You work hard to build a solid personal and/or professional reputation. You treat people with respect. You conduct business in a fair and upstanding manner. You do your best to live your life according to a strong moral code.
Can you imagine having all of that destroyed in a few minutes by a person you don't know very well, and may have never met? Here's how to repair your online reputation.
Your Reputation is Tenuous
Unfortunately, that possibility is all too real in today's internet age. Someone sitting at a computer hundreds or thousands of miles away can post some content which can affect what others may think of you or your business. It can be a bad review by a customer, an unflattering article by a writer, competitor or personal rival looking to gain an edge, or even a former personal acquaintance who feels wronged and wants to exact revenge. Since many people with whom you communicate or conduct business only know you by what they see online, your reputation can be damaged even without your knowledge.
Thankfully, you don't have to take this lying down. You can take some steps to fix your online reputation.
Address the Issue
Some people post negative content to express their opinion or displeasure instead of to denigrate another individual. This is common on online review sites or in comment sections on blogs. If this type of material pertains to you or your business, you should address this content directly and immediately. Respond calmly and objectively (not belligerently or defensively) and acknowledge the individual who made the comments. Apologize if necessary, and offer to right the wrong if possible. Even if you don't change the mind of the person who created the content, others who read your response will view you in a more favorable light. This will help rebuild your internet reputation.
Eliminate the Problem
You can also attempt to have the unflattering content removed from cyberspace altogether, a common method for rebuilding your online reputation. If the comment was posted on a blog or comment site that you operate or control, you can simply erase it. It may also be possible to contact the administrator of the site on which it appears (or even the individual who posted it) and request that the entry or review be taken down. If the prose is defamatory, you may be able to seek legal action against the person who posted it. But it's better to remove it for non-legal means; a long, drawn-out court case won't be neary as effective when you're trying to rebuild your reputation online.
Drown Out the Noise
The most effective way to negate the effects of problematic online content is to make it irrelevant. This can be accomplished by creating a blog and posting regular entries about yourself, your interests or your business, which has the positive side effect of bolstering your online reputation overall. Enhancing your presence on social media sites using postings and images can serve the same purpose. Linking all of your various web portals and online profiles together can help showcase the positive aspects of your digital reputation. All of this activity will draw the attention of search engines, which will in turn display the new content more prominently, and ignore or de-emphasize the unappealing content, when people enter your name or business name into a search box.
In some cases, the damage to your reputation is so substantial that you may need additional assistance to repair it. That's where the professionals at ReputationDefender can help. Check out some of our services, and see how they can help restore your Internet reputation to its former glory. Don't be stuck wondering how to repair your online reputation; call ReputationDefender today.