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The best free tools for online reputation management

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by Jennifer Bridges  @JenBridgesRD

A man's hand giving another man's hand a wrench against a yellow and blue background.

This post has been modified to reflect new information since its original publication.

Good luck trying to find online reputation management services for free. Improving your online presence won’t come cheap. Anyone who tells you differently is well… you know.

But free online reputation management tools? There are plenty of them floating around, but not all of them are created equal.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But managing your online presence by yourself is hard… Isn’t it?”

Honestly, it’s not extremely complicated, but it sure is detailed and takes a lot of time, know-how, and patience. If your situation is uh… complicated, you can hire an ORM firm

If not, knowing about these tools can help you DIY your reputation repair.

How does online reputation management work?

Before you can decide which tool will best help you gain control of your online reputation, you need to know something about how reputation management works.

Most Internet reputation management tools are built on the foundation of search engine optimization, or SEO.

SEO combines observations of how search engines work with careful content building and timing to get the maximum results from new content.

This can ensure that it’s widely read and shared, leading it to rank higher and push content you control up the list of your search results.

However, there’s a lot more to fixing your online reputation than just pushing some results up and the rest downward.

Maintaining a positive online reputation involves three steps:

  • Assessment
  • Repair
  • Monitoring

Here’s a quick overview of how each process works.

Assessing your reputation

If you want to know your reputation online, start by running your name through a search engine. For a faster and more professional detailed approach, grab your free reputation report card, and let us do the work for you.

For many people, the things they find in the search results for your name (whether they’re positive reviews or negative comments) are what they’ll believe about you.

However, you have to ask a few questions to get a full sense of what the results are telling you:

  • What links are at the top of your search results?
  • Are they links you control, such as your blog, your social media presence, or your business’s website?
  • Are they links that have factually accurate statements about you?
  • Are the links you find actually about you, or are they about somebody else?

For example, if you’ve got a business that has a good website tied to your name, and the first handful of results are news articles about your business, that’s not bad, but it’s still not great.

Nearly one-third of all searchers click on the first link, ignoring the rest. So, you want that link to be your business’ official site.

If negative comments appear at the top of your search results, then you should focus on the next part of this article.

Repairing your reputation

That’s right. Nearly half of internet users worry about whether something they say online could cause them problems in the future. (Watch the video above to understand the reasons why.)  As a result, repairing your reputation is such big business.

Your online image can affect your business reputation or your personal reputation score.

So, your next steps should be to repair your results so that they properly reflect who you really are.

The exact process to do so may vary depending on your situation.

However, reputation repair almost always involves publishing new materials, overriding harmful statements, managing social media effectively, and diligently taking corrective action on a daily basis to bring your internet reputation back to life.

The key thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to create content that is better than what’s out there already. This means personalized and laser-focused blog posts or video content.

You want to give search engines a reason to rank your new materials above the existing ones. So, informative, relevant, actionable content creation is the key, depending on your situation.

This isn’t entirely about the words on the page or good customer reviews. It’s also about good search engine optimization.

You want to have links from reputable third-party sources and see that people are clicking on your content and interacting with it.

And this brings us back to the beginning of this article.

Do you have a good online reputation? Find out with our free
Reputation Report Card.
Start Your Scan

None of these steps are overly complicated. It’s really about the insights and techniques you use. Do you know what to do or what to look for? These things require expertise like understanding sentiment scores, crafting an action plan, creating social posts people want to interact with, or even finding high-value keywords from Google autocomplete. All of these things help you show the search engine algorithms who you really are.

For some preliminary advice and feedback on creating an online reputation management plan, check out our Definitive guide to online reputation management.

Monitoring your reputation

Finally, there’s the most important step in the process: monitoring your reputation.

It also happens to be the most exciting.

That’s because nowadays you have access to social listening tools, real-time notifications, and online performance resources that make your reputation easier to track and manage. For example, you can pop into a discussion forum after being alerted and respond to issues right away.

It’s almost like you’re the all-seeing eye, knowing what’s going on everywhere at any moment.

And shouldn’t you be? 

Once you put the time and effort into repairing your reputation, you need to keep a constant eye on it right?

It’s especially important to keep tabs on social media sites and major blogs that review services and products in your industry.

