The Online Reputation Management Blog

6 min read

Reputation Management Roundup - October 2021

In this article: About half of business listings include inaccurate information, Apple and Microsoft are both looking into more ad control technology, a new search engine is on the rise in Europe, and Google is treating search result titles differently. 

Here's a roundup of what's changed:

11 min read

Get Sued for Leaving Negative Reviews? Maybe.

Can customers be sued for leaving negative reviews

Highlights

  • A business can sue if an online review is untruthful, libelous, slanderous, defames character, intentionally interferes with business expectancy, violates privacy rights, or breaches a contract.
  • A lawsuit is usually not usually the preferred course of action when dealing with negative reviews.
  • In most cases, online reviewers are protected as long as their statements are truthful. In fact, in the US, most states have laws that make it illegal for businesses to interfere with or manipulate online reviews.

It's the golden era of online reviews. No one is spared from the judgment of strangers anymore. If you're a business owner, you might cringe at that idea – and then wonder how to change it. Spoiler alert: suing the reviewer is usually not the best course of action. 

Sections

6 min read

Commonly used terms related to Wikipedia editing

Key insights

  • Wikipedia has its own culture. Knowing the jargon will help you navigate the online encyclopedia. 
  • There are terms in different categories: about users, policies, creating content, and references.  

It’s hard to overestimate the power of Wikipedia. While some other websites could have a bigger effect on your company’s reputation or SEO, few of those websites are edited by the general public. 

To understand and leverage Wikipedia, you need to speak its language. Knowing these terms will not only give you a head start into working with Wikipedia the right way, but also provide insight into the politics behind it. Wikipedia’s jargon is in large part concerned with transparency: knowing who edits what and making sure each article is as unbiased as possible. 

6 min read

What is digital PR?

Digital PR (public relations) leverages online media and builds relationships with online journalists, bloggers, and influencers in order to amplify online brand messaging.

The internet has never been lacking buzzwords. A recent rise of interest in digital PR has critics, fans, and link-selling conmen struggling to agree on what “digital PR” really means. As you can imagine, each party pushes its own focus and corresponding language, creating a diffuse concept. 

11 min read

Someone trashing you online? Here’s how to identify them

Tracking down who is defaming you online isn’t always easy, but some tips and tricks can help. The key is using tools and strategies to gather identifying information about the anonymous poster. Finding their email and IP address is a good start.

Highlights:

  • It has become easy for people to anonymously post false and damaging things about you or your company online.
  • You can find out who defamed you online—even if they post anonymously.
  • There are tools and tactics available to uncover information identifying the defaming person.

Who might be creating negative content about you online?

It’s an altogether too common occurrence. You see something untrue and damaging about you or your company that someone posted online. Anonymously.

8 min read

How Reputation Firms Cheat

Highlights

  • Most reputation management tactics are ethical because they seek to manage the available information about a company without deception.
  • There are several ways that an organization can engage in unethical reputation management, including astroturfing, fake reviews, negative reputation website ownership, DDoS attacks, and generating false news about competitors.

Real reputation management involves knowing about, correcting, and balancing information about a person or company online. 

6 min read

Creating a Wikipedia article that (probably) won’t be deleted

Key takeaways

  • Wikipedia will delete a page for a variety of reasons - mainly due to a lack of notability
  • You partly control the odds of whether or not a Wikipedia article survives
  • The right editors with the right approach in the right circumstances will increase your chances of keeping a page online 

Why your company needs Wikipedia

Wikipedia is one of the Internet’s strongest and biggest websites. If you or your company has a Wikipedia page, chances are that page will rank high in the search results when someone performs a Google search. Whether you are developing a page for yourself or your company (frowned upon by Wikipedia), or creating one simply out of interest, these tips will help create a page that has a lower probability of being deleted.

9 min read

27 Websites to improve executive reputation

In most cases executive reputation is viewed through the online lens. That lens is most often curated by companies like Google in the form of search or social results. When someone researches an executive or company the search results tell that persons story. In order to control one's online reputation there are certain relevant topic-specific sites that tend to rank better than others for executives. 

11 min read

Every Type of Wikipedia Article Protection Explained

Wikipedia shows up as the No. 1 search result on more than 56% of all Google searches and appears on page one of 99% of all searches. Part of protecting your brand’s reputation should include making sure your Wikipedia page is protected.

Highlights:

  • Some Wikipedia pages are prone to deliberate attacks of false information.
  • To prevent fraudulent edits and vandalism, Wikipedia has various levels of page protection.
  • There are 11 types of Wikipedia page protection, created to protect different types of pages in specific ways.

17 min read

What is reputation?

In today’s digital environment, reputation is more important, more pervasive, more unforgettable, and more meaningful than ever before. It’s easy to neglect, abuse, reject, or shred a reputation. It’s difficult to build, sustain, protect, and enhance a reputation. It can happen in minutes, and circle the globe within hours. 

