“Yo Mama Has …” : Reputation Management

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Have you ever been hanging out, randomly searching online and found something negative about yourself in a search engine results page? OK, well, maybe you weren’t randomly searching exactly, but I bet when you saw that negative stuff, you wished you had known about it when it first was indexed, so you could have defended your brand, yourself, or your service. Called reputation management, monitoring your site and service throughout the blogosphere has become an increasingly popular service. For any startup, small, medium or large sized brands/companies, it’s best to have someone dedicated to monitoring your reputation online while involving yourself in conversational marketing.

The most important aspect of reputation management is knowing how to handle each situation. This is usually a combined effort on the part of the reputation management service and the corporation that hires them. Remember, bad press can be GREAT press; however, it’s important to look at all the angles to determine what needs to be refuted, what needs to be extinguished, and what fires need to be flamed. The job of a reputation management service is to monitor pages, track mentions of key phrases, propose combatant techniques, and help back a brand with an army of reputable community members.

Currently there are a few programs and services that can help individuals and companies monitor their own reputation. I strongly suggest hiring an outside company to do this; however, if you are determined to bring it in-house, here are some tools you might consider acquiring.

1. Copernic: This program allows you to enter URLs and choose the frequency of updates you wish it to use and the type of checks it should look for. I use this tool whenever a blog post goes up about a client of mine, I make a Wikipedia edit, or I find something on a forum about a company I am working with. This program allows me to check daily on text updates, compares previous to new versions, and alerts me accordingly.

2. Google and Yahoo Alerts are a reputation management specialist’s best friend. These tools allow us to get immediate updates and alerts when phrases and keywords are mentioned online. I normally use both Yahoo and Google Alerts in tandem in order to help ensure coverage saturation.

3. MonitorThis monitors a keyword across 22 different search engines. I do use this pretty frequently, but unfortunately it doesn’t cover Google.com.

4. Monitor the reputation of other websites and bloggers through DomainTools to check out WhoIs information and Icerocket to check blog and search trends.

5. Monitor a brand’s reputation by checking Google, Yahoo, and MSN backlinks periodically for sites that could possibly be talking negatively about your site, brand, product or service.

These are some of the basic tools and means to start you off on reputation management. On my home website of HybridSEM, I’ll be putting out a reputation management guide in the next month or so for anyone thinking about taking up reputation management or looking to find out what else goes into this service.

About the Author

Joe Whyte has been developing, managing and implementing successful, innovative, bleeding edge digital marketing strategies for Fortune 500 companies for over 7 years.

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2 Comments

  1. Great article addressing the fundamental tools of online reputation management (ORM). The challenge we've found at Anvil with ORM clients is that they tend not to follow direction and are also rarely innocent in regards to the issue at hand. It's a very challenging discipline to manage, as it's more about the integrity of the relationship than the ORM strategies & tactics. I address this very issue in the next issue of Search Marketing Standard.

  2. I get calls for "Google scrubbing" services fairly frequently. That is companies or individuals who have made some one mad and most commonly, they have had a complaint written against them at a complaint site like www.ripoffreport.com In my experience a lot of these owners have not done much to make the disgruntled customer happy or have had a court ruling against them or had their (example) prison record exposed. There is a company that does seo and reputation management that is very effective in getting these posts removed from the listings. It appears they do it with a massive number of posts to their network of blogs and link sites. In essence they create so much noise and focus their resources on pages to create more importance than the Google listed rip off report pages that they drive them out of the top search engine ranking pages. As Joe mentions, the key to this is monitoring your reputation. Addressing negativity quickly and with sincerity will go a long way towards mending relationships and maintaining a good online reputation.