Good reputation management tools will automate this process for you, helping you access reviews and other vital content on an easy-to-use, unified dashboard.

Let’s check them out.

Free online reputation management tools

Now that you understand something about what online reputation monitoring and management involves, you can decide what tool to use against reputation attacks and solve your specific reputation problem.

The following are some of the most popular free ways to fix your own online reputation:

The search engine of your choice

It might feel egocentric to spend your time Googling (or Binging) yourself, but it’s actually good business.

Just remember that for best results, you’ll have to sign out of everything you’re usually signed into: Google, Gmail, and so on. Otherwise, especially in Google, you’ll only see results tailored to your interests and profile information.

Google Alerts

One of the simplest ways to set up automatic alerts for any subject—including your own name or that of your company—Google Alerts allows you to set up regular emails with daily updates and detailed reports of what’s being said about various topics on the Internet.

You can ask for alerts to be sent to your email address as information becomes available, or on a daily or weekly basis. It’s your free online reputation watchdog for review sites, news sites, and other social media channels.

For step-by-step instructions, see Google’s Create an Alert page.


Drop your name or your company’s name into this robust web tool, and you’ll get a dashboard with mentions of your search term.

Do you have a good online reputation? Find out with our free
Reputation Report Card.
Start Your Scan

The free version of Mention.com lets you export mentions of your search term, email them to others, and label them as positive, negative, or neutral. Either way, it’s invaluable feedback you can use to make positive adjustments within your brand.

You can also connect your social accounts and share positive mentions with your followers. This can open up other marketing channels by offering daily social proof to your audience, which builds trust.


Social media platforms propagate and change trends at the speed of light. Therefore, you need a tool like Hootsuite to help you stay on top of the online conversation.

Hootsuite is a dashboard through which you can manage and maintain your entire social media presence.

What makes it a good reputation tool is that it offers in-depth analytics that reveal how others perceive your content.

This way, you can adjust your messaging to keep your branding in sync with the attitudes of your followers and attract the potential customers you’re looking for.

Hootsuite also offers social media monitoring services.

To find out what the public is saying about them, users can search for and filter social media conversations in several languages by hashtag, keyword, and location.

This is social media management on steroids.

With the product’s upgraded version, users can capture more conversations with an array of monitoring apps that enable them to perform even more reputation-monitoring activities, from evaluating site ratings to identifying the tone of voice people use when discussing your brand.

That means negative mentions or any other kind of customer feedback is completely understood in its context.

Complaint Search Box

Go Fish Digital created the Complaint Search Box to let people search through more than 40 online complaint sites.

Get your free
Reputation Report Card
Start Your Reputation Scan

Using this tool, individuals can quickly and easily perform searches to ensure others aren’t unhappy with them or their company’s brand.

If they do find that people are posting negative reviews or are unhappy customers, then they can rapidly address them and thus preserve their reputation.


Rankur offers a range of plans to help people monitor their social media presence and track where people are using their name.

Some of Rankur’s best features include the users’ ability to monitor when their name appears in social media posts, press releases, and blog postings.

Users can also receive alerts when someone posts an online review about them. So that they can provide immediate review management once they receive the online mention.


ImageRaider scans the web, searching for your images.

If it finds any, then it indexes them and lets you know if they are inaccurately sourced or used incorrectly.

This is a very handy tool, particularly if your business is dependent on images.

What if you need more than free tools can offer?

There you have it. You now know more than most people about online reputation management software.

If you decide that fixing your online reputation issue by yourself isn’t working or is too time-consuming, you can always hire a reputation management firm to do it for you.

There are numerous companies out there that offer a variety of services, but make sure you go with someone reputable.

Start by reading our guide on how to choose an online reputation management company. It explains the qualities of quality ORM companies, as well as the red flags that you should look out for.

You should also take a look at our article What are reputation management consultants? This explains the steps involved in a successful online reputation management campaign in more detail.

Finally, for an instant look into your reputation to see how people view you now online, download your free reputation report card.

This will provide you with a clear starting point. Then, give us a call here at ReputationDefender for a free consultation.

One of our experts will be happy to discuss your situation with you and make recommendations on the best way forward.