Online Reputation Management and SEO

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Online Reputation Management and SEO

One of the biggest growth industries on the internet is what has come to be called Online Reputation Management.

In the age of Facebook and Google, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Not if you post it online anyway. In fact, one of the current issues that the millennial generation is dealing with is what to do about the fact that so much of their lives are now recorded online.

These days you can Google anyone from your doctor to your college professor to your coworkers and find a fair amount of information about them, much of it of a mixed variety. If you have ever had anything negative or embarrassing posted about you online under your actual name, you may have been surprised by how long such posts last on the internet. You can change your Facebook page, but what about your friend’s page, or other sites like review sites.

Online Reputation Management is the method by much of the damage of your past on the internet can be managed. For example, if you are a college professor and you had negative reviews posted on one of the several teacher review sites that now populate the web, you can hire a company like Reputation.com to help to try to drive that result off the first page of Google search results.

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How does Online Reputation Management work? Online Reputation Management is basically Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) used to a different end. Whereas SEO is usually performed with the goal of placing a webpage as close to the top of a particular search term as possible, Online Reputation Management uses SEO to try to drive an unwanted webpage from the first pages of a particular search.

For example, let’s say that whenever you Googled your name, the very first site that came up was your ex-girlfriend’s website where she posted a bunch of embarrassing pictures of you drinking and partying and she refused to take them down. Your campaign then would be to create a series of other webpages containing your name as the focus keyword, that would create both neutral and positive information about you while at the same time pushing your ex’s webpage out of the top results of your name’s SERP.

Of course, Online Reputation Management is not foolproof. If you have a steady stream of negative posting going up on the internet then you are unlikely to be able to fully rid yourself of the negative posts. In addition, there is now also a growing counter-business that seeks out the negative information for prospective employers and others who may want to dig up any unseemly parts of an individual’s past.

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Complications also arise if you share a name with one or two other people who live in roughly the same area as you do and have similar backgrounds, since much of their reputation may become entangled with yours.

Regardless of whether you are an HR person, looking for a job, or a small business trying to create a positive brand name, Online Reputation Management is likely to become an increasing area of concern.

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