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The Importance of Online Reputation Management

Whether you're a small business owner or a high profile individual, you've worked hard to get to where you are. Naturally, you want your online reputation to reflect a positive sentiment toward you and your brand, which is why some form of online reputation management is a must.

You might monitor the content posted about you on the Internet to start, and for some people, this will not be a very difficult task. As your reputation grows offline, however, and more content is published about you, it could be a bit more difficult to contend with this undertaking all on your own. Online reputation management services exist just for that purpose.

Why Do I Need Online Reputation Management?

In stark contrast to the print journalism of days gone by, publications appearing on the Internet don't go away quite as quickly. In fact, it can be tremendously difficult to remove something from the Internet once it's out there.

If you're a high profile individual, such as a celebrity or politician, it's almost a given that someone will set out to smear your good name.
And if you're a business owner, as your business evolves, you're sure to have at least one disgruntled customer – everybody does. Unfortunately, these kinds of customers are far more likely to leave reviews and share their bad experiences than the customers who had good experiences.

Or maybe you're a current jobseeker struggling to find work in the current economy. What will potential employers find when they search for you online? Incriminating mentions in your campus newspaper's police blotter or party pictures on Facebook can ruin your online reputation.

If these kinds of negative comments and stories are at the top of the results people find when they search for you on the Internet, you run the risk of a few bad reviews taking a bite out of your livelihood.

How Can I Manage My Own Online Reputation?

It's important to remember that the average individual can only do so much to protect his or her online reputation, and even then, some techniques are more advanced than others.

Knowing what's published about you on the Internet is the first step in managing your online reputation, whether you're a business owner, high profile individual, or a job seeker. Search for yourself across the Web and carefully examine the results on the first several pages, which is where most searchers stop.

If everything looks good, great! Keep doing what you're doing.

If you're seeing any unfavorable content, however, it's time to do some damage control. What can you do? Though your options are admittedly limited, they are powerful.

-  Contact the page owner to remove any slanderous or untrue comments.
-  Attempt to push the negative content down by publishing content that paints a more positive picture of you. Start your own blog and/or website and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
- Hire online reputation management services like

While the basics are pretty simple for anyone with a little bit of net savvy, you may find that, for any number of reasons, you're going to require some help. If so, considering seeking out paid online reputation management services.

What is the Benefit to Using an Online Reputation Management Service?

When you hire professional services to help you manage your online reputation, you won't be limited to asking the page owner to take down their content and publishing new content to push down the old. While online reputation management services will still use these techniques, they will also have access to more powerful tools that can help you to get harmful content removed altogether.

Moving Forward

Once you're in good standing with the search results, maintain your reputation by promoting a positive image. Keep your social media profiles and your website professional. When customers post negative reviews online, attempt to diffuse the situation by communicating with them in an open and diplomatic way. This way, you not only deal with the situation in a healthy way, but those who search for you on that platform will see that you care about building and maintaining a positive brand image. And remember, online reputation management services are available to help you show your best side.

In this day and age, so many decisions are made based on search. If your results are negative, you could stand to lose quite a bit. Don't let a blemish on your online reputation cost you your livelihood, whether you're a business, a high profile individual, a job seeker, or anyone in between, you can't afford to have a tarnished online reputation.

Reviewed by author: Ashley Adams

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