Why You Need to Worry about your Online Reputation
Your Reputation and the Interview Process for a new Job
Lets just say you are applying for a new job, it’s in an industry where you have a great deal of expertise and the company is growing. You’ve put together a great resume with your latest projects, and your first interview has gone really well. Things are looking up, right? Well, not exactly. The HR manager decides to do a quick search for your name on Google. That’s when things go pear-shaped. Here’s a forum post you wrote 5 years ago talking about that hotel you trashed in Vegas. There’s an old Facebook photo of you guzzling down a beer-bong. In one of the pictures you look high, and someone wrote about you on Ripoffreport.com. They don’t call back for a second interview.
A Business Opportunity and your Presence in Google
Your have a small business and your company is on the verge of a big contract with a major player in the industry and you can almost taste the boost that your business will receive from landing such a good contract. Your networking has really paid off, and a mutual friend’s recommendation virtually guarantees you the contract.
However, like almost everyone does these days, the client runs an additional search on your company’s name. On the 4th result disaster strikes. A bitter, slightly unhinged ex-employee has been ranting about your treatment of workers using Apestan.com, Ripoffreport.com and everywhere he can. The next 6 results are just as bad. You don’t get the contract.
What is Online Reputation Management?
The two scenarios above are just examples, but it’s important for you to know that these situations occur every single day. Reputation management (also known as ORM or online reputation management) is the process of assessing the potentially harmful search results that come up with brand name and legal name queries, and then preparing a strategy to take control of those results. This includes managing at least the first page of results as well as any harmful image results.
Online Reputation management isn’t strictly the same as vanilla SEO, because it focuses on creating a positive aura around a person / brand without necessarily focusing on driving traffic, as most search-engine traffic does not come via direct brand-name queries. Reputation management is also an ongoing process, so it includes having a system in place to monitor up-to-date mentions of your name or brand, ensuring that a pristine results page today doesn’t turn into a nightmare tomorrow.
Why is it important?
DB Marketing Blog readers are ahead of the curve, so I shouldn’t have to go into too much detail here. If you want to make a living – and not just on online – then reputation management is something that you absolutely need to understand and control. Not having it handled can lose you business, job opportunities and even friends.
Sometimes the results may not even be malicious, but just undesirable. Consider the example of a company that has a consumer-facing platform as well as a corporate website. The brand names are the same, so that when consumers search for the brand they are often led to the corporate site, which doesn’t fulfill their needs, so they move onto a different brand. They’re probably not coming back in this ‘one-and-done’ online culture.
Have you had any experience with negative reputation on the net? What did you do to combat it? Share any horror stories or reputation recovery anecdotes that you’ve heard in the comments, if you need help with any negative information about you on the web, contact DB Marketing Reputation Management Team