Reputation Management Facts & Insights

Beyond Self…
Reputation Management isn’t just about me – it’s about me, the company I work for or own, the products or services we offer, the community organization I run or volunteer at…

Reputation Management is a very important part of leadership in the 21st Century.  While it’s always been important generally speaking in the business world, with the power and open nature of the Internet, it’s more important to be aware of than ever before.

For example – if someone is unhappy with you, your company, products, services or a community cause that is important to you, there’s essentially nothing stopping them from complaining, griping, or otherwise ranting about it on the web.  They can do this on their own blog, in discussion forums, on corporate web sites, on YouTube… just about anywhere.

If you know what someone is saying is libelous, you would need to get a court order to have that information taken down.  And that would only do you any good if you knew how to contact the hosting provider for the site in question, or that you knew every place on the web the person ranted.
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An Ounce of Prevention…
The first rule to reputation management is to always only do good things, provide high quality products or services and never cause anyone to want to speak badly of you.  And if and when someone does rant, do what you can to resolve the problem if you contributed to it.
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All The World To See…
If you do participate in FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs, Discussion Forums, or any other online environment, you would be wise to always remember reputation management.  Ask yourself “Is what I am posting something that can’t come back to haunt me in six months or six years? “

“Am I forwarding this email because in this moment it seems fun, or funny, or scandalous?”

“Can I guarantee that the people I’m forwarding it to won’t turn around and forward it to fifty of their friends?”

“Am I using my business email address for personal communication?  Or my personal email for business communication?”
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Cleaning Up The Mess…
While a court order may be needed, it may not always work.  As a result, entire companies exist today for the sole purpose of cleaning up people’s and company’s reputation online.  This is typically achieved by two methods – contacting the people who post negative things, and saturation tactics.   Contacting the originator can sometimes help, but more often than not, if you don’t have a court order, they’ll ignore you and keep the information up on line as an act of defiance more than anything.
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Flooding The Net With Praise…
The more common method is to create so much positive information on web sites, blogs and social networks that you overwhelm the search engines with good information.

That information needs to be properly optimized for the search engines though, so that eventually the negative information ends up on the fourth or fifth page of Google.  That way, the next time someone looks up your information, they’ll see nothing but positive information, given that most people don’t ever go past the first few pages of results.
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Keep An Eye Out
Something that is highly recommended is at least a couple times a year, perform a Google Search to see what’s out there about you.  Don’t just enter your name in Google, enter your First and last name, then try it in the reverse.  Try it with your last name and first initial.
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POWER TIP – NOT JUST YOUR NAME

While it’s important to Google your name, your company or your brand, consider other methods to determine what’s out there about you that may not be aware of.

Other Google Searches To Conduct
Email Addresses
Phone Numbers
Mailing Addresses

Remember to do a separate search on both current and former information.   The Internet has been around for a long time and you never know what you might find from your past.

About Alan Bleiweiss

Just another guy. Who happens to have a lot of experience living, breathing and sleeping organic SEO. So that's my primary focus - high end SEO audits and consulting for sites ranging from thousands to tens of millions of pages. In my spare time I blog, rant, write eBooks, and speak at industry conferences.

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