The Reputation Management Blog

5 min read

What is online identity management?

identity management

Online identity management is a collection of techniques used to create, promote, and protect the way a person or company is portrayed on the internet. Online identity management (OIM) often works as part of a branding or reputation management campaign to improve the quality and accuracy of the information that comprises your online identity. 

6 min read

Do Expired Domains Work for SEO?

Expired domains can be used under certain circumstances to improve the Google rankings of websites. But it must be done right. Here is a summary of the contents of this article:

  • Do expired domains work for SEO? Our studies say yes - to a degree.
  • Can you rely on expired domains for all SEO? No.
  • Are expired domains Google-friendly? Yes if not abused.
  • Should expired domains be used for the main website? Maybe.
  • Can I use expired domains on websites I do not control? Yes, with limits.

6 min read

What is a digital footprint? 

A digital footprint is the impression you create on the internet through your online activity, which includes browsing, interactions with others, and publication of content. In other words, it is the trail of data – intentional and unintentional - you leave behind while surfing the internet. When a site you visit drops a "cookie" in your browser, it contributes to your digital footprint.

5 min read

What is impression management?

Impression management is the process by which people attempt to control how they are perceived by others. This can be either conscious or subconscious and involves highlighting positive aspects while shying away from negative ones.

Whether you realize it or not, impression management plays a huge role in personal branding, business success, and everyday life. After all, we all want to be well-liked, don’t we?

4 min read

Delete Google Search Results

How do you get something removed from google search? Negative Google search results can sometimes be removed from the search engine or at the source. Pages that cannot be removed can often be pushed down, reducing visibility.

6 min read

What is sentiment analysis?

sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis provides insights into the opinions and emotions that people express about your brand, product, or service online. It uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to quickly identify the tone of text, video, or images, which can help brands to identify and react to negative reviews, articles, or other mentions.

8 min read

Got downtime? A checklist to Improve Your Online Brand

Some will come out of this stronger, others less so - this article could help you emerge stronger. Stay-at-home orders have changed life and business for all of us. One of the many side effects of the new normal many are adjusting to is a sudden surplus of free time. Here’s a list of things to do for your brand with that time if you have it.

6 min read

What is reputation marketing?

yelling about reputation marketing

Reputation marketing is the promotion, monitoring, and acquisition of positive brand content, such as reviews, social media comments, online forums, and traditional press. It is a strategy used to better understand what is being said about you or your company online, and to use that understanding to improve your brand and overall online reputation.

7 min read

8 Things Idled Non-Technical Employees Can Do to Improve SEO

An idled worker looks for something to do during the pandemic.

Summary

  • Come out of the pandemic stronger than ever
  • Idled non-technical employees can help improve your SEO
  • Here are 8 things non-technical people can do to improve Google results
  • Resources for further learning are included

We’re living through an unprecedented economic shock. Entire industries have shut down essentially overnight. Work orders have dried up. Bills are coming due — fast.

4 min read

Brands with a great reputation attract the best candidates

How to attract better candidates through reputation marketing

People want to work for a company with good reputation. The strongest job candidates are looking for more than just salary, benefits, and whether your office provides catered lunches. They’re looking at your brand’s reputation. Do people think highly of your brand? Is your brand’s values and vision aligned with their own?

4 min read

Companies with a good reputation can spend less on marketing

A good reputation is worth a lot more than you might realize.

Not only is having a good online reputation linked to higher trust in your brand, increased profits, and better talent, but it also improves marketing efforts. This blog will focus on the link between a positive corporate reputation and lower marketing costs.

3 min read

Translation vs. localization: How to manage your brand globally

Whether you’re an internationally-recognized car manufacturer or a mom-and-pop shop looking to expand, the internet has changed the reach and visibility of your brand forcing you to better know the audience you are marketing to worldwide. Anybody, anywhere can hit the Google search bar and find information about your business. What they find will influence whether they become fans of your brand or write you off entirely.

4 min read

How to strengthen online brand before a crisis

Strengthen your online brand before a crisis happens

Strong search results can stave off negative online content by making it more difficult for the negative content to rank in your branded search results. Put another way, reputation protection enhances the strength and relevance of good content. Online reputation protection is like insurance. Set up a protection plan ahead of time and you’ll be able to minimize damages when a crisis almost inevitably occurs.

5 min read

What is Doxing? Can I do anything to prevent it?

Depending on the source, the term doxing (doxxing) either comes from an abbreviation of the word documents, or docs, that has been turned into a verb; or it’s derived from the term “document tracing”; or it comes from the slang “dropping dox.”

6 min read

5 steps to maintain a positive online reputation

They really are watching you.

Whether you realize it or not, everything you do has an impact on your online reputation. Google is quietly working in the background to compile and rank what is said about you online. This includes reviews on websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, blog posts, and social media mentions. You can control some of these things, like blog posts made on your own website. But, largely, Google’s judgement and your online reputation is out of your control.

4 min read

What is a positive online reputation?

A positive online reputation should be every individual or business’s goal in 2020. An online reputation can be defined as the way that a person or business is perceived based on the information that appears about them online. Hopefully, that information is positive. If it’s not, then it’s time to put in some work to clean up your search results and start your journey to maintaining a positive online reputation and reaping the benefits that come with it.

5 min read

How negative reviews affect business

Consumers of all ages and walks of life are turning to the internet first when they want to learn more about a business or product. Specifically, they’re checking out online reviews. Websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, OpenTable, and Google Reviews are considered to be trusted consumer resources, where discerning buyers can get a feel for how different products and services stack up to each other.

27 min read

2020 online reputation management statistics

Online reputation statistics change regularly. This guide was last updated May 2020.

If you’re like many brand management professionals you might lie awake at night wondering when the next emergency will upset your well laid plans - take for instance COVID-19. We understand. The online reputation management world smolders with tales of tragedy, falls from grace, and salacious rumors that can destroy careers and entire businesses. As with any threat, a little online reputation marketing knowledge can go a long way. These facts and statistics should help. 

