There’s been a lot of talk over the last few years about mastering the art of reputation management. For the most part, the methods popularized by SEO experts have been effective for those who have attempted them, although the effects are usually temporary. Google’s commitment to deliver fast and accurate search results has led to a series of seemingly spontaneous algorithm changes, bringing forth dramatic reshufflings of generally accepted SEO tactics.
Despite the ever changing digital environment, one thing consistently drives the demand for SEO specialist services: the need for privacy. More specifically, this refers to the desire to “hide” certain unflattering content by pushing more favorable content higher up in search results. As individuals and companies begin to appreciate the advantage of having an online relationship with their target market, they quickly experience how easily negative information can surface and alter customer perception and change the game from reputation building to reputation repair. While they do their best to keep potentially damaging data under wraps, current information like customer threads or third party reviews can still affect rankings.
To post or not to post
It is a safe to assume that every content owner struggles to stay in control of his branding and personal or company reputation. One of the most important things to remember is how to let go of factors that one simply cannot control. One can never predict, for example, when negative comments will be posted about their business. It will also be futile to scour the Internet and continuously check for such negative feedback in an attempt to remove or cover it up. Instead of wondering how to counteract a bad reputation, the better approach would be to build a good one instead: publish consistently positive or neutral information about one’s self or one’s business and gain a good Internet reputation the old fashioned way.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
In today’s scramble for the best personal reputation management strategy, Advertising Age suggests utilizing online referrals to boost one’s reputation. Instead of repeatedly searching for one’s name on Google and attempting to eliminate undesirable results (everybody has that one embarrassing photo floating around the Internet), the article suggests building on existing connections to highlight strengths instead. For instance, corporate networking sites such as LinkedIn allow people within the same network to recommend each other for various positions or “endorse” a member for a particular work-related skill. These testimonials take only a few clicks but make a difference in the way a potential employer would view an applicant.
One’s online reputation is as good as well-timed self-conscious preening. In the end, a good public relations image rests on its holder’s bearings.