How To Assess And Protect Your Online Reputation

online reputationIn today’s high-tech world, getting information about a person or organization is quite simple. You simply enter the name of the individual or organization on popular search engines, hit enter and voila, any information, websites, profiles and online items related to the search term (keywords) appear on your search engine result pages (SERPS). It may seem frivolous to care about your online reputation at the beginning. However, a tarnished online profile can cause undue harm to your credibility, image, personal and career life. Companies with malicious online profiles find it challenging to proceed with business as usual, since clients no longer take their word seriously.

Assessing Personal And Business Reputations Online

A negative online image can lead to subtle or terrible consequences for both individuals and corporate bodies. The most credible search results usually appear on the first and second SERPS of popular search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing. In order to assess the state of your online reputation, these are the main places to start from. Simply type certain keywords related to your personal profile or company on these search engines and press enter. The SERPs presented will display what other users will encounter when they search for your profile on the internet. Some of the common search criteria you can use include: your personal names, name of your company, brand names, employee names, account handles or user names.

Nowadays, search engines have advanced settings that allow for personalized searches. Your search criteria may display results based on your history, vanity searches and location. Therefore, to establish the veracity of your online reputation, first log out of any search engines, and disable personalized search preferences. In order to come up with a thorough assessment, list the results obtained from each keyword search on a spreadsheet and tally the final results in three categories, positive, negative and negligible.

Proactive Online Reputation

If you do not feature in the first two SERPs, it is time to build your internet presence. This is especially true for companies, since many leads today are generated from Internet sources. It is also easy to become targeted by negative vitriol, if your company does not have credible optimized web presence in the first place. Hence, proactive online reputation building is important for any organization. If your web presence is tainted with negative allusions to your personal profile or business, it is imperative to take the necessary steps of rebuilding the image, in order to avoid the possible implications mentioned at the beginning. Even one negative item is sufficient to raise the red flag about your personality or organization, and should therefore be dealt with forthwith.

Protecting Your Online Credibility

Individuals and businesses alike can protect their online credibility using simple but effective techniques. First, purchase any relevant domains and TLDs under your brand name. Then, register the brand using unique optimized usernames under all the major social networking sites. Afterwards, hire a competent social media strategist to manage these accounts. The individual will be responsible for maintaining the privacy of these sites, and ensuring that only verified posts and content is posted.

Constant Monitoring

Once you begin to build your online reputation, it is vital to constantly monitor what others are saying about your business on the Internet. Various handy tracking tools are available to assist you with this task. They include feed reader (Google Reader), Google alerts, Yahoo alerts, twitter searches, Technorati, board reader, social mentions among others.

It is easy for one’s personal or business profile to get tainted on the information superhighway. This can lead to drastic consequences, especially for businesses and public personalities. The information above helps in assessing your current online reputation, and offers a few simple tips for protecting and monitoring it.

About the Author:

Jean is an online entrepreneur and writer who helps online merchants improve their internet reputation through savvy social networking and daily online monitoring. She has written and published various articles on the subject and has consulted for various businesses, especially on the topic of the management of online reputation disasters.



8 thoughts on “How To Assess And Protect Your Online Reputation”
  1. I would like to know what to do if my company, supposedly, has a ‘malicious online profile’, what are the steps to get it on the right track again.

  2. Well, we could always do our best to provide the best service as possible. That definitely would make up for whatever negative reviews other persons may have about you. 🙂

  3. Yes – Google alerts etc. does work – But In my personal opinion there is no tool that offer the necessary functions necessary like a tool or program designed specifically for ORM. These types of tools generally have a lot of power when it comes to setting up filters and monitoring specific networks and keywords. They also offer a lot better reporting if you so ever have to present to a client or Business Partner.

  4. Thanks for sharing informative article.I agree with your article..If hire social media strategies to should make sure that it is trusted and responsible..keep posting 🙂

  5. Very informative post indeed. I think if you don’t have the means to hire a seo specialist, you can do it on your own. Just plan ahead and determine the goal that you want to achieve for your website.

  6. Very informative post indeed. I think if you don’t have the means to hire a seo specialist, you can do it on your own. Just plan ahead and determine the goal that you want to achieve for your website.

    Thank you

  7. Protect your online reputation online is very tough specially if you have many rivals who are continually putting their effort on harming your reputation online. So there is need to have dedicated team for managing your online reputation online

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