The Online Reputation Management Blog

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.

28 min read

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.

Word origin

The meaning of reputation is derived from the Latin word 'reputātiō', meaning "the act of reputāting or state of being reputāted". The word reputation is a noun that also means "judgement, opinion, or estimation, especially an informed one.

What reputation is

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.

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.

19 min read

The ultimate guide to corporate reputation

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”  – Warren Buffet

 

Corporate reputation has so many facets, it’s hard to get all the information in one place. We’re here to remedy that. This corporate reputation guide will break down everything you need to know about corporate reputation:

6 min read

The impact of company image on corporate reputation

Highlights

  • Corporate image and corporate reputation are subjective perceptions that affect how people see and interact with your business.
  • Corporate image is more about how a brand makes people feel, while reputation includes people’s perceptions of a company’s products, leadership, finances, social responsibility, and interactions with its customers, employees, and community. 
  • Both corporate image and reputation can impact a company’s revenue and success.
  • Even if you have a good corporate reputation, a poor company image can hurt your revenues.
  • Incorporating image consulting into your reputation management strategy can improve your brand’s reach and success.

At a first glance, a corporate image and a corporate reputation might seem like synonyms. There are definite similarities between the two:  both your corporate image and your corporate reputation are important subjective perceptions that affect not only how people see your business, but also how and if they do business with you. 

7 min read

Can reputation be insured?

Highlights

  • Your company’s reputation is arguably its most valuable asset.
  • 63% of your market value is attributed to your corporate reputation.
  • The Internet and social media have made reputation insurance more vital than ever.
  • Reputation insurance policies can be purchased individually or integrated into existing company insurance policies. 
  • Stand-alone corporate reputation insurance policies are designed to cover any financial losses that relate to diminished sales from a damaged reputation but come at a much higher price than an add-on policy.

Of the many things that we count on in life, our reputation ranks amongst the most important. Often directly linked to our chances for social success, reputation is the intangible standard that affects our personal and professional life in a very tangible way.

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