How Businesses and Individuals Can Benefit From Online Reputation Management

by dhiram

Have you ever Googled yourself, just to see what’s out there about you? Many have, and many are somewhat embarrassed about the things they’ve said or done and then published. Maybe it’s a photo of you partying at a frat party. Maybe you took someone or something to task and said some hurtful things that you now regret. Or it could be you are a very private person and just don’t like having your personal information online for anyone and everyone to see.

The use of social media is not going to decrease in the foreseeable future, and neither is the habit of sharing that many people have adopted. But you can’t control what other people post about you. If you’ve made some enemies along the way, there’s little you can do to safeguard your name and images from malicious posts.

What is Reputation Management?

This is where online reputation management comes in, for individuals as well as businesses. At the center of reputation management is the method of burying results from search engines that return unfavorable information high on the first or first few results pages. By publishing and maintaining content more in line with the clients desired image, the unfavorable reviews or misinformation will be pushed further down the page and hopefully to pages three and beyond, where users rarely bother to visit. This strategy takes aim at how search engines function, which involves content value and number of page visits, among other things.

How Not to Make Things Worse

Some reputation strategies include responding to negative information wherever it appears, on whatever site, in attempting to resolve complaints, or at least explain the issues. While there is merit in the idea of meeting complaints head-on, other reputation management businesses such as Reputation Defender counsel businesses and individuals to stay far away from those items.

Search engines do not account for positive or negative information, they only account for the number of clicks, or popularity, of those pages. By responding to those comments, you are only helping those pages climb in the rankings. By countering negative content through publication of new data elsewhere, you’re offering an alternative with updated information (another factor in search engine results).

The Effects of Bad Information

The Internet has brought about many good things, as well as some that are not so good. Your name can be attacked by anyone from your past, such as an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, and anyone in your present as well. Old employers or co-workers can easily say you were fired for any number of reasons, and there’s not much you can do about it. It’s a given that any potential employer is first going to do an Internet search on your name and find those results.

For a business, bad reviews and other negative comments can hurt its ability to attract new customers and even affect its revenue. Just how important online comments are is seen in the results of a market survey by Dimensional Research; it finds that 86 percent of those polled said good and bad information influenced their purchases. A Nielsen survey further makes the point with results showing that 68 percent of respondents confess to trusting online information, as well as online videos and social media ads.

Getting Your Positive Image Out There

The flip side of society’s use of and belief in information from Internet sources is that you, whether you are a business or an individual, have the opportunity to put your information and history out there in a positive manner that potential employers and customers alike will see. It’s just as important to put your information out there as it is to control a negative image. If you’re in business, or can claim expertise in your field, you should have a social media profile. It’s the first thing potential clients will look for; by having an active social presence, you are taking proactive steps to safeguard your image and personal brand.

How to Keep Personal Information Private

If you’re an individual worried about protecting your family, there are ways ReputationDefender can help you keep your personal information private. With websites that publish personal information that’s in the public domain, it gets easier all the time for others to harass you or steal your identity. However, there are steps you can take to safeguard your family. Here are some examples of how Reputation Defender can help:

– Remove personal information sold for marketing purposes
– Prevent sensitive data such as your medical history from wider distribution
– Monitor information that is delivered during a personal search
– Show you what others see when they Google you
– Reduce unwanted mail and email
– Block solicitors and telemarketers

Although credit monitoring is a part of the picture, privacy protection is so much more. It’s about avoiding problems such as identity theft and all the hassle of correcting it. It about preventing cyberbullying, stalking and other personal threats. It’s about keeping you and your family safe.

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