The Online Reputation Management Blog

What is Reputation? People, Crowds, and Artificial Intelligence Decide

There are two parts to your reputation: what you do and what people say about you. If people are consistently saying negative things about your company, it’ll ultimately catch up and stunt your growth. Although there are entire books about reputation and how it relates to key aspects of business and publicity, the truth of the matter is simple: seem to behave well and see your reputation improve. Behave badly, and the results can be catastrophic and long-lasting. Of course, if someone is out to damage you, then that's another story.

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Why is Reputation Important?

You may have heard it as a child, or had it fall on deaf ears during those precarious teen years. It’s the age-old adage, “it doesn’t matter what other people think of you, but only what you think of yourself.” It’s the easiest advice to give, the hardest to take, and one of those life lessons that gets repeated in nearly every coming-of-age story. It’s also false.

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What is Negativity Bias - Its Effect on Search Results

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. The negativity bias is leveraged by the media to increase profits. The fact is, bad news gets more attention, more clicks, and leads more revenue for the publication. Google also reacts to this pattern by giving people what they seemingly want - more bad news.

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How People Find a Brand Online

When people are performing a search online for a product or service, they rarely do so in a linear fashion. The path they take often seems random to an outside observer, and when mapped can look like a bowl of cooked noodles. This path seems far more like a scavenger hunt than anything else, because when a consumer begins their search they are in many ways ignorant of what they really need. The process of search is one of discovery and self-education. In spite of the confusion, there is a method to the apparent madness.

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How Do I Remove TheDirty.com

Reputation X can usually remove TheDirty.com posts within three weeks.

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

You can go it alone, of course, and use a do-it-yourself approach to try to get a post removed from TheDirty.com. However, we at Reputation X have a successful track record in doing what seems impossible -- reclaiming your online reputation.

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The Death of Gag Clauses: The Consumer Review Freedom Act

The Consumer Review Freedom Act enables any American to write a truthful bad review even if they agreed to a "gag" or "non-disparagement" clause stating that they would not do so. It was signed into law by President Obama on Thursday, December 15, 2016. 

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Dark PR and Agents of Reputation Destruction

There exists a type of PR agency that specializes in destruction rather than enhancement of reputation. Some of these agencies work for governments or politcal 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. It isn't just fringe groups, but the appartus of large governmental institutions like the National Security Administration (NSA). The NSA has apparently used negative online reputation management to discredit some peoples search results. 

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The 18 Ways Google Describes You Today

Today there are least 18 different ways for a business 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 Graph, images, reviews, news, shopping, videos and of course normal blue link search results.

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5 Smart Ways to Handle Negative Online Comments

Whether you’re a writer, YouTuber, or a business owner, negative online comments are probably one of your biggest sources of stress. Not only do negative comments put a serious damper on your mood, they can also damage your reputation. But you are not powerless against angry people on the internet. Here are five strategies for handling negative online comments:

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3 of the Best Ways to Vary Anchor Text for Link Diversity

Back in the day of black-hat SEO techniques, there were many who tried to increase search rankings by using the same anchor text for backlinks. The hope was that Google would see links from this anchor text and rank the site higher for that keyword phrase. Thanks to Google’s advanced algorithms, the complete opposite now happens.

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Bounce rate reduction: Split testing, better stories, and the 3-second rule

In the world of SEO, a lot can be faked. Unfortunately, things get a bit tricky when it comes to bounce rate. Lowering bounce rate by using various tricks can do the job, but can bring more harm than benefits in the long run. Even if you trick your analytics tool to obtain great percentages, the question remains: how many of the visitors to your website stick long enough to become buyers of your products? Also, will they want to browse other pages or come back after their first experience on your website?

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The Difference Between Gray Hat and Black Hat SEO

What is Gray Hat SEO

Gray hat SEO is frankly what most search engine optimization and reputation management companies do to help solve their clients problems. It is a more aggressive set of tactics for search engine optimization. Nearly every SEO company engages in some technique that might be called "gray hat". An example would be quietly "buying" a link the SEO really needs rather than "earning" it. 

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Repairing a Damaged Reputation Online

No matter how secure and well-placed a brand appears to be, the danger of an online reputation crisis is always lurking. The open nature of modern day communication channels, like blogs, social networks and review sites, means that one bad customer experience or a small lapse in service standards can quickly damage a brand’s reputation.

