What Is Online Reputation Management or ORM?
Online Reputation Management is the process of managing potentially damaging content other people are posting about you or your business. ORM or Online Reputation Management means taking the proper steps to ensure that the general consensus is in line with your online goals.
The SEO Scam
SEO experts claim, if you or your company has unhappy customers, employees or personal friends who have tarnished your online identity, they can remove the negative content and restore your reputation like it never happened. These SEO companies do this by creating positive profiles on social networking sites and other well known sites which are designed to rank highly in search engines.
Is this really possible? Does anyone really have the power to force or scare monster websites like ripoffreport.com, scam.com, complaintsboard.com, worldwidewarning.net and consumeraffairs.com to remove content from their website? As a web designer / research junky, I spend an average of 12 hours a day, 7 days a week online. I know the value of content to these companies. Before they even give you the time of day, you will need to spend a considerable amount of your own time to first investigate the person who posted the content. Many of these review or complaint sites are protected by the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). To get the kind of results you are looking for you may need to work a little harder than you think. These companies make a living off their members negative and positive reviews. They don't care who you are. To them, you are a needle in a haystack. So why would they make it easy for an SEO company to remove negative posts or comments made by some hater, let alone removing what is now theirs? My point is, don't be fooled by SEO promises. The truth is, it is not easy to get hurtful reviews removed. Especially if the person who posted the review is good at fabricating lies.
How to deal with shady SEO companies
Online Reputation Management is performed by an individual or organization who claim they are able to remove negative reviews about you or your company from search engines. So far all I've seen are claims by these individuals and SEO companies. I have not found any testimonials or documentation anywhere online that would make me believe otherwise.
A few quotes worth reading
The Times - The New Your Times exposed two growing trends that SEO companies are beginning to sink their teeth into, Online Reputation Management. SEO companies are making ridiculous claims by saying they can Erase negative articles and comments about celebrity clients, and boost online reviews for clients by leaving fake reviews, or flooding sites with dozens of positive fake posts to mask online negativity. This is ethically and morally wrong.
Rip Off Report - Many SEO companies are unable to even hide negative complaints about themselves, so how are they able to do it for you? Think about it.
Regardless of how you approach it, negative posts, comments or reviews will not go away over night. You need to minimize the impact of negativity by your own positive, but truthful and honest comments. Put together several compelling reasons why the negative posts, comments or reviews should be ignored and your traffic will begin to convert. Keep in mind, this could easily take months, maybe longer.