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Posted by Jeff in Marketing

Online Reputation Management

Within days of registering our new website www.reputationfixer.com we were contacted by large and small companies as well as individuals, who'd suffered from a negative search result on Google. One caller described how his reputation was being threatened by an article written over 15 years ago which had recently reappeared in a search for his name. He's concerned that when his job performance is under review, this derogatory news item could serve as a basis for dismissal or hamper his chances for advancement.

His concerns are well founded. It's become common practice for people to surf the web for news and information about people, places and companies. Researching new products and services is commonplace. it's expected that a prospective employer will conduct a thorough online search of any serious candidates for employment. Google has become the online manifestation of Orwell’s imagined “Big Brother”. If the algorithm has dealt you a bad hand, it's best you learn how to confront it rather than hoping it'll disappear by itself.

As a service to the companies and individuals for whom a search yields negative results. May suffer from this precarious condition in the future, we offer insights into the world of online reputation management.

How to Use Humor to Connect with Your Audience
by Jeff Newton The great 19th Century Irish playwright and humorist Oscar Wilde uttered these last words: “Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.” Why some enterprising wallpaper company hasn’t used this is beyond me, but it does go to underscore the point that humor sells. Humor effectively disarms people, often by getting them to see your point in a way they hadn’t thought of before, and initiates rapport where you might have had a difficult time creating some with your latest PowerPoint filed with facts. Art Linkletter told us that laughter is the best medicine, and he was spot on....

you're Not Alone

With the advent of bloggers, RSS feeds and web sites, anyone can define a person’s or company’s identity and challenge a website’s reputation and integrity. The rise and expansion of consumer generated media offers the public an opportunity to express their views. And this is being done at an unprecedented rate. People are expressing their views unabashedly, often with no regard for the consequences of what they're writing. With little for concern for the veracity of their comments.

The more a product, brand or company is exposed to public attention and scrutiny, the greater the likelihood that someone will want to challenge its reputation. This can include dissatisfied clients, customers and competitors, who may have legitimate complaints or rumor mongers and vindictive web site wizards, whose sole purpose is to challenge another website’s integrity. For example, 29 of the Fortune 100 Companies have at least one negative postings when “Googled”. These postings range from bad business practices and discrimination, to accusations that companies are connected to paramilitary death squads.

Negative postings aren't only surfacing on large or even medium corporate search results. Stories, rumors and press accounts that date back a decade or more are also traumatizing ordinary people. Seemingly innocent pranks and mischievous adventures that college students may have engaged in, have appeared in top positions of search engine listings seriously damaging their reputations, careers and lives.

You Can Take Charge

Combating the tribulations of a negative Google listing means taking charge of the search results that come up for your name, company, etc. If left to the vagaries of the search engine’s algorithm, you can easily fall victim to the whims of arbitrary conjecture, opinions and rumors. When you decide to take charge, you need to confront the search engines in a proactive and forthright manner, rather than adopting a passive or defensive posture.

Online reputation and search engine optimization professionals will tell you that it's no longer an issue of “if”. You should be managing your online reputation, the question is “how”. You should be managing it. And don’t assume that just because you're happy with the results of your own personal search today, that situation will continue indefinitely. Being on guard means:

1. knowing that the situation can turn against you and

2. having the ammunition to combat the rumor mongers when they strike.

Like the proverbial lawyer who, when deciding to represent himself, discovers has a fool for a client, most people, even those who are comfortable in the world of the internet, aren't competent to deal with the major league players when it comes to online reputation management. When you're up against a challenger that's Google on its team, you don’t want your teammates to be from the minor league, even if they can boast a relatively high batting score.

Working With a Pro

Successful ORM, focuses on having sufficient links to blogs, articles, press stories and allied web sites so that when a search is run for your name, all of the material you've positioned appears. The problem starts when a stubbornly entrenched negative press story or blog, appears on your page. It overpowers all of the listings you've put in place, how do you dislodge it?

That’s when working with a pro makes a real difference. The team at Reputation Fixer has an aggregate of decades of hands-on experience in working in the Google environment, managing successful web site optimizing campaigns in fiercely competitive markets dealing with the complexity and unpredictability of Google’s algorithm. Reputation Fixer is the major leagues when it comes to ORM. they're the kind of teammates you want when your reputation is at stake.

Measuring Success

Regardless of who actually manages your ORM campaign, what's required is distribution of positive content and strategic participation in online discussions which results in the creation and posting of positive content on your site. A successful search engine reputation management program ensures that those looking for information about you or your company will see favorable content wherever your name or your company appears as search results.

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