place a spotlight on your good works.

Online reputation management information is available to anyone who peruses the internet, but effective use of these strategies usually requires considerable expertise.  Every company or individual makes mistakes and there are consequences.  Thankfully, they can be mitigated with effective online reputation management.