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One of the biggest stories of last year was the chaos wrought by so called “fake news” articles and publications. Today people often call it by another name, propaganda. Using widely distributed media that tells half-truths in order to influence public opinion has been going on since Darius I took the Persian throne in 515 BCE. In America its been around since the days of yellow journalism and perhaps before. 

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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?

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Why do you believe the things that you believe? 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.

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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? Who gets clicked? Why does search matter so much?

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Has any phrase been more divisive and frustrating during the 2016 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.

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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. 

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Reputation is important because you or your company want to be seen in the best light. People want to make the best choice, and they base their selection on the person or company that seems to be superior. Whether applying for a job or attracting business opportunities, a good reputation affects your bottom line.

Another way to think about it is that character is how you actually are, and reputation is how others think you are. One is objective, the other subjective. The character of a person is different than his or her reputation, and this holds true for brands as well.

74% of people say reviews increase trust

The rewards of having a good online reputation are greater revenues, better relationships, and more opportunities. Consumers have been shown to care about a company's reputation and purchasers' reviews. For example, a survey carried out in 2016, notes that 74% of potential customers state that when they read positive reviews, they have more trust in a local business.1

Curating a positive reputation is very different than simply leaving it up to the random opinions of others. Online reputation management works to actively affect how a person or company is perceived by others.

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