5 min read

SEO tools we use

ahrefs

We are often asked what SEO tools we use. Here is a partial list of third-party SEO tools we use at Reputation X.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a component of online reputation management (ORM). A good SEO strategy uses content, link building, negotiation, and other specific criteria to help push your website towards the top of search engine rankings. SEO tools make it easier. While every SEO expert has their favorite tools, here are ours. If you are looking for reputation monitoring tools, you can find them here

5 min read

online reputation monitoring tools overview

semrush-chart

Monitoring your online reputation will provide the insights you need into what is prospects, customers, and other stakeholders are saying about you. You’ll improve your understanding of customers, and that will shed light on to what degree your products or services perform in search results and commercially. To top it off, you'll have a better chance to avoid a crisis or controversy by catching it in its early stages before it has a chance to get out of control.

15 min read

How to create the ideally structured blog post

structured-blog-post-content-2

Follow these steps to create a blog post that checks all the boxes. The illustration below outlines the parts of a blog and how to treat each one. Each letter calls out a section below you can refer to, as well as resources that should help you create the "ideally structured" blog post or article according to many experts. This certainly isn't the only way to do it, but one of the best.

5 min read

Same Name But Bad Search Results. What to Do.

same-name

Are you the only person in the world with your name? Probably not. We work too hard maintaining our reputations to fall victim to someone else’s mistakes. This can happen if someone with the same name as you or your company is involved in a scandal or some type of negative publicity. The reputational downfall associated with their name can affect you since you share the same name and, as a result, the same search results.

Sometimes the actions that other people take can affect your own reputation in a very serious way.

  • What do you do when someone with the same name as you is involved in a scandal?
  • How do you distinguish yourself if you have a very common name?
  • What tools can you use to monitor what is being said about your name online?

7 min read

Use Sentiment Analysis to Win the Brand Comparison War

blog.reputationx.comhubfsArtboard 1@3x

People will compare your brand with that of your competitors long before they contact you. Sentiment analysis allows you to track the opinions that people are expressing about your brand online, whether they are positive, negative, or neutral. Sentiment monitoring and analysis tools and techniques will give you a solid understanding of the status of your reputation online and help you to target your own content plan to either improve negative sentiment or to reinforce positive sentiment.

5 min read

Reputation content selection basics

blog.reputationx.comhubfsreputation-capital-1

A content suppression campaign works to reduce the visibility of negative articles that appear in search results. Many people ask how this type of reputation management campaign works. While there are quite a few factors that go into suppressing negative online content in search results, the existence of content that meets certain criteria, or lack thereof, makes all the difference. Here we discuss two scenarios and how to approach each.

16 min read

Checklists and tips: Create and promote winning blog posts

how-promote-blog-posts-1

You’ve just finished your latest blog post. You’ve dedicated hours to create it. But what happens if nobody reads it? Without a solid content promotion plan in place, your readership may never increase. In fact, you should be spending more time promoting your posts than you spend actually writing them. Here are the main points:

5 min read

Don't pick the wrong search phrases

consequences

Originally published on 21 July 2019

Using "related searches" for a reputation management campaign may provide short-term improvement, but cause long-term problems by associating a client's brand with a negative query. Here's how to avoid that.

6 min read

How to block Archive.org?

archive_org-1

There is a lot of apparently bad / old / inaccurate information out in the world about how to block archive.org, otherwise known as "The Wayback Machine" from scraping your site. This is the most accurate information we can find about it as of this writing. Spoiler alert: Internet Archive did remove our site once we asked, but the robots.txt method did not work. 

4 min read

How to Manage Yelp Reviews for Small Businesses

yelp-bandage-4

Every additional 1-star improvement can increase business 9%. Think about that. 

Whether you own a coffee shop or an auto body repair, chances are one of your main sources of business is from your Yelp page. By this point, you’ve surely put the time and effort into making your profile stand out from the rest of the crowd.

However, the work doesn’t end there. You must continue to manage your Yelp reviews to make sure the right people are leaving reviews, the positive reviews outnumber the negative, and that any issues are being addressed.

4 min read

How to Make a Page Disappear from Google

noindex-a-web-page

You can make Google ignore a web page, thereby making it "disappear" from search results, by adding a "noindex"meta tag to the HTML code of a single web page on your site. When Google crawls the page with the noindex tag on it the search engine will delete the page from search results. This method only works if you control the website and have access to the HTML code of a page.

2 min read

Using touch points to improve reputation

review-management-thumbs-up

Search engines don't always show brands in their best light. When potential clients and customers search online search engines serve up many different types of content - most of it out of your control. They may reveal blog posts from your competitors, show reviews from review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, or even negative articles about the brand. The key is to identify and then optimize customer touch points your brand can control.

10 min read

Anatomy of Search Results & How to Rank

anatomy-of-seo-article

It takes hard work to snag a spot on the first page of Google search results. There are many aspects to consider, such as creating relevant content, incorporating relevant keywords and links, and crafting an enticing search result that makes people want to click on it. But before you can create content that excels, you need to understand how it might be displayed. 

  • Understanding the anatomy of a search result page can help you create content that entices people to click your link.
  • Structure, organize, and promote your content effectively to rank high in SERPs.
  • Update and refresh content to keep it relevant.

7 min read

PR: How to Create Articles that Perform

engine

Just because you write something doesn't mean it will rank well or be visible in search results. How an article is structured can make all the difference. This article outlines how to write an article both people and search engines will appreciate.

  1. Publish on the right website
  2. Choose the right title
  3. Technical and psychological/clickbait headlines
  4. The Description gets people to click
  5. The first paragraph is important
  6. Page length advice
  7. Bullets and numbered lists (like this one)
  8. How rich media increases dwell-time

8 min read

What is Reputation Capital?

reputation-capital

Reputation capital is the value of the intangible assets of a business. Anything from reviews to brand identity can build reputation capital, and it all boils down to one word: trust. How much do people trust your business? The more trust there is in your business, the greater its reputation capital.

