How to Bounce Back from a Destroyed Online Reputation
It has happened to most people at some point in their lives, and probably to you as well. A malicious rumor spread through the hallways at school, circulating just behind your back. Suddenly your reputation is in jeopardy; no one wants to talk with you, or sit next to you in the school cafeteria. The palpable sense of unease lasts for a week or two, until it finally blows over, and more recent gossip takes its place. You are finally able to breathe easily and get on with your daily life.
Fast forward to 2010. Rumors spread about you on the Internet linger for years, affecting your reputation among people who often do not know you personally. Every time you go for a job interview, fill out a rental application, meet someone on a dating site, the same old allegations, rumors, and unfounded gossip appear. The incident or allegation may have happened years ago, but thanks to a brave new world of Web crawlers and search engines, it always seems to have happened yesterday.
Do you know how to bounce back from a destroyed online reputation and indeed, fine-tune an improved Internet presence? This article will offer some common sense tips on taking control of your online reputation, and getting back to a worry-free life.
Go viral with the true facts surrounding an allegation
For some, there is always the option of taking a matter to the masses, whether it is through the New York Times or Orphans couch. Put your story out before the public, giving a compelling explanation of why you are blameless of the allegations that have recently gone viral. If the facts back you up, blogs and news outlets will flood the Internet with the new story. Voila! Crisis averted, and reputation restored. If you are anyone less than an A-list celebrity however, you may want to read further.
As someone with a less-than-star profile, you may choose to present the facts of the case on an online forum or website. Appealing at first glance, this actually involves a good deal of faith on your part that your name will be cleared through presenting the facts. Even if you are personally blameless, this approach can lead to more prominent online status of an incident you desperately want to put behind you. Presented the wrong way, refutations of allegations can seem peevish, annoying, and even a little desperate.
In certain circumstances, when the allegations are so widespread that the record needs to be set straight, this may be the preferred course. But consider carefully before your wade into these treacherous waters and, above all, consult with an online reputation management specialist. There are professional resources that know how to bounce back from a destroyed online reputation that can be of service to you.
Take the high road and do nothing
This is the preferred choice of many and, not coincidentally, the easiest route. You simply sit back, get on with your life, and wait for the story to blow over. But wait: Items written about you, particularly in established media, can take years to filter out of search engine rankings. What seems like the path of least resistance now may lead to an unmitigated string of reputation hassles in the future. By doing nothing, you are giving the negative story time to percolate, settle, and take root in your online reputation databank.
Even if you follow Google procedures, requesting that links to allegations be removed from search engine results, you will likely receive minimal response. This is because Google takes little responsibility for materials it compiles from what it considers reputable sites. And the sites themselves may be just as reluctant to take the offending material off their pages, barring a major lawsuit.
Explain the situation to the people in your life who matter
If you are the victim of a malicious rumor, you may simply choose to explain the situation to those in your life who matter most. This certainly seems like a tidy solution on the surface. Most people have reasonable friends, colleagues, bosses, and landlords, willing to listen to their side of a story. Let’s say that you have taken this step, and your acquaintances are convinced by your story. They appreciate the difference between online allegations and reality. You don’t plan to move or change jobs, so in essence your personal reputation is secure.
Not so fast. Suppose you are sent on a business trip, given the task of negotiating a long-term contract with a client. There is a good chance this client, whether in Tokyo, or Kalamazoo, will Google your name and find a lot more on you than you would like to have publicly available. This is where online reputation specialists come in, providing bundled services such as MyPrivacy that help control your personal online information.
Take action and construct a positive online reputation
This is not just about having acquaintances say good things about you online, or writing a few blog entries. This involves constructing a positive online identity based on the true facts of your life. While not a simple or short-term process, it presents the most effective overall reputation management solution.
A network of finely tailored and synchronized personal biographies; blogs, websites and testimonials can be constructed, affecting how your name appears in online searches. Taking this action early and proactively can effectively bury many offending materials at the bottom of Internet searches. How to bounce back from a destroyed online reputation absolutely incorporates this step.
Whatever you do, don’t waste months of your life undertaking this process alone. Consult with an established company such as ReputationDefender, one that offers customized, results-driven solutions such as ReputationDefender in repairing online reputations. Through the collaborative process of rebuilding your online reputation, you will find new avenues open before you. By working with these professionals who know how to bounce back from a destroyed online reputation you will be thanking yourself in the long run.