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Tools: Name Generators, Whiteboards & Mind Mapping

How does the word “brainstorming” make you feel? Some people get excited about the prospect of throwing around ideas and coming up with something brilliant, while others seem to dread staring at a blank board all day in the conference room.

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Can Bots Write Articles Yet?

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. But can bots write entire articles by themselves?

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How Video Can Enhance Your Online Reputation

Video can be used to enhance online reputation. Search results today contain blog posts, articles, images, news and video. They're called "mixed results". Search engines want to provide the best results possible in whatever format necessary. Video is fast becoming the best way to engage audiences which means you can use it to improve your reputation online. 

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Why Most Blogs Die After 100 Days

For many businesses, the first interaction a customer will have with you is on your blog. Content marketing plays a huge role in building brand awareness and creating a positive reputation with your target audience.

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YouTube Video Removal

A negative YouTube video can often be 'moved', but not often 'removed'. YouTube videos that are copyright infringements are a different story since the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be used to get them removed - usually by a qualified attorney. You can also use the 'Flag' option on any video (see image below). YouTube video removal is the best solution, but if you cannot get it removed the real problem arises when a negative video about your name or brand shows up in search results where people can see it.

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How Augmented Reality Could Further Segment Society

Augmented reality is a data-overlay over the real world. 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.

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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.

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Why Video is the Future of SEO and Content Marketing

If you're considering adding video to your content marketing strategy, you are making the right decision. According to Cisco, 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic will be the result of video. In addition, 79 percent of B2B marketers are starting to utilize video. Yet, video doesn't just work magically. You need to have intent, post something relevant and tell a story. If you want to have a higher engagement rate with customers, consider adding more video to your content marketing mix.

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Suppress Negative Search Results

An online reputation suppression strategy is based on moving existing and newly created positive search results higher in search results in order to move down or 'suppress' negative search results.

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How Much Time Should You Spend Editing Content?

Your company creates a lot of content. Some is owned, some earned, some paid, and some a combination. In today's online environment there is often a high degree of edit ability, even for content not necessarily owned by the brand. But resources are always tight, so what content should get the most attention?

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Removing a Negative Wikipedia Page

Negative Wikipedia articles are a two-sided problem. Because Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, you could simply edit the Wikipedia article, or have someone else do it for you. This would instantly change it from negative to positive. But if someone doesn't like your edit, they'll just 'roll it back' to its original state. The second issue with a negative Wikipedia page is the strength of the site itself. It tends to show up high in search results because Google considers it one of the strongest sites on the internet. At last check, it had a Google Page Rank of 9, and a Moz Domain Score of 100 (out of 100). It is extremely difficult if not impossible to suppress Wikipedia because of its strength.

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Do Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Provide SEO Value?

It has been almost a year since Google introduced AMP, short for Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP is essentially an alternative version of your website that is designed using the AMP standard. The alternative version of your site is hosted on servers around the world, instead of your own. AMP pages are fast, but not-fancy.

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Content Marketing Mistakes Affecting Your Reputation

Content marketing is easy, except when it isn't. Here are content marketing mistakes to avoid.

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The Difference Between a VPN and a Proxy for SEO

The main shared function of both Virtual Private Network (VPN) software and Proxy services is to give you, the user, control over your IP address while 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.

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The Perfect Article Has Exactly 738 Words (Just Kidding)

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a surefire formula for writing the perfect blog post? One that told you how to lay it out, what information to include and what kind of images to add. Imagine if it even told you what your word count should be!

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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 too. 

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What Will SEO Look Like in 10 Years?

Google search will be almost entirely based on artificial intelligence, inbound links will have little to no relevance, and the search box will have all but disappeared.

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How Search Affects Startup Valuation

People believe what they see in search, whether it's true or not. This affects how people within the herd react, how they feel about a startup, and whether they invest.

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Top 10 Website SEO Errors

As an SEO consultant I had plenty of potential clients approach me looking for a fix for their website. Many said they’ve done everything right, built some backlinks, waited and waited but nobody showed up to the website. There are a number of reasons why no organic traffic is showing up: lack of keyword research, poor quality backlinks, etc. but a large percentage of them simply haven’t set up their on-page SEO correctly.

