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FAQ: Reputation management services

What is online reputation management?

Reputation management is the effort to influence what and how people think of a brand or person when viewed online. Put another way, character is who you are. Reputation is whom other people think you are. Search engines like Google have inserted themselves as determiners of brand reputation. Online reputation managers work to change the sentiment portrayed by Google about a brand.

What can it do?

Reputation management services include:

  • Build online brand with better search results than competitors.
  • Removal of negative online content on blogs, newspapers, review and rating sites.
  • Development of a counterpoint to provide a more balanced perspective in search results.
  • Increase star-ratings and remove or dilute reviews online.
  • Improve search engine friendliness of corporate communications.
  • Enhance visibility of online articles about a brand.
  • Remove search results from Google and Bing.

How much does online reputation management cost?

 Costs depend on many things. For example, a simple removal may be free, $3,000, or much more — one time. The cost of pushing down a search result in Google may run $3,000 to $15,000 per month or more and may require many months to complete. 

What goes into a typical campaign?

A typical reputation campaign includes five stages:

  • Research
  • Strategy
  • Web development
  • Content
  • Promotion

Not included in the above list are things like campaign setup and sentiment monitoring, but they’re important as well. Within each stage are various actions. For example, during the research stage there may be competitive analysis, content gap analysis, SEO analysis, persona development, sentiment analysis and more. 

How long does it take?

Removal of problem content can take as little as two weeks, or much longer. Sometimes reputation management companies have a relationship with a website from a prior campaign which makes things faster. Other times a more drawn out timeline occurs when attorneys or negotiations must ensue.

The length of time necessary for reputation repair versus review management is significant. For example, small businesses can begin to see their star-rating improve within a couple of weeks. But the time needed to push down a negative search result will almost certainly be many months.

Can software be used to improve reputation?

Software cannot be used to solve most online reputation problems. Only reviews and ratings can be improved with software. Software to remove an article from a prominent publication does not exist. Nor does any application exist to push negative search results down (reduce visibility in search results). We do use many types of software, some proprietary and others public.