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The masses in American society are hearing more and more these days about a new buzzword that is getting thrown around in social conversations – reputation management. When people later find out what reputation management is, some think “Wow! That’s great! I have a situation online where a service like this can totally help me. I’ll sign on and not have to worry about anything negative online ever again!” If you think along these lines, the truth of the matter is that the answer is actually… PERHAPS.

For many people with negative reputations online, there are often multiple reasons these listings exist for their names. Sometimes these online negative listings are unreasonable and the prospective client is indeed the victim of an attack by someone with malicious intent. However, in many cases one’s online reputation is completely warranted due to past mistakes or problems.

For instance, if you are a business owner that repeatedly conducts poor business practices, then guess what? You are going to find yourself in dire need of a reputation management agency’s help. However, unless you clean up your act, you are going to make the job of clearing up your reputation more difficult (and ultimately more costly).

Let me explain this a little further. What most people do not understand is that the Internet is very much a living, breathing entity. It is always changing and evolving due in part to continuous algorithm updates and revisions. New content is also continuously posted online, changing the results for millions of search terms daily. When a reputation management team takes on a new campaign, they start IMMEDIATELY combating your negative listings as they appear.

Many clients first getting started with reputation management do not understand that the Internet is not a vacuum. Should new negative information get posted online before a reputation management firm can suppress search engine results, it will understandably make campaigns more difficult and lengthy.

Any competent reputation management agency can overcome these challenges, but clients need to understand how new negative listings can affect the length of a campaign.

A more appropriate way to understand this is to compare a negative listing and a reputation management company as two Olympic runners competing in a 400M race. While both competitors are trying to win, the negative listing has a 200M head start! There’s no doubt that the reputation management agency has the tools to win the race. But if the negative post is given an adrenaline shot to the heart midway in the race (through a boost in the negative post’s page ranking), that means the reputation management company has to work that much harder to win.

The overall point is that if you have negative information about you online, it is very likely harming your good name, company profits, and the likelihood that someone will want to do business with you. You should absolutely take control back over what people are saying about you online. Just make sure that if you were previously in the wrong, that you take corrective action.

Everyone deserves second chances! Otherwise, solutions from reputation management companies would merely serve as a temporary band aid to an unsolvable problem.

  • Renee

    I think the mistake that many businesses make is believing that their reputation online and their offline business practices aren’t related. What they forget is that people LOVE to complain. We as a society LOVE to go out and tell people when we’ve been wronged. So the minute a transaction, a deal, a product goes south, their online reputation is going to blow up as quickly as their offline one.

    The moral of our story? Do your job. Do it well. Put your customers first. You can’t make everyone happy all the time. There’s going to be negative information about you online. And that’s okay. But if you have more unhappy customers than happy ones, your reputation online is the least of your problems. Take care of your customers, and online reputation management will be a piece of cake.

  • Ronald

    As technology progresses it only makes sense that reputation management services become available. It may save many businesses from going out of business due to poor practices.

  • Giuseppe

    It is encouraging to know that if your or your business’s reputation is harmed online it is possible with the help of reputation managers to help you regain your credibility. Without that possibilty it could seem impossible to become credible again.