  • A positive reputation enables you to better control your prices, and achieve industry recognition and thought leadership.
  • Businesses with a strong reputation capital can overcome a crisis easier and faster than those with negative reputations.
  • Reputation capital is both one of the most important aspects of any business and the most difficult to quantify.

4 min read

Brand Building Blocks

brand-building

It's crucial for any brand to be perceived as reputable. But what makes an online brand reputable in todays online environment? This is an excellent foundation because it guides you through the beginning phases of branding. This is important, because without a healthy brand image, customers are more likely to flee from your brand to that of a competitor. 

4 min read

Perform SEO on More Than Just Your Website

people-loving-their-jobs-too-much

Market websites other than your own. Most marketers understand search engine optimization (SEO) to some extent. When marketers perform SEO, they usually only do it for their own website, or websites they control completely like product or service specific sites. It is important to do SEO to stay competitive, but it’s also important to promote pages that are positive about your brand even if you don’t control them.

12 min read

Why is Reputation Important?

why-reputation-important

If you're here, you probably know exactly why reputation's such a big deal today. You want your personal or your company reputation to have access to the best opportunities, and a bad reputation can prevent that. A great reputation will open doors to fantastic opportunities and (if you're a business) unhindered access to your ideal client base.

Your reputation is the single-most important aspect of your business. It affects everything from the number of followers on social media to your overall business revenue. Here are just a few other benefits of a good reputation:

  • More business opportunities
  • A better selection of prospective employees
  • Higher company value
  • Lower marketing costs

5 min read

How Long Does It Take to Improve Google Rankings?

snail

Why does it take six months for a website to rank? We get asked this quite a bit. For the most part, it's because there is a lag time of between 10 and 20 weeks before listings start to improve in search results. The exception to the rule is viral content—if users signal content is of superior value, and they do so quickly, search listings can improve in hours. Unfortunately, not every piece of content is going to go viral. Spammy, low-quality SEO can have a quick effect, but it tends to rapidly off again and will more often than not make things worse.

7 min read

Dark Media Arts: Some PR Agencies are Evil

Are some PR agencies evil?

Yes. Some PR agencies specialize in destruction rather than enhancement of reputation. Some of these agencies work for governments or political parties, others are private contractors, all have a similar agenda: Lay false trails, generate fake news, and use social media to weaken or decimate rivals by manipulating public opinion for nefarious purpose.

7 min read

PR Reputation Management - Differences Between PR and Online Reputation Management

An online reputation management (ORM) firm isn't a public relations firm. PR firms tend to be more relationship-based, whereas ORM firms tend to be more technical and content-oriented. The best online reputation agencies use PR firms as a go-between with publishers while they work their magic behind the scenes. ORM firms also tend to operate in stealth mode, often quietly supporting PR campaigns in the background.

Reputation management and public relations (PR) are often confused. Although the two share similarities and may be used in conjunction with one another, PR is more forward facing and visible to members of the public. Online reputation management (ORM) services often occur behind the scenes and are not as obvious to casual observers. Think of reputation agencies as the "man behind the curtain."

2 min read

How to Remove Personal Data

delete-personal-data

Step by step directions on how to remove your data from data aggregators like Radaris, Spokeo, MyLife, PeopleFinders and Intelius. 

8 min read

8 Successful Examples Of Mind-Blowing Content Marketing

content-typewriter

Content marketing is a marketing strategy focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience. The key words here are ‘valuable’ and ‘relevant’. Each content piece should communicate your message in a way that adds value to your readers, answers their real questions, piques and expands their interests, and makes them trust you and your brand.

7 min read

How to Remove Images from Google Search if Google Won't

elephant-on-a-cloud-1

Want to remove images from Google? Sometimes negative search results take the form of images. Most often negative images cannot be removed from the internet. When they can be removed it is usually from the blog post, mugshot site, or article on which they reside and they must be removed by the publisher. Google will remove some images from search results under certain circumstances, but it is rare. Here's what to do when an image cannot be removed from the source or from search results.

3 min read

7 Online Reputation Management Myths

reputation-myths

The genie is out of the bottle. In this day and age, everything is public and visible. A plethora of information floats around the internet and trying to control who posts what feels like boiling the ocean. To make it worse, it takes so much time to build a reputation and only one bad moment to tarnish it.

13 min read

Reputation Management Strategy: The Bulletproof Guide

strategy-guide-blog

Reputation management strategy is part of brand building, and it's so much more than making sure your company has great reviews. This guide will help you navigate the world of reputation strategy in the online environment. Online reputation — that intangible asset, that electronic chimera — is hard to assess let alone fix. And when it comes right down to the exact techniques to repair a reputation, many CMOs, publicists, or executives are downright nonplussed.

2 min read

How to stop losing leads from Google

media-affect

Up to 90% of business leads research a brand online prior to a buying decision.

Research indicates that salespeople lose about 22% of prospective customers when only one negative article is seen when researching whether to buy a product or service. When there are two negatives in search results, the losses can double. When three negative things are seen in search results the losses can mount to almost 60%. 

8 min read

How to unlock branded search features in Google

business-google

Google is your new home page. When a brand dominates their own search engine results, it sends trust signals to prospective customers. Control of the many aspects of search results such as Knowledge Panel, carousel images, location information, Google posts, social media posts, and more not only provides brands with the ability to showcase why they're great, it also enables a company to keep competitors from sharing their online brand-space. This article discusses many of the ways brands can control how they're seen online.

9 min read

Google vs. Donald Trump's Reputation

Trump-reputation-reducedsize

President Trump thinks Google is rigged against him. It's probably not, but that doesn't stop the scrutiny. Google's portrayal of Trump is a reflection of people's desires - all the people, not a group or an individual. While Donald Trump has mastered the art of publicity, it's a genie let out of its a bottle. Once escaped it can have unforeseen consequences like those we are seeing today.