10 min read

What Google doesn't tell you about reputation management

Highlights:

  • Google’s guide for online reputation management is overly simple (just three steps) and makes it sound like controlling what is written online about you is an easy process.
  • In reality, managing your reputation on search engines is time-consuming and labor-intensive, with constant monitoring and publication of quality content.
  • SEO and online reputation management are closely interlinked, as the better your SEO strategy, the more relevant results you want to see will be displayed on Google’s first page.

Google’s documentation for online reputation management outlines three simple steps.

  1. Search for yourself
  2. Create a Google account
  3. Remove unwanted content and the associated search results

Sounds easy, right? But it’s not. 

9 min read

How to edit Wikipedia anonymously

Highlights:

  • Anyone can make changes to Wikipedia, but that doesn’t mean you should. Wikipedia uses artificial intelligence to spot conflicts of interest. 
  • While it is possible to make an anonymous edit on Wikipedia, you won’t be able to hide entirely thanks to device fingerprinting and IP address tracking.
  • In many cases, editing under a username is actually more anonymous than avoiding logging in because it doesn’t display your IP address publicly (though Wikipedia admins can see it).

Anyone can edit Wikipedia. Yet just because you can edit the page doesn’t always mean you should – especially if it’s about you or your company.

9 min read

Whodunnit? Who edited our Wikipedia article?

Key takeaways

  • What Wikipedia says about you matters a lot
  • Despite the setup of Wikipedia as an open-source program, not just anyone can edit everything
  • Seeing who edited a Wikipedia article helps with transparency and understanding the power dynamics on a page

Wikipedia is one of the world’s most powerful websites. What Wikipedia says about you or your company can have a big impact, which is why many companies and organizations have tried to spruce up their Wikipedia pages - sometimes with disastrous effects.

8 min read

Build a powerful personal brand online using content gap analysis

Highlights:

  • Improve your personal brand online by paying attention to what Google reveals about similar people.
  • Online content gaps are missed opportunities at generating awareness and interest in your personal brand.
  • A successful content strategy addresses customer’s needs at all stages of the buyer’s journey.
  • A quick and efficient way to spot and correct content gaps is a best-practices analysis of your competitors.

Don’t be misled by the name. A personal brand is first and foremost a financial asset that generates sales, increases revenues, opens the doors to new opportunities, and enhances online reputation.

Like all other financial assets, a personal brand is an investment—success demands research, planning, strategy, and a diverse portfolio of communications and content. 

Most personal brand advice starts with something about being unique, finding your voice, etc. But once you’ve determined what your unique personal brand should say, what’s next? What “content” portfolio do you invest in to build your brand’s value and positive reputation?

What will the canvas of search results reveal about your personal brand, and how do you get Google to show the world what you want it to see?

8 min read

Can you spot a fake Wikipedia edit?

People try to exploit Wikipedia’s open editing policy to add false information, but the online encyclopedia has tools and volunteer teams to suss them out.

Highlights

  • Wikipedia uses powerful tools and a large network of volunteer editors to detect bogus edits.
  • Wikipedia edits can be tracked by the editor’s username or IP address.
  • False information is often quickly removed from Wikipedia.
  • If you see false information on a page, flag the bogus content for a Wikipedia editor to review.

Wikipedia can be a part of your reputation management strategy and a great source of corporate visibility and marketing. But it also comes with some risks because it could include all kinds of information: good and bad. It is, after all, editable by the public. 

6 min read

What are gated reviews?

Reviews matter. They make your business more credible and directly impact revenue. No matter if you're a small business or a major brand, online reviews affect your reputation and conversion rates. They can make or break your business.

This is even more true as we continue to navigate tumultuous economic times. U.S. digital revenue skyrocketed a record-breaking 44.4% between April and June 2020. Now, more than $1 in every $5 spent on retail purchases comes from online orders. As more people continue to shop online, they’re also reading online reviews to decide where to spend their money. 

6 min read

The guide to personal reputation management

Highlights

  • Your personal online reputation is the information people find when they perform a search for your name online.
  • Personal reputation management helps you monitor, influence, and improve your online reputation and personal branding.
  • To improve your reputation, you must find what information about you already exists online, compare that to the information found for highly-regarded colleagues, and create a personal reputation management strategy to upgrade areas where your information is negative or poor. 

When someone searches your name online or using a social media platform, what are they seeing? Is it something you’d be proud of?

Personal reputation management helps you monitor, influence, and improve your online reputation and personal branding.

7 min read

Does your personal brand statement make you stand out?

The highlights

  • A personal brand statement sets you apart from the competition.
  • Effective personal brand statements are succinct, emotionally provocative, intriguing, and formatted with purpose.
  •  Personal brand statements are relevant to entrepreneurs, freelancers, and job seekers alike.
  • Powerful personal brand statements answer the questions of who you are, why you’re valuable, what you do, and who you serve.

A personal brand statement has the power to define your professional purpose and allow you to stand out successfully in a competitive marketplace. Let’s take a look at the elements that can be used to craft a great personal brand statement and view exceptional examples that put those elements into practice.

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