Online reputation management is increasingly becoming more critical than most of us think. Just a few years earlier, it were the big businesses that were mostly concerned regarding the online reputation. However, the fast pace of information has forced small businesses and individuals to take online management as seriously as their larger counterparts.
Small Business Case Study
Recently, Tim Dowling, a prominent journalist for the Guardian Newspaper, was searching for a pub to meet someone. After typing the name of the pub to get directions, the first thing on the left hand sidebar of the Google revealed a comment from a customer who said that he had to wait 40 minutes for his chips. If Tim were looking to eat at the place, he may have decided to look elsewhere to eat. The case study sheds light on the importance of brand image for small businesses.
How Companies Are Fighting Back?
Keeping a good brand image may seem the right thing to do, but it is not an easy task. There are several companies that are hiring outside helpers who solely specialize in removing negative comments. The simplest method how these helpers help companies and people remove clutter and negative feedback is by writing honest articles about the company. The sheer number of new articles forces Google and other search engines to push negative publicity down to the third or fourth page of the search. Because most people, approximately 94 percent, look only at the first page, most of the negative publicity remains hidden. With the passage of time, the negative publicity is pushed down and is forgotten.
Interestingly, this is not the only method used by these companies. These companies also hire lawyers who can pressurise individuals to take away dishonest and fake reviews from websites. In fact, hiring these reputation management companies is increasingly becoming a major trend as one of the largest such companies claim to have more than 1 million clients in 100 countries who seek services to delete negative information on the Internet. According to experts, individuals and companies pay a starting price of more than $1,500 to seek such services. In addition, Google experts claim that companies may hire “identity manager” to keep an eye on postings and help push negative reviews down the search results.