For example, at one time President Trump wrote that "Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED..."

1 min read

Joke: Postal Worker Reputation

lady

There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job was to process mail that had illegible addresses. One day, a letter came addressed in shaky handwriting to God, but with no actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about.

The letter read:

12 min read

Personal Reputation Management - How Individuals Craft Google Results

enquirer

There’s a reason why the National Enquirer, The Sun, Daily Star, and US Weekly publish content that is all about scandalous behavior. We all love a good fall from grace story (unless it's happening to us), a red hot gossip drop, or a celebrity rumor. And when personal reputations start blowing up like Philadelphia on the 4th of July, we are tapping and swiping our devices to get the latest, juicy tell-all details.

You may not end up on the cover of US Weekly, but you nonetheless have a reputation. And that reputation needs to be managed.

11 min read

How Political Reputation Management Works

Artboard 3@3x

It’s hard to change someone’s mind. However, it’s easy to confirm one’s biases. And nowhere is this more true than in the world of political reputation management.

Whether you’re running for the vice president of your neighborhood HOA or vying for election to the president of the United States, political reputation is an untamed beast. It’s complicated. It’s tenuous. It moves rapidly. It rises. It falls. And no one in the history of the world has mastered it.

10 min read

The Cost of Negative Corporate Reputation

Artboard 2@3x

Corporate reputation refers to people’s collective opinion regarding a corporation or enterprise. It’s based on such features such as search engine results, news coverage, and the publicized actions of the company. There are there some corporate reputation humdingers out there. The news media loves a sizzling story of a corporation’s fall from grace and with good reason. The public is receptive, clicks ensue, money is made. This is because the human brain seems wired to generate copious amounts of curiosity when the topic is salacious or negative.

25 min read

What Is Reputation?

What is reputation

What is Reputation? What is a good reputation? Reputation is the subjective qualitative belief a person has regarding a brand, person, company, product, or service. Reputation is the key to success.

Reputation is best defined as a third-party perception of your, or your brands, character. It is a malleable thing. Malleable by others, or by you. This is because today, people depend on Google to make decisions for them. Whether you're selling water or running for President, your online reputation precedes you. By changing how Google portrays a brand you can change one of the main ways people perceive reputation.

Your online identity is how others see you.

In today’s digital environment, reputation is more important, more pervasive, more unforgettable, and more meaningful than ever. It's difficult to build, enhance, sustain, and protect a reputation that'll last (even for a reputation management agency). It’s also easy to neglect, abuse, reject, or shred a reputation in just a short amount of time. A disaster can happen in minutes, circle the globe within hours, and live on to haunt your search results. That's why it's so important to maintain an active reputation management strategy.

Let's unpack what reputation really is.

4 min read

FINRA safe SEO tactics

SEObull
Online marketing and SEO for the financial services industry is often heavily regulated by entities like FINRA. The rules financial firms must live by make SEO and content marketing more challenging for the industry. But there are still ways to craft effective campaigns. 

12 min read

Online reputation repair - Steps to rebuild a damaged corporate reputation

online reputation repair

Your company has fallen from grace. Maybe your CEO was arrested for fraud. Maybe E. coli was found in your food and made your restaurant customers sick. Or maybe you’ve just made some ill-advised business decisions over time, and it’s finally caught up with you.

A reputation crisis can happen unexpectedly, and can be a difficult thing to overcome, but it is possible to repair your reputation. Although a damaged corporate reputation may seem impossible to reverse, the journey to rebuild it can be summarized in a few key steps:

12 min read

Fake News: The New Face of Corporate Reputation Warfare

fake-corporate-news

Today, it’s easier than ever before to spark misinformation, watch it spread, and then witness it take down corporations, crush reputations, and topple political figures.

A brief glance at the news tells you all you need to know. Fake news is powerful enough to shake technology juggernauts, crush world-famous personalities, and wipe entire businesses right off the map. And yet people still believe it. 

12 min read

Saving the Boss's Bacon - Executive Reputation Guide

cmo-saves-bacon

Here’s the deal. The media thinks your CEO screwed up. According to rumors, she siphoned the company’s quarterly earnings into a private yacht spending spree.

The truth? Your CEO is innocent.

But what does the media care about truth? They’re hanging onto the rumors like a toddler clutching a Snickers bar. The Internet’s news minions are intent on vilifying a corporate leader, weaving tales of oversized yachts funded with ill-gotten gain.

8 min read

When Google Reviews Say You Suck

applause

How many times have you said "You suck, Google". Sometimes Google says the same thing about you. Despite all of your time and money invested on ads, fast-talking copywriters, and brand consultants, Google just keeps telling you, and all of your prospective customers, that you suck. 

7 min read

How to Increase Content Marketing ROI

ROI Graphic Draft 2

In sales there is a method known as "predictable revenue". It's an outbound sales method of marketing and sales that enables a business to predict what their revenues might be. But is there a way to do that with content marketing?

How can one predict whether a content campaign will be worth it? It’s a constant battle: executive leadership and check-signers won’t approve a marketing budget unless they can be assured of a Return on Investment (ROI) of X%. Marketing departments continue to push to develop new marketing strategies, but without budget approval, their hands are often tied.

8 min read

How Brands Shouldn't Deal With Scandal

privacy-surprise

Can you imagine how it felt to be the Chief Marketing Officer at Oxfam after their deputy CEO, Penny Lawrence, resigned because of a sex crimes scandal? If the first word that enters your mind is “stressed,” that’d be an understatement. A serious CEO scandal can mean the ruin of the reputation of an entire company, not just those at the top.

10 min read

How to Brand Yourself Online with Citations and Mentions

citations

Many businesses focus on SEO, social media and content to build their online presence. One way to accelerate your online growth is to focus on growing your brand through citations and mentions. Both Google and Bing have indicated that they can track brand mentions and that they matter for search engine rankings. Duane Forrester, a former senior product manager at Bing, stated that unlinked mentions can be just as strong a signal as links for measuring a site’s authority.

