What Is a Bad Reputation Score? And Why Does It Matter?

What is a bad reputation score? Our experts dig in...

What is a bad reputation score? If your reputation could use pick-me-up, we can help. 

In today’s day and age, most of our personal information can be readily found online on White Pages. Most people agree that their reputation is important. You want to know that other people regard you in high esteem. So, what is a bad reputation score and how can it affect you?

Many people are alarmed to discover, often by accident, that they have a bad reputation score online. Once they make that discovery, all they can really focus their attention on is how to make things right and remove the negative information about them from the Web.

The more you understand about reputation scores, what they really mean, how they are determined, and what you can do about a bad reputation score, the better prepared you are to deal with your situation head-on and restore your reputation – or the reputation of your business.

The sad truth is that whether you have a large Internet footprint or not, the odds are good that you do have a reputation score. Unfortunately, what you don’t know about your reputation score can hurt you, damage your professional reputation, and hurt your business.

This is why managing your online reputation is critically important in the information age. Even if you’re not aware of negative reviews and reports about you, they could be lurking in the far corners of the World Wide Web doing mountains of damage to your reputation, your business, and your standing in the community.

What is a Reputation Score?

Ultimately, your reputation score, or the reputation score of your business, is a compilation of public and private information about you or your business that is available through various entities via the Freedom of Information Act as well as various online resources.

Different organizations place weight on different information when assigning reputation scores. They also use different scoring systems to determine what is a bad reputation score vs. what is a good reputation score.
Reputation scores can be good or bad. It’s not all bad news. However, it is in your best interests to know what your reputation scores are with various scoring agencies.

If you do have a negative reputation score, you’ll want to make strides to remove that information. Whether it’s about you or your business, you don’t want it floating around on the World Wide Web.

Fortunately, there are usually things you can do to change your reputation score or remove it completely. It will take a fair amount of work to do yourself, or you can hire a reputation management agency to do the heavy lifting on your behalf.

The benefit of hiring an agency to help is that they will continue to monitor your reputation and manage other negative reputation issues that arise in the future.

What is a Bad Reputation Score?

A bad reputation score is not good news for you. In fact, it can be terrible news. The problem is that many individuals and businesses do not even know they have a negative reputation rating online.
The truth is that you’re a busy person. Probably busing doing one or more of the following:

  • Living your life.
  • Running your business.
  • Working to get ahead.
  • Going to school.

You may not even know what’s happening on various websites across the Internet spectrum dedicated to harvesting and mining information about you. You may not even know these websites exist.

Websites that assign reputation scores to random individuals based on nothing more than information they’ve gleaned from public records databases and your online presence.

A bad reputation score is what happens when there is negative information about you found online through social media mentions, online reviews, public records, and other mediums.

The more negative materials found about you, the worse your reputation score becomes. Here’s the kicker. The information doesn’t have to be accurate or true to impact your reputation score in a negative light. It simply needs to exist on the web today.

That is why reputation management needs to be a critical concern for you if you are thinking of changing jobs, going back to school, applying for a promotion, considering a post-graduate degree, or even using an online dating app to meet people.

Who Determines Online Reputation Scores?

There are many different agencies and organizations that provide you with an online reputation scorecard. Some of them are more open about it than others. Organizations like MyLife are the most prominent.

One of the problems with MyLife, though, is the sneaky method they use to try to get people to pay for their services by implying that people have negative reputation scores or bad online reputations when that isn’t necessarily true.

In fact, MyLife is currently facing multiple lawsuits based on its business practices, misleading billing policies, inaccurate background reporting, and violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, among others.
However, even Twitter assigns reputation scores to prolific users based on their use and various other super-secret details.

The problem is, that when the organizations assigning reputation scores, like MyLife, have negative reputations themselves, it’s hard to trust that they will do the right