Reputation management is the influencing and/or control of an individual’s or business’s reputation. Originally a public relations term, the advancement of internet and social media use, along with reputation management companies, have made it primarily an issue of search results. Parts of reputation management are often associated with ethical grey areas, such as astroturfing review sites, censoring negative complaints or using SEO tactics to game the system and influence results. There are also ethical forms of reputation management, which are frequently used, such as responding to customer complaints, asking sites to take down incorrect information and using online feedback to influence product development.Online Reputation Management is Also Known as ORM.
Reputation management is the practice of monitoring the reputation of an individual or brand on the internet, addressing content which is potentially damaging to it, and using customer feedback solutions to get feedback or early warning signals to reputation problems. Most of reputation management is focused on pushing down negative search results. Reputation management may attempt to bridge the gap between how a company perceives itself and how others view it.
Some examples of websites where a company may conduct reputation management is the feedback system on eBay, and Google search results are the primary target of reputation management efforts. Some of the tactics used by reputation management firms include the following:
- Improving the tagging and search engine optimization of company-published materials, such as white papers and positive customer testimonials in order to push down negative content.
- Publishing original, positive websites and social media profiles, with the aim of outperforming negative results in a search.
- Submitting online press releases to authoritative websites in order to promote brand presence and suppress negative content.
- Submitting legal take-down requests if someone believes they have been libeled.
- Getting mentions of the business or individual in third-party sites that rank highly in Google.
- Creating fake blogs pretending to be a different person that shares the same name in order to push down negative search results on the actual person or brand.
- Using spam bots and denial-of-service attacks to force sites with damaging content off the web entirely.
- Astroturfing third-party websites by creating anonymous accounts that create positive reviews or lash out against negative ones.
- Proactively offering free products to prominent reviewers.
- Removal of online mug shots.
- Proactively responding to public criticism stemming from recent changes.