In 2008, a business owner found their personal beliefs exposed to the public. There was an immediate and hostile reaction that cemented itself at the top of the search results for both his name and his companys. The companys bottom line suffered.
In 2009, an industry leader found that they were the subjects of a withering article from one the worlds major news network. In a matter of hours the article topped the search engines for the companys name. Clients started calling the company inquiring about the report whether they were true, they werent, but the companys reputation was tarnished.
What do these situations have in common? Neither the business owner nor the industry leader were proactive in managing their online reputation and their names only appeared legal documents and negative reviews online. With advancements on major search engines, there are more opportunities than ever before to quickly rank negative results. Review websites are promoted by search engines though for a good cause of helping people identify the right products, companies and service providers, it has now become one of the most severely abused platforms.
Online reputation can be seen in a number of ways, whether one is seeking employment, selling a product, looking for investors or trying to find a date, anyone could turn to a search engine and try to learn more about the company. With all these problems in mind a new industry emerged which promises to help counter negative search results on the World Wide Web. Search engines use complex algorithms to decide how websites are ranked. A reputation management agency has to stay on top of these constantly-changing algorithms in order to beat false and negative sites with truthful and more positive sites about the company.
An industry of online fixers is flourishing to defend their clients from damaging information on the web. Reputation management agencies were founded around 7-8 years back after the increasing reviews by individual internet users. Most reputation management services work by tracking what is written about a client on the web, then running a search engine optimization, promoting positive pages and creating other sites that will push the damaging results off the first page of the search results. It is impossible to take off damaging reviews, but placing enough positive references above to push them off the first page or two of search engines is where reputation management comes in.