5 min read

Finding Online Influencers in Any Industry

influencer-marketing

The best reputation management firms use some degree of influencer outreach to promote a positive online image for their clients. They're working to change the narrative about a person or brand, so third-party affirmation and brand amplification is important to reinforce brand messaging. Here are a few methods to find influencers online.

4 min read

How Fake News and Influencers are Created and Promoted

abe-lincoln-quote

Remember when Donald Trump said "America should never have given Canada its independence"? Well, that was fake. Fake news has a long and storied history. Ben Franklin spread propaganda stories by creating a fake issue of the Boston Independent Chronicle. Today celebrities, politicians and everyday people are affected by it. Tomi Lahren of Fox News was recently quoted as saying "If you die in a mass shooting, it's not the fun's fault, or even the gunman's fault. It's your fault for not believing in God enough". She didn't say that either.

5 min read

Great brand stories reduce online marketing costs

good-story-cheaper-promote

Well-written but less-than compelling content won't generate user signals to improve branded search results.

A great brand story improves click-rates, increases dwell time, reduces bounce rate, helps branded content rank better in search results, and lowers the cost of promoting online content because it gets people to do much of the work.

7 min read

Top 10 Reputation Management Articles of the Year

search results (4).jpg

It’s been a year of ups and downs in the world of reputation management, with a President who uses Twitter to communicate directly with the country, sexual harassment in Hollywood powerhouses and the fallout that followed, and professional athletes protesting during the National Anthem, this year has been a busy year for PR folks. Here is our list of the top 10 shared articles on the web that focused on reputation management. Have any additional ones to share? Let us know in the comments and we’ll update our list!

4 min read

A Simple Link & Social Media Structure Experiment

Welcome to Reputation Experiment #142

Sometimes you have to get the SEO ball rolling in order to improve search rankings. To get things started, consider a basic link and social media structure. Done correctly, it will attract organic links and shares on it's own without the need to buy links or engage in nefarious activities. While there are many, a classic link building pattern to prime content includes:

9 min read

Yelp business reviews - Are online reviews like Yelp reliable?

The success or failure of your business can hinge on its online reviews.

From choosing the best hotels and restaurants in town to consulting the right doctors, most people rely on online reviews. Reviews are quickly replacing friend recommendations to become the main way we vet businesses against one another. In fact, we rely on online reviews so much that a single bad review can completely ruin the online reputation of a company.

A 2018 study suggests that 91% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations—as long as the reviews are authentic. But about 20% of reviews are fake. So can you really trust Yelp business reviews?

Using online reviews to help us make decisions has become so natural that we have started to do it without giving it a second thought. But why do we trust reviews so blindly? There are plenty of causes for concern when trusting online reviews.

This blog will share some of the most common types of review manipulation, and what you can look out for to become a more informed buyer. It's time to stop trusting reviews at face value and take a more critical stance when researching businesses online.

4 most common types of review manipulation:

3 min read

72% of Customers Read 2-10 reviews

Have you ever bought anything online without looking for customer reviews first? If you’re like most adults in the U.S, your answer should be a straight “No!”. Studies suggest that 72% of online consumers read between two and 10 customer reviews and testimonials before actually making a purchase.Having no online reviews about your company is not a choice either. Because, according to research, even if you get one negative review from a dissatisfied client (or a shrewd competitor who hires fake reviewers to defame you), you’ll need about 12 positive reviews to counter its effects.

9 min read

How Long Does Reputation Management Take? Weeks to Months.

One of the first questions we get from most of our reputation management clients is, “How long will reputation management take?” (The next question is of course "How much does ORM cost?")

Their anxiety is understandable considering that more than 80% of consumers now search Google before doing business with a company. What Google’s first page says about your business practically determines how potential clients and partners see you. And this is why determining just how long it will take to conquer that first page and secure your brands online reputation is not as simple as you might think.

14 min read

Internet removal - How to get something removed from Google search

How do you get something removed from Google search? Well, there are five ways to remove content from Google search - or to effectively remove it. Content removal can be a tricky thing, but this guide should help. 

Five methods to remove online content:

5 min read

Ways to Manage Public Perception Proactively

Crisis communications is the act of managing perception of an event. It isn't management of the even itself. It is communicating in a way to minimize damage. Crisis communications is viewed differently by various stakeholders. Attorneys will have the view of saying little to avoid or minimize future litigation. The CEO may have a personal view, trying to save face or retain some semblance of authority. The Board of Directors may be primarily concerned with stock price. One thing they all have in common is a desire to minimize damage.

3 min read

Leads and Traffic Dropping? Examine Negative Branded Search Results

Why did the organic for your branded search traffic just drop off? Was it a Google search algorithm change or was it the content of your results that changed? It's a nightmare situation when suddenly you find that you're ranking for negative search phrases appended to your brand name, like "fraud" or "scam." Prospects are fleeing. The sales staff are freaking out. 

9 min read

The elements of a web page for SEO

If you make or edit online content, you are are a content creator. As a content creator, you’ll need to strike that balance between SEO (search engine optimization) and a positive user experience. To make sure everyone is on the same page, here is a list of the different elements that combine to create an engaging and well optimized piece of content.

5 min read

Things You Can Do to Fix a Broken Reputation

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Of all the categories involved in managing a business’s online reputation, reputation repair is the one most fraught with confusion.

Humans hate criticism - founded or unfounded. Any sort of negativity directed toward your business—earned or otherwise—holds an immense power to inflict damage in both the present and the future. How you respond can either improve the situation or exacerbate it, and with the stakes so high, not many businesses can afford a misstep.

5 min read

How to build the online reputation of a startup

Prospective customers compare the search profiles between competitors. New businesses normally don't have the level of search profile that mature companies do. That puts new companies at a disadvantage.

