Internet Reputation Management Company
Internet Reputation Management
Internet reputation management is the process of removing or hiding information that is currently accessible on the internet.
Google are not liable for defamation that appears in either the search results or on third party websites (see section 230c of the Communications Decency Act + other international rulings), so they have a simple policy when it comes to removal of pages from their search index:
Get the offending page removed from the web or it's contents changed, see my page dedicated to removing content from Google.
They do not remove defamation if it is still located on the original website.
Unfortunately it is not always possible to contact the site owner and get the offending content taken down. The site owner may refuse any request or in some cases they may demand payment to remove it. You may wish to do some research on a company called Rip Off Report which helps disgruntled customers get exposure to their complaints on the web. There has been various accusations of bribery/extortion levelled at the owner. Some have claimed that the Rip Off Report allows anybody to write a potentially career destroying web page without checking the authenticity of the content.
So if you are a genuine victim of the Rip Off Report, a similar scheme or someone who is unhappy at what you see in search results when your name, or your business name is typed in, I do have some good news for you. It is possible to get those offensive search results nudged down to page2 or even page3 where very few people will see them.
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Lets be honest here, only a tiny percent of web searchers will go to page2 and even fewer to page3. Also bear in mind that internet users have less faith in search results that are not on page1. We all know that results on page2 are less relevant and on page3 they are generally useless, the further away from page1 you click the less useful the results become.
So how do you get these offending pages knocked down to the no-mans land that is page2 or 3?
This is where reputation management comes into it. You have two options, either do this your self, that's the cheap and low risk option but may take some time. Option two is hiring in a firm of specialists to do it for you, you should see results much quicker but it may be expensive and does involve a great deal of trust between you and the company.
Choosing the best company to manage your reputation
I cannot stress the importance of this enough, do your research on the people you are thinking of hiring, The very nature of their business means they are good at burying search results, so do a lot of research and try to find the best reviews from previous customers. That may mean looking beyond the first page of the search results when you search for them.
Avoid anything that sounds too good to be true, if you see any of the following claims then run a mile:
"We have a special relationship with Google" or "We have a special relationship with Rip Off Report" or "We can get the results removed in 24hours" etc.
Reputation management involves creating small websites, blogs, twitter accounts, facebook accounts, business profiles and press releases in an attempt to get such content ranked above the other search result that is upsetting you. It doesn't have to be an expensive project but it will take time for search engines to first discover those pages and then rank them on page one. Only a basic understanding of SEO (search engine optimizing) and a dose of patience is required. Avoid spammy stuff that may result in a Google penalty. You may wish to read my Hub about how to get links to a small business website.
So should I just pay a company to do this for me?
That is an option, but first a warning, if the company charges a monthly fee for their services then you could be walking straight into a trap. I will explain in simple terms:
- You pay them money
- They create lots of content and get those pages pushed down to page two
- You stop paying the monthly fee
- They remove all those nice pages they just created
You are now back to square one, minus several hundred dollars.
Not all reputation management companies are like this but some are. Here are some questions you should ask after you have thoroughly researched them on the web:
- How will you get those results removed?
- Do you offer a refund if the goal is not achieved?
- Can I pay a small amount now and the remainder when I see results?
- Will you release usernames and passwords to me for all the various accounts you created?
- Will you remove any content from the web after I have paid you?
- Can I see an example of your work?
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