8 Reputation Statistics Affecting How You're Seen Online

Updated by Kent Campbell on Oct 26, 2017

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Online reputation statistics change regularly, this updated list of stats will fascinate and might even scare you.

Reputation and character are different. Reputation is what people think of you or your brand, character are the actual qualities you or your brand have.

One extra star on a review site can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars

All of us in the modern world, from individuals to businesses to public organizations, have two identities: the one that exists in real life, and the one that lives online. Your online reputation can be fickle, plummeting overnight faster than a dissatisfied customer can strike the “submit” button on a review site. These internet reputation statistics will help you better understand the online landscape so that you can focus your resources in the directions that matter most.

Now, more than ever, people look to the internet to get information and formulate opinions on people and businesses. With few users perusing below the top three results that pop up in a search query, first impressions are even more important online than in real life. Miss your chance to make a positive impact off the bat and you may never get another opportunity. 

In light of the internet’s power to make or break your reputation, here are eight of the most significant online reputation management statistics –– and advice for how you can use this information to better shape your image.

5 Steps to Improve Reputation E-Book

64% of people trust search engines for research

The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that 64% of global respondents trust online search engines the most when conducting research on a business.

In fact, the study found that the internet was unanimously voted as the first source of information for news, general business information, or to confirm or validate rumors. Furthermore, trust in traditional forms of media has dropped.

Do AutoComplete results affect brands?

Your search engine image goes beyond your ranking on the page. Even the "auto-complete" responses that pop up in Google can give new customers pause –– or inspire them to learn more about you. It’s important to think (and search) like your customers would in order to determine what your online presence is really saying about you.

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Google controls 77.98% of search engine traffic

Google controls 77.98% of desktop search traffic with Bing trailing far behind at just 7.81%, according to data from Net Market Share.

Capture.pngEach search engine has its own unique algorithm that determines your relevancy, authority, and utlimately, your ranking for a given search query. The nuances of the algorithms are largely unknown (and the search engines make sure to keep it that way), but your best bet is to focus your efforts on improving your ranking with Google. That being said, you can't quite ignore the other search engines –– 7.81% might seem like a small number, but not when you consider just how many people are searching on a daily basis. 

91% of North American consumers read online reviews to learn about a business

A massive 91% of North American consumers read online reviews to find out about a business. According to a BrightLocal Consumer Review survey, for better or for worse, most consumers are checking out: Google Reviews, Yelp, and other customer feedback systems, to get more information on businesses. Consumers frequently take into account what other people write about a brand, product or service, to determine whether it is good or not.

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60% of consumers say negative reviews turned them away

The research shows that 60% of consumers turn away after reading negative reviews, so this means a huge potential loss for the affected companies.

What percentage of consumers act on positive reviews?

A colossal 74% of consumers have greater trust in a company if they read overwhelmingly positive reviews. Conversely, the research shows that 60% of respondents said that negative reviews made them not want to use a business. Moreover, reviews that only gave 1 or 2 stars, failed to convert 86% of prospective customers. Clearly, this scenario is a major loss, particularly for startups, which need the initial momentum to get their businesses off the ground.


Recent reviews are taken more seriously

The report also shows that consumers are getting better at sorting the real reviews from the fake, and they’re more likely to take a recent review seriously than an older one. Consumers will catch on when businesses hire people to write fake reviews, or resort to other automated, non-organic means of cultivating a positive reputation. Only authentic reviews will do. 

Wikipedia ranks on the front page for more than 50% of all keywords.

Wikipedia, the world's biggest online encyclopedia, ranks on the front page for more than 50% of all keywords. This is because it is one of the most frequented and increasingly trusted websites. It also has a fast SEO speed and top quality content which is usually referenced to high quality sources, giving it authenticity. Due to this status, any inaccurate or negative information about you or your company on Wikipedia is a major reputation risk. A Stone Temple report states that a Wikipedia page is in the top ten search listings for over half of all searches conducted, so it is imperative that a reputation management strategy always has a Wikipedia plan woven into it.

