Online Reputation Management: Then and Now

Online reputation management has existed since the Internet began. Ever since people could voice their opinions in a public setting, companies have been focused on making and preserving their online reputations. This has also existed in an offline capacity.

The industry has changed and it’s always useful to look back and see how things have evolved. This guide is also going to show you what you have to take into account today.

A Less than Savory Past

The online reputation industry wasn’t glamorous and it was downright dirty when the Internet first came into being. Many unscrupulous companies saw that by creating lots of link neighborhoods and utilizing black hat SEO practices they could get rid of any genuine negative feedback.

The fake reviews industry was big business and online reputation management was a dirty industry. Google couldn’t do anything about this as technology hadn’t evolved enough yet. This is why many people are still apprehensive of online reputation management.

Why Things Changed

 It was clear that the industry couldn’t continue in the same vein. Helped by Google and flagging online sales, companies realized that they had to gain the trust of consumers back again. This meant that reviews had to be genuine and online reputation management had to become about building up on an honest platform not tearing it down.

The industry changed because Google also had the tools needed to take black hat SEO proponents and eliminate them. Organizations that bought fake reviews and the organizations selling them were obliterated from the search results entirely.

What is Online Reputation Management About Today?

Online reputation management has changed entirely. Today the goal is to help companies build their brands. It’s about helping them to learn from their mistakes and ensure that they have a chance at redemption. In many ways, online reputation management is like a form of marketing. They have become so closely linked together.

It’s also less about acting when things go wrong and more about building your reputation from the beginning on an ongoing basis. Prevention is the best protection against people who have a grudge against you.

The Tactics Employed for Online Reputation Management

Now you know that online reputation management is about building not taking down, these are the tactics commonly employed by online reputation management companies today.

Content Marketing – Yes, this is another use for content marketing. Since content is king and it’s so easy to reach your target audience by using it, it makes logical sense that it would be used to help form a specific brand image. Be aware that this is not about building backlinks, as it once was, it’s about producing quality content people actually want to read.

Video Content – The reason why video is such a prominent part of managing your online reputation is because it’s the leading way to consume content. Most people are now browsing on the go, and they want content they can take in fast. Video content is the fastest way of doing it.

Social Media Management – Social media allows anyone to air their opinions. This is also where people can make or break their reputations in a matter of moments. This is why online reputation management gears itself towards protecting your reputation through what you post on social media.

Targeting the Source of the Problem

When it was possible to use black hat SEO techniques to simply have negative reviews forced down the search engines, few people focused on what they could do to make sure they didn’t garner a negative reputation in the first place.

Now that has changed because opinions can spread like wildfire. A massive 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews. If you are not treating your customers right, people are going to find out about it. The best way to handle negative reviews is to not attract them in the first place.

Analyze your reviews and think about why problems have been caused. Think about what may have annoyed people and why they may have felt the need to post a negative review. Act on that feedback to improve your reputation.

Last Word

Online reputation has changed over the years. It used to be a way to simply make sure that only the positive aspects of your brand reached the public gaze. Now it’s about making sure that those negative aspects don’t exist. It’s as much about promoting your brand as it is about making sure that all customers go away with a positive opinion of you.

How will you improve your brand image today?


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