The Online Reputation Management Blog

Reputation X

The Reputation X team is a collection of online reputation experts working in the areas of content planning, reputation strategy, search engine marketing, social media, technical public relations, and other more esoteric realms. We provide white-label reputation management, protect reputations and clean up search results for agencies, brands and people.

9 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.

8 min read

SEO tools we use

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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

9 min read

Strategies for optimizing branded online content

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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.

5 min read

How to see your online brand the way prospects do

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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.

7 min read

Why you should perform SEO on more than just your own site

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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.

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."

11 min read

Google vs. Donald Trump's Reputation

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Ex-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. A pandemic, economic disaster, insurrection at the Capital, and Black Lives Matter marches don't help.

While Donald Trump had mastered the art of publicity prior to becoming President, it's a genie let out of its a bottle. Once escaped it can have unforeseen consequences like those we are seeing today. His carefully cultivated reputation clearly got out of hand when other people were added to the mix. 

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..." But it isn't really rigged when tens of millions of people Google his name to find out what crazy things have been done ostensibly in his name. So much of it was negative that one of the most human of emotions, negativity bias, raised it's gauntleted fist and crushed any carefully cultivated online persona that may have been left. 

2 min read

Joke: Postal Worker Reputation

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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:

28 min read

What Is Reputation?

What is reputation

Reputation is the subjective qualitative belief a person has regarding a brand, person, company, product, or service. Reputation is a belief that is socially transferred from one person or system to another.

Reputation is best defined as a third-party perception of your, or your brands, character and attributes. Reputation evolves over time, but it can be engineered. Every time you see an advertisement or press release about a company it's an attempt to somehow change how you think of the company's brand.

Reputation is perception

Reputation is perception, put another way - it is subjective. Reputation is a malleable thing. Malleable by others, or to some extent by the subject. Reputation perception in a small social circle is less changeable than it is in a large network because it is perceived on a one-to-one basis with no intermediary in-between. How you (person A) feel about the way your friend (person B) treated you is between you and your friend. No person or entity stands between so your friends' reputation is through direct knowledge you have of them.

Reputation is indirect knowledge

Most reputation perception is through indirect knowledge. An example of this might be how you (person A) feel about your friends' (B) friend (C) whom you've never met. Everything you know about the person you have yet to meet (person C) has been communicated by the friend you do know (person B). If you friend (B) says bad things about the other person (C) you will probably come to the conclusion that the person you don't know is not a great human being - whether it's true or not. That person in the middle (B) is the intermediary.

The intermediary controls how you perceive the reputation of person C. In the case of a large network like the internet, where you have no direct knowledge, Google is person B

Reputation perception within a large network (such as the internet) is often easier to change than in a smaller network (a group of friends) because today people depend on search engines like Google, or Amazon, to make decisions for them about the reputation of people, products, services, or companies. 

These companies are in effect, person B, and they color the way you feel about things for which you have no direct knowledge. Every time you look at an Amazon rating you are experiencing the opinion of an intermediary. And in most cases you probably trust it. The same is true of Wikipedia articles, Instagram, or Google search results, most people trust them even though they can be manipulated. 

Reputation can be manipulated

In a large network reputation can be improved or damaged by manipulating the intermediary. Reputation intermediaries can be a search engine like YouTube, Bing, Google, Amazon, or Duck Duck Go. Reputation can be improved, or destroyed, using intermediaries because there is no direct knowledge of the facts. 

Whether you're selling bottled 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.

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 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.

7 min read

Prospective customers read between two and ten reviews. Why it matters.

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.

9 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 event 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.

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.

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