Social recruiting grown more than 54%

In the case of job seekers, online Social recruiting is seriously on the rise in HR departments, having grown 54% in the past five years, according to a SHRM report. At the present time, virtually all companies are employing social recruiting in one form or another, and as each year passes, it is predicted to take on an even larger focus.

While most social recruiting is done via LinkedIn: 73% of companies consider it the most effective site for finding qualified candidates, it is not solely job-specific sites that companies are looking at. 66% of them report that they recruit through Facebook, and 53% state they recruit via Twitter. As the statistics suggest, most companies recruit through more than one of these sites.

69% of jobseekers would turn down an offer from a company with reputation problems

Yes, it certainly can. Companies pass over potential employees based on things they see online, whether they're accurate or not. These days, hiring managers spend far more time online in the search for potential candidates, therefore, it is inevitable that they are likely to come across anything that may be negative or incriminating. This means that your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube pages need to be as polished and professional as your LinkedIn page should be, if you wish to appeal to hiring managers.

Moreover, jobseekers are not the only ones affected by an increased reliance on social media. It flows the other way, too. According to a Corporate Responsibility Magazine / Allegis Group Services survey, 69% of jobseekers would turn down an offer from a company with a weak online reputation, even if they were unemployed. To that end, it is clear that keeping a positive, professional, social buzz around your brand, whether it is your business or personal identity, can open doors and opportunities for you.

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Social media content strongly influences buyer decisions

Social media has become a huge part of people's lives, and it is no longer dominated by young people. It is now popular with people of all ages; and according to Pew Research, 69% of adults now use at least one social media site. Due to this huge volume of  social traffic, average consumers mention brands a colossal 90 times per week.

Naturally, people pay close attention to social posts from friends. And with the average consumer mentioning brands 90 times a week to their friends, family, and co-workers, you can never underestimate the necessity of providing positive experiences. The ripple effect caused by social media and its overwhelming ability to broadcast personal experiences to a large number of people, places extreme importance on social media monitoring as part of your reputation management plan.

Average consumer mentions brands 90 times / week

There is conflicting information about whether consumers are more likely to share positive or negative experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms (research suggests it's about equal), but one thing is certain: people pay close attention to social posts from friends. And with the average consumer mentioning brands 90 times a week to their friends, family, and co-workers, you can never underestimate the necessity of providing positive experiences. The ripple effect caused by social media and its ability to broadcast personal experiences to a large number of people places extreme importance on social media monitoring as part of your reputation management plan.

Distributing good content just as important as ridding bad

According to a 2014 LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community report, the top three things that make content effective are audience relevance, engaging storytelling, and writing that inspires action. Simply nixing the bad content won’t do –– you have to push out quality content to capture customer attention and keep your brand image positive and relevant.

87% comparison shop every time

Yes, a very large number of people always comparison shop. According toMckinsey, 87% of people do comparative shopping for every single purchase they make, and they shop on multiple channels.

Customers shop many channels

Brand reputation development relies heavily on your ability to reach customers with compelling content through a number of channels. In other words, just sticking with paid advertising won't get you very far. Instead, skyrocket your online reputation by reaching out to internet users intelligently and across as many channels as possible.

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Don’t be intimidated by the ever-changing landscape of human behavior online. With an eye on the trends in user behavior and an experienced reputation management partner supporting you, you can cultivate ongoing trust and respect for your online identity –– and, as a result, your offline one, too.

At Reputation X, we create a personalized reputation protection plan for each client, employing the latest tactics in both SEO and human outreach. Because our approach is organic rather than automated, our clients’ reputation management strategies endure as Google’s algorithms change over time.

Call ReputationX at 1-800-889-4812 contact us for more information and a complimentary consultation.

Topics: Review Management, Online Reputation Management (ORM)

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