Reputation Managment


How to Manage Your Reputation Online

Reputation Management is a continually growing business on the internet.  According to Google, each month there are roughly 240,000 searches in the United States, and 450,000 worldwide, to remove content from Google or from access on the internet. One of the major reasons for this search is reputation management to protect personal reputations or reputations of a company.

Alarmingly, there is a large and growing number of blacklist sites which allow the publication of negative information on the internet by unknown sources allowing anyone to post negative information about anyone.

For some sites, the information is public information that they are just re-publishing and adding targeted SEO so that negative information comes up when searching a person's or company's name.  This produces negative information which is not only public, but is also pushed to the front where everyone can see it.  Most of these companies will remove the listing for a small fee.  Yes, that sounds to me like blackmail also.

Other sites don't gather information from public databases, they allow anyone to post it.  So an upset date may post your information on an STD site, blacklist site indicating your involvement legal or illegal adult activities, or any number of similar related sites. 

Unfortunately, while there was one mugshot website originally, there are now many of them which gather mugshot information from public sources, republish it and charge people who show up on it to be removed.  Paying money to these websites is not a good idea, because there is an unlimited number of sites like this that can be turned up by one or more companies. The more people pay these companies, the more these companies proliferate.  If you pay money to one of these websites, the same company could simply turn around and target you from any number of other similar websites that they run.

How Can You Protect Your Reputation Online?

Unfortunately, online reputation protection is getting increasingly difficult as more and more companies enter the market eager to post negative information and then request a removal fee.  Until there has been many class action law suits, this situation is not likely to change. 

We have had clients who have been listed in all kinds of sites and, even with legal proof that the information is incorrect, it is not always possible to get that information removed.

Typically, the primary concern is removal from Google, however, there are many more issues that exist when trying to bury negative information both true and untrue.

Do-it-Yourself Reputation Management

If you are a busy business executive and can afford a company like iBCScorp to help you protect your identity, then that is a great option.  However, if you are an unemployed person trying to get a job, or other wise have time and this is plaguing you, then you should know there is a lot you can do for yourself.  The purpose of this article is to let you know what can be done on your own, if you have the time to do it.  Reputation management is very time-consuming and it is sometimes difficult.  If you are unable to do it yourself and would like to pay another company to do this, then please don't hesitate to call iBCScorp™ and ask for an SEO consultant who specializes in reputation management.

Here is what we will do, how we do it, and how you can do it yourself.  There may be additional things that we do in tough cases, but I think this list pretty much sums it up.  We approach the problem from both sides by removing the negative information while also building the positive information published about you online.

Don't Reward Businesses for Posting Negative Information About You

Don't support the company which has posted negative information about you by sending them money that they can use to advertise and grow their search results and make the problem even more prevalent.  Don't buy services from companies which advertise on their sites.  This also helps fund the industry making it worse. Additionally, don't share the link with anyone else or tell them how to search and find the link, the more traffic they get the more legitimate they become. 

Tips to Remove Negative Information

Remove Posts

The first step is to request, if possible, that any negative information be removed.  There are several ways to find out who controls the content.

  1. Check for contact information on the website:  Check the websites contact us page, header, and footer to see if there are any contact details, perhaps admin@ or info@thedomain.
  2. Do a Who.is search.  Who.is is a tool which tells you who owns and manages a domain.  A Who.is search will often provide administrative and other details about the site.   Unfortunately, many of these companies pay to have their Who.is information hidden, so that they cannot be contacted. They don't want people to know who they are because they know the nature of their business is upsetting and often not only immoral, but also illegal.
  3. Check DNS Records.  By finding out who manages their DNS, you can sometimes find out who the company is. If you cannot do this, you can often find out who their provider is, but they might not provide contact information without a court order.
  4. Check hosting or developer information.  The hosting information may tell you who the company is, if they host their own equipment, or it may give you some leads.  Someone is hosting the website online, and that hosting company can contact the website owner for you. They might also provide you with contact details of the website's owner, though they probably won't.  Sometimes developers take credit for their work; there is a very slim chance that the web developer would help you.

Remove from Search Engines

Please note that just because the offending site has removed the content, does not mean that the site listing will immediately disappear from search engines.  It could take days, weeks, or even months if the site isn't crawled very often. The information can be removed from search engines if it is no longer current or no longer on the site, but is only in the search engines.  If the information is breaking the law by providing adult information in a filtered search, or by providing private information about you, then it may be possible to have the search engine index removed even if it still is current and active on the offending site. In either case, a submission should be done to have it removed from Google and to have it removed from Bing.  Bing also provides search for Yahoo, so removing the listing from Bing's index will also remove it from Yahoo. The following two links should help with removing the listing from major search engines:

Remove from Google

Click here to remove a URL from Bing

Remove from yahoo - Yahoo's search results com from Bing.  So if you remove it from Bing then it should go away from Yahoo.

Use Positive Information for Online Reputation Management

Build a Website with Your Name

This is best if you can use a URL with your name or the name you are trying to protect.  Of course the site will also need to have relevant content and provide positive helpful information which will help to replace the bad information and which will also, if done correctly, immunize you from negative postings by having positive information come up first.

Positive, useful content will replace the negative content over time and continually placing positive content will make it more difficult for someone to post negative information to hurt you or your business.

Build Blog Posts with Your Name

Making blog posts (similar to a site with the title, page, url etc.) containing the search term that is helpful and useful can also help replace negative information.

Be Consistent

Developing a positive online reputation for yourself or your company can take time. Continue removing bad stuff when you can and continue posting positive information each week.

We hope this information has been helpful.  Please e-mail us if you have any suggestions for this post.