The Internet has made it easier than ever to get yourself out there. Unfortunately, it's also made it equally as easy for people to smear your good name online. Hence the need for Internet reputation defense and reputation management. But what, precisely, is reputation defense online? And how does it fit into a larger reputation management strategy?
Defining Online Reputation Defense
Internet reputation defense is essentially the active part of reputation management, where you maintain your good name against attempts to smear it. This can happen for any number of reasons: Difficulties in your personal life, business disagreements that are taken online, even "trolls" looking for people to aggravate for their own amusement.
The first step in online image defense is monitoring. It's important to stay on top of what the Internet thinks about you at all times. This could range from somebody venting over a squabble on Facebook, a news article running about your business, a comment on a blog, and so on. It's important to find each piece of information about you, and assess it on a few levels; how credible the source will appear to somebody outside the situation, where the statement is located, how high up it appears on search results, and so on.
If it's an isolated incident, it's unlikely to make any waves and you can let it go. But if there's a pattern emerging, whether among one person or multiple people, then you have to move to the next step, which would be responding effectively.
Effective Reputation Defense
Response can take a number of forms, but often the most effective is to counter the negative with the positive: to put positive news about yourself and your company online using search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO is key to any reputation defense online; it's cheaper, faster, and more effective than any other method.
Could you sue the sites or the person smearing you? Yes, but that's a process that can take years with little guarantee of success, and will be expensive to boot. You can also ask the site to take down the content in question, but that's up to each site individually, and it's difficult to compel a website to remove content.
So instead, you use the Internet against the people trying to smear you. It's fairly straightforward; if someone is searching for your name, most people only look at the first few links. And furthermore, almost no one goes to the second page of results. By building the true image of yourself online — through blogging, social media work, press releases, and news coverage, and by working to ensure that's simple to find — you form a sort of reputation shield that helps keep smear campaigns off the first page of results. And by engaging in SEO about positive news about yourself, it allows you to drive slander off the first page and shut down smear campaigns before they start.
For all your needs in Internet reputation defense and reputation management, call ReputationDefender. We'll pair you with the right reputation advisor to help you shut down people trying to besmirch your good name, and help you build a positive online reputation that allows you to always put your best face forward online. So, if you need a reputation defense, get the best: Call ReputationDefender today.
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