Reputation and reviews drive the success of businesses worldwide. Every month, approximately 543,000 new businesses open up. 70% of new businesses survive at least two years, half at least five years, and a third at least ten years. Just a quarter of all new businesses survive for 15 years or more. 

5 min read

Which search phrases are hurting your brand?

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Which search phrases are killing your business?

Imagine your customer gets your business’s address from a friend, comes to your storefront, and every negative review from the last ten years is taped to the front window. At the same time, someone on the sidewalk yells through a megaphone, “don’t shop here even if it’s the last store on earth!” while a video showcases old footage of an employee stealing from a customer. Ouch.

You wouldn’t let it happen in real life, so why would you let it happen online?

3 min read

Competitive Intelligence for Reputation Management

One of the biggest mistakes people make when performing online reputation management is to build a bunch of different web profiles and fill them with sloppy content. Worse, all these properties often can't be effectively maintained over time, and so lose relevance. The best way to manage reputation is to understand prospective customers, similar companies, and what search engines are looking for.

One of the first steps is to perform a form of competitive research called the search result audit. Here's why. 

5 min read

How to rank above position 1? Get Position Zero.

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Why do some web pages show up "above" the first search result? This is called a Featured Snippet, or "position zero" in the SEO field and it's one of the ways Google positions for SEO are counted. It's important because as voice search becomes more common, Google uses the featured snippet or "position zero" result for its "one true answers" response to voice searches. For instance, we searched "featured snippet" in Google and here's what happened:

2 min read

Branded vs. Non-Branded Content

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What's the difference between branded and non-branded content? Branded content is clearly about you or your company. Non-branded content is not necessarily about you or your company at all, but it contains references to either.

Both types of content include your branded search phrase and assist in your online reputation strategy, but are structured differently. Both types of content require freshness updates.

5 min read

Find Out Why Competitors Are Beating You on Google

A search result audit is part of any reputation management plan, and can make your business better by revealing the strengths and weaknesses of your online brand as seen by your prospective customers. Warning: sometimes it can be a little scary. Search results can be an excellent tool for marketing, research, and development. But their utility goes far beyond into the realm of human intent, understanding, decisions and actions. Every page of search results tells you a story about your customer and what they’re really looking for. The trick is in seeing the intent behind the search results. 

9 min read

Difference Between ORM, PR, PPC, and SEO

ORM, PR, and SEO -- what are all of these acronyms for? Let's break them down, and then delve deeper into how they all fit together.

  1. ORM: (Online reputation management) is the repair and maintenance of a person, company, or other entity's online image.
  2. PR: (Public relations) is the how organizations, businesses and people communicate with the public and media.
  3. SEO: (Search Engine Optimization) is the effort made by online content creators (of words, images, videos, or other media) to help a website rank higher in search engine results.

PR, SEO and ORM are all specialized disciplines of online marketing.

5 min read

Brand Touch Points and Their Impact on Search Results

Brand touch points are like digital fingerprints; they tell a story. What are brand touch points and how do they affect business? Whether you realize it or not, your brand's customer touch points are working to help, or hurt, your organization's reputation with consumers. If a potential customer sees brand-related content and it piques their interest, what will they do next? They may perform a branded search (using your company name), in which case it's up to Google what your customer sees. How dost Google love thee?

3 min read

PR vs. Advertising: What's the Difference?

PR vs. advertising. What's the difference? Advertising and public relations share a common goal, which is to improve their clients’ visibility, usually with a goal of increasing sales or other tangible benefit. In a corporate setting, you’ll often find advertisers and PR professionals working alongside each other in the marketing department along with people from related areas.

5 min read

What is ORM? How is it different than SEO?

What is the difference between SEO and ORM? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. ORM stands for Online Reputation Management. SEO is generally concerned with getting a website to rank better for product or service-related search terms. ORM uses SEO, and a variety of other techniques, to improve the overall image of a brand. Both are subsets of online marketing

5 min read

The Role of Reputation in the Customer Journey

Imagine a prospect is making the tough decision between using your company or your competitor. At the last minute they discover something a bit "off" about your company's online profile. Which company will get the sale? 

It could be a review, a lack of publicity, a problem with your Wikipedia page, or many other things. How does reputation play into the buyers journey?

9 min read

Thinking with Guts vs. Brains: What is Confirmation Bias?

Why do you believe the things that you believe? Why do you defend your beliefs? Why do you like others who think like you do? We like to think that our beliefs are our own, formed from our unique, individual experiences, informed by our own logic, devoid of outside bias. But "confirmation bias" is one factor that quietly pushes us to one side of the fence or the other. In short, people agree with things they already agree with.

5 min read

How do people find your site?

There was a time when you couldn't get a chicken soup recipe while sitting on the toilet. Strange but true! It used to be that you asked your mom, or your friends, a book, or your local librarian for information. Today, instead of picking up the phone, everyone from bearded urban millennials to grandmas and dairy farmers turn to one place above all others: the Internet. How do people search? The three search types "do", "go", and "know" and how people use them are explained in this article. 

7 min read

Fact-Checking Fake News

Has any phrase been more divisive and frustrating during the election cycle and current federal administration than “fake news”? Seemingly innocuous in its phrasing, the term has come to stand for entirely more than just a story with false facts. Fake news—who makes it, who reads it, who believes it, and who profits from it—are all increasingly important topics in modern society, so much so that it now seems Americans live in two separate, competing realities.

26 min read

Where to Guest Post: A Growing List

So you want to contribute to a blog? Awesome! Enjoy this growing  list of sites that we're pretty sure accept guest blogger articles. The sites in the list below most likely accept third-party posts or in some way help bloggers by providing things like syndication. We haven't tested every one of these for writing opportunities, but we have tested to see if they are live. We update and grow the list on a 'fairly' regular basis. Summaries are mainly those of the websites themselves. 

