Online Reputation Repair

online-reputation-managementEvery once in a while I receive an inquiry from a small business that is attempting to recover from a bad review(s), legal issues that are made public, or a news story that damages their online reputation. If they didn’t understand the power of the Internet to amplify their business profile previously, they get a quick education through a negative situation.

The first question I get is “how can I make these bad reviews go away?” or, “can I remove these negative comments, posts or news articles from the web?” Unfortunately, in most cases, the answer is “no.” Many damaging reviews, legal outcomes and inaccurate news reports will live on into perpetuity. Even if you are able to get a bad review or news story taken down from a website, other sister sites or data aggregators will have the same article, or article excerpts, listed on their site. This situation is especially true of stories that are distributed through press release websites.

Therefore, in reputation management, a good defense is developing a proactive offense to minimize the impact and visibility of the negative articles. By creating new articles, directory listings and online profiles the negative articles will be pushed lower in ranking results for the keywords in question.

However, the first step should always be to address the root cause of the bad reviews and negative press. If your business practices or employees have caused harm, address those issues first! After that, you can embark on the long and time-consuming process of repairing your web reputation.

  1. Research Keywords
    1. Identify key search terms that bring up the negative Google Results you are trying to mitigate.
    2. Develop a business description that incorporates those keywords into the description. Title tags, that appear in the tab of a browser and H1 tags, which are usually the main subject of the page are key.
  2. Setup a account
    1. Improve your local listings score to 100%
  3. Create press releases on top PR sites
  4. Create business listings and/or personal profiles on key sites
  5. Create Social Media profiles
    1. Facebook personal page
    2. Facebook business page
    3. Linkedin business page
    4. Linkedin personal pages for Directors
    5. Twitter
    6. Google My Business (business page and maps listing)
    8. Pinterest (ask Pinterest users to make pins linking to the website)
    9. Soundcloud
  6. Publish an eBook or get interviewed on podcasts
    1. eBooks related to your personal or business area of expertise can be a good focus for a press release or simple one page website connected to a domain name that you purchase
    2. Podcasts related to your area of expertise can create VERY valuable backlinks to your target website and social media profiles and increase visibility exponentially. The more popular and relevant the podcast the better.
  7. Setup a Google Alert on the business name and keywords that are triggering high rankings in Google for the negative stories.

Repairing a business reputation is an arduous task and there are a select number of reputable reputation management companies that will help guide a business or individual through the process for a handsome price. Make sure the agency explains how they will document their efforts and repair the damage and also how they measure and independently validate their success.

About Brian Loebig

Owner of, author of, and part-time Technology Manager for the Alliance for Performance Excellence, Brian has over 15 years of experience working in the quality improvement, human services and technology fields as an administrator and consultant. Brian has also worked as a practitioner and administrator in the corrections, substance abuse and human services fields with a special emphasis on technology. He continues to work with numerous community-based non-profits as a web technology consultant, board member and volunteer. Feel free to .
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7 Responses to Online Reputation Repair

  1. Dawn says:

    Great article. Thanks. Sometimes you disagree with a negative posting or feel the information is just wrong. Brian presents here some strategies of how you can counter the bad press.

  2. Obasi Miracle says:

    Hi Brian,

    This is a great piece really. Negative post and reviews can be damaging for any person or even organizations, your insight is sure gonna be valuable in the long run.

    It has been a while I checked in here, so I decided to drop by and see what’s new, I’m really impressed with the way you presented this.

    Hope you do have a splendid week ahead

  3. Redeeming back yourself back in a positive light can be a very tough challenge and requires focus and serious handling. The thing about the Internet is that while it’s incredibly easy to share and add various information online, it’s much harder to delete or remove them. These are really great tips, nice read!

  4. Devin says:

    Reputation repair has become big business – some companies charge pretty exorbitant fees for this stuff and I can’t help but wonder if these companies have sister companies that cause some of the mess online. I’ve come across quite a few sites that pull content from other sites even though the content that they’re pulling isn’t supposed to be visible/crawlable for searchbots. We attempted to venture into reputation services at our website design co. a while back but it’s a little too big of a game for us small guys to play in, unfortunately.

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