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5 Steps to Protecting Your Online Reputation from Cyberthreats

In the field of online reputation management, even simple mistakes can wreak havoc on your reputation, so you learn quickly that you need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. You're prepared for problems such as bad Yelp reviews or Twitter scandals, but have you thought about cybersecurity problems such as data breaches or identity theft? What happens if hackers access your private documents and publish the results? Are you doing your best to secure your online assets to prevent digital disasters?

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How Natural Language and Context Affects Online Reputation Strategy

People search differently on mobile than they do on the desktop and that affects reputation management companies. Big changes to Google like voice search and contextual interpretation alter the way online reputation experts and SEO professionals manage the search results of their clients.

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How the Internet Hates

Honest review sites are an important and valuable part of the information ecosystem. Yet often search engines amplify what should be a whisper to a scream. Who are the players in the bad news ecosystem? Reputation X studied 1000 people and companies with online reputation problems and here's what we learned.

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Turning Customers Into Salespeople

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.

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The Ultimate Glossary of Reputation Management Terms

This glossary of online reputation management terminology will help you get up to speed on terms like brandjacking, EWOM, doxxing, social proof, truth remixes, shame famers, and of course zombies. 

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How to Promote Web Content in Two Sort of Easy Steps

You've written great content (or someone else has written it), now what do you do? Just post it and pray for traffic? That's not good enough. Instead, schedule multiple social postings and then syndicate your content. Here is how to do it in two 'sort of easy' steps. 

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Man Bribes Children, Escapes, Leaves Animal Droppings on Roof

December 26, 2015

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Crisis Management Team Best Practices

Chiptole 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 catastrophies. 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. 

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Getting Lost Links Back

Every site that has been in existence for a while has had links disappear. What if you could get lost links back again? The process to regain lost links is simple: Use Majestic.com to find the past five years of lost links, then contact the websites, and ask for them back with a reward like a free Starbucks gift card. 

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Bad Yelp Reviews


Bad Yelp reviews are a huge problem for a large number of businesses, and a boon to a few lucky (or crafty) ones. This article discusses information about bad yelp reviews and possible ways of dealing with them. Yelp is considered a volatile site because it can change very quickly from good to bad, thus it is not considered a long-term positive for most businesses to rely upon

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BotNets and Business Reputation

A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is intended to temporarily overwhelm the servers hosting a website in order to cause the website to shut down using a "BotNet". One study rated "reputation damage" as one of the worst consequences of DoS attacks. 

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What is the Streisand Effect?

Summary

On May 30th, 2003 it was reported that Barbra Streisand sued a man claiming an invasion of her privacy because he 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. 

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Online Identity Management in the Post-Privacy Era

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.

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Restaurant Reputation Management: The Challenges Franchises Face

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. 

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Your Own Mythology: Personal Branding Online

Personal branding is repackaging oneself online to highlight the positive aspects of oneself. In some ways it is creating a personal mythology, usually online. According to Wikipedia it was first mentioned by Tom Peters in 1997, but the idea of it goes back to Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich. Today, personal branding is a form of online reputation management for individuals that involves thoughtful design of online presence. It envisions a future perception of oneself and works to craft that perception in the minds of third-parties over time. 

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John Chambers Probably Did Not Change His Name to “Mr Liu”

I was shocked to learn that John Chambers of Cisco Systems had apparently changed his name to “Mr. Liu”, gone to work for Bank of America, and is now living in Hemel Hempstead, UK. This is clear from his LinkedIn invitation to me that bears his image below. I was so honored by his request I almost cried.

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Reputation Measurement

How does one measure the reputation of a person, company, executive, or other entity? The reputation of an entity is based largely upon sentiment and other factors such as search engine profile for a given search, social media reach, and online reviews. 

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Reports of Guest Bloggings Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Guest blogging is one of the best ways to get your message in front of people. But people are still talking about a post by Matt Cutts from 2014 that hasn't (yet) proven guest blogging is dead. Guest blogging is the process of approaching a blog owner and offering to post your own content on their site. In exchange you would usually get a link back to your website either in the body of the post, or in the biography section at the bottom of the post. The problem is that guest blogging is being abused.

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