6 min read

Why do people click on bad news? Negativity bias

Why are people so negative? Humans have what is called a “negativity bias” because we’ve evolved to react to threats. Like Google, we’re pattern discovery machines; when something stands out, like a threat, our minds highlight it. Why is the news so negative? Because negativity bias is leveraged by the media to increase profits. The fact is, bad news gets more attention, more clicks, and leads to more revenue for the publication. Google also reacts to this pattern by giving people what they seemingly want - that often means more bad news.

This article will cover:

6 min read

Want to remove TheDirty.com? Permanent. Fast. Guaranteed.

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Remove TheDirty.com permanently, in 30 days or less.

A good reputation is built slowly over a lifetime, but it can be lost in a single instant when a negative article is posted on TheDirty.com.

Fortunately, we're here to help. At Reputation X, we have a successful track record in doing what seems impossible - reclaiming your online reputation. Reputation X can usually remove a post on TheDirty.com within two to four weeks. If we can't do it, it's free. 

3 min read

The 18 Ways Google Describes You Today

Today there are least 18 different ways for a business, or person, to be seen in search results - and that doesn’t even count social channels. Different types of search results include Adwords at the top or bottom of the page, the Knowledge Panel in the upper right, images, reviews, news, shopping, videos and of course normal blue link search results.

4 min read

Can Bots Write Articles Yet?

Yes, bots can now write articles. Everyone who uses the internet has interacted with bots. Bots chat with us on apps, leave comments on articles and videos, and write social media posts. We know that bots have the ability to put words together coherently. 

4 min read

How Augmented Reality Could Further Segment Society

Augmented reality is a data-overlay over the real world that usually takes place as goggles. But how could augmented reality take the mental-bubble model to extreme limits?

Taking the WSJ's article about the difference between conservative and liberal Facebook feeds a few steps further we could end up with burqa's overlaid over every woman's body through the magic of augmented reality.

4 min read

Just What is Internet Privacy?

Definition: Internet Privacy is the ability of individuals to control the flow of information and have reasonable access to data generated during a browsing session. Privacy is a major concern for all Internet users, but it is becoming more difficult to expect a reasonable expectation of privacy online. One of the problems with Internet privacy is that many users assume that they have control over their information. This is often not the case, particularly when they engage in activities such as social networking, which is essentially based upon sharing of personal information. 

11 min read

How to remove negative content from Google search

Some of the options for cleaning up Google search results include:
  • Remove results directly from Google
  • Remove from the source through negotiation
  • Remove from the source via legal channels
  • Pay the author or publisher to remove the content (carefully)
  • Weakening of negative content
  • Development and optimization of branded content
  • Review improvement and management
  • Optimization of existing content

Negative content can damage a company or person worse than the author often realizes. Journalists unwittingly (or wittingly) destroy peoples lives everyday with negative content. Years after an article, blog post, or video is published it can have extremely destructive effects on that brand or person. So how does one remove negative content from Google search, Yelp, YouTube, or other places?

Sometimes damaging online content can be taken down, blocked by special code, or banned - but most times it must be pushed down or suppressed.

4 min read

The difference between a VPN and a proxy

The main shared function of both Virtual Private Network (VPN) software and Proxy services is to give you, the user, control over your apparent IP address online. It’s not uncommon for many VPN service providers to also offer a proxy service as standard, however there are a plethora of standalone proxy services that can be used at a lower cost than most VPNs - even for free.

4 min read

Why Reputation Services Don't Always Work

Sometimes online reputation projects don't work. There are a number of reasons for a project not working out but a few that stand out. The number one reason is a lack of SEO, but there are other reasons like a disconnect between reality and expectations too. It's also important to note that not all reputation management companies are actually what they say they are. 

6 min read

The 5 Online Reputation Laws You Should Know

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Web reputations are fragile things. Sometimes it's necessary to invoke one law or another to support or attack a particular position. To remove slander, online defamation or libel are no different. But you need to know which laws apply. 

The secret, though, is that the law is often open to interpretation, especially when a law is relatively new and untested. Some of the body of online reputation law fits the “new and untested” heading. And while other elements are more settled, they don’t universally benefit those looking to burnish their online image or remove slander online. So while these five areas of the law may help your web reputation campaign, they may also work against it. In any event, this article will help you weigh the pros and cons, and consider the resources that might be involved.

5 min read

Branded vs. non-branded content: What’s the difference?

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  • Non-branded content supports branded content.
  • Branded content is obviously about your brand.
  • Non-branded content is about your industry or other supporting information about your brand. 
  • Both kinds of content work together.

What is branded content?

Branded content is usually clearly about a brand and appears to either represent the brand or portrays the brand as the subject of the content. It's content that has your brand "written all over it" even if you didn't create the content.  

Whereas Non-branded content, on the other hand, is not about the brand but still supports the industry or other areas of interest relative to the brand. The brand might be mentioned, but it is not the primary, or even secondary, focus of the content. 

3 min read

How to turn customers into sales people

Most business owners would agree that it would be beneficial to be able to turn their customers into sales people who go out and help bring in new business. The idea sounds complicated, and even expensive, but it may not  be that difficult to use your marketing programs to turn your customers into your own sales force.

5 min read

Crisis Management Team Best Practices

Chipotle will survive e. coli just like Jack in the Box did in 1993. But there is a 100% certainty a new threat will demonize some other company and destroy its reputation in the coming year. At the end of next year lists will be made of the biggest PR catastrophes. None of the players yet know they'll be next to dance at gunpoint. But who does the cleanup? There are often three pieces to a crisis management team: the internal team, third-party specialists, and ghost media consultants who work quietly in the background. 

3 min read

What is the Streisand Effect?

Summary of the Streisand Effect

On May 30th, 2003 it was reported that Barbra Streisand sued a man claiming an invasion of her privacy because he had shared aerial pictures of her Malibu home. Streisand inadvertently attracted more attention to her home by trying to suppress the images. The Streisand Effect is when the action of suppressing something to reduce or remove visibility it causes the opposite to happen. Similar terms include blowback and astroturfing. 

3 min read

How to protect your online identity

Online identity management is a subset of online reputation management in that it deals with the management of who a person appears to be online. One example of online identity management is the use of different personas for various online interactions in an attempt to mask personal identity exposure. Another is the use of a persons true persona online, but in a carefully managed way using search engine marketing, content management and public relations strategies.

6 min read

Restaurant Reputation Management: The Challenges Franchises Face

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Fast food restaurants occupy a special place in the dining ecosystem. While the dining experience is seldom researched on sites like OpenTable, they are susceptible to reputation problems. Problems come either at the regional level as in the case of Chipotles E. coli snafu, or at the local level like when Domino's was sued over wire brush bristles found in a Dominos pizza. Both cases were dramatic and affected the overall brand. But individual fast food restaurants can suffer a quieter, less dramatic online reputation problem. Some embrace a bad reputation, as in the case of Botto Italian Bistros' Yelp reviews, but most see a slow leak in prospective customers that can cost an individual restaurant thousands or more in lost revenue. 

3 min read

Global Mfg. Firm Reputation Management Case Study

 

This reputation management case study is an example of a solution Reputation X provided for a global manufacturing firm that was experiencing active negative press for the company as well as its executive team. 

Industry: Tool Manufacturer (Global)

Entity: Corporation

Issue: Multiple negative reviews, negative journalism and YouTube

Technique: Mixed. Dilution and Suppression with one removal

Campaign duration: 12 Months

5 min read

What is a Guest Post? A Short and Simple Guide

Here's a question we get a lot from clients: What is a guest post? How is it different than a regular blog post? A Guest Post is a an article written and posted on someone else's blog. When you write something on your own blog its just a "post", but on someone else's blog the writer is a ‘guest’. Guest posts are valuable tools for reputation marketing for a number reasons like getting your brand mentioned or occupying branded search query results. But most people use them to embed backlinks. Guest posts are abused though, and we'll get to that later in this article. 

5 min read

The Fastest Ways to Remove Search Results: Ranked

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We ranked the fastest ways to remove search results from Google from fastest to slowest.

Google gets smarter everyday, but even with new Google artificial intelligence systems like RankBrain or even "knowledge based trust" it still ranks information about knowledge based on human search activities and trust, not something so difficult to define as truth. So how do we correct inaccurate or irrelevant knowledge in search results?

8 min read

A Simple Content Marketing Plan

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Content marketing can be hard. This content marketing plan should make it easier for you. This simple content marketing plan represents a fictitious small company or individual that already has basic online reputation web properties like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. in place. This plan uses relevant, organic search results as a basis for an online reputation content plan. 

8 min read

How to optimize images for Google

We often need to optimize image results for Google search in order to change search results for reputation management or for SEO reasons. For example, sometimes the wrong image is showing in Google Knowledge Graph, sometimes because the images Google shows are not relevant to the search results. In both cases we optimize the image files so they show up more often in normal as well as image search results. It involves naming the image, page context, ALT tag, image title, page title and rich snippets. This is how it's done.

3 min read

White Label Reputation Case Study

Our client is a global PR firm with clients in the US, Europe and Middle East. Over the years we have been tasked with a number of interesting projects ranging from helping politicians succeed to boosting search results in Thai and improving search results to enhance hiring. This case study examines a project to clean up search results for a company with detractors using YouTube, blogs and complaint websites.

6 min read

Engineering articles for SEO

Effective online content is written for both people and search engines. Search engines need to appreciate your content, and when they do they introduce people to it through search results. Online content must be written with both people and search engines in mind.

2 min read

Business Review Case Study

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Review websites are not just for people seeking a good restaurant. Prospective employees looking for their next place of gainful employment often look to business review sites like GlassDoor, Indeed and Vault to get an idea of the working environment from people who've been there. Conversely, from the business' viewpoint, acquiring the best employees is key and unfair reviews can keep companies from hiring new talent that might improve the company. Our client was a mortgage firm who'd had a single employee post many negative reviews on GlassDoor posing as different people. But the reviews were not flagged as they didn't seem to violate the community guidelines.

7 min read

The SEO Press Release

An SEO press release often ranks well quickly for reputation management purposes, but sometimes fades with time as the timeliness of the release fades. A well-structured, compelling press release that is naturally shared and talked about can serve your purposes well.

2 min read

Ripoff Report Removal - A Case Study

 

“Reputation X removed a Ripoff Report from the second position on the first page of Google search results very quickly. They then made sure the first three pages of search results showcases all the best things about our adult community.”

- Director of Marketing Retirement Community

5 min read

How to find bloggers, placements and contributors

 

Launching an online reputation marketing campaign is a great way to raise your personal or corporate profile and ensure that you’re controlling the online conversation around your key search terms. But with so much chaos and clutter in the digital world, the idea of carving out a positive space for you or your company—a fortress of digital brand authority that suppresses negative content and introduces you to others on the best possible terms—seems daunting, even laughable.

But it’s doable.

2 min read

Process: Developing assets for reputation management

Though no two companies or people are alike, professional online reputation management services follow a customized process based on the type of case, industry and brand. Initiatives vary, but can be broken into brand building, suppression (or dilution) of negative content, and review management. The first two require development, whereas a review management campaign rarely does.

3 min read

Reputation process: Research

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a business or an individual: If you’re you asking, “how can I fix my reputation online?” you’re not alone.

Reputation management isn’t rocket science but, to be effective, it must be governed by a process that adapts to every campaign’s unique aspects. For most campaigns, this process consists of these five steps:


4 min read

How to Manipulate the Media

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Media manipulation occurs in the space between truth and website pageviews.

There are 86,400 seconds in a day and, thanks in part to Google, the online content cycle never stops. Every second must be refreshed with new content (meat) all the time to satisfy the needs of both man and (search) robot.

That speed means news agencies and bloggers have between zero and almost no time to research and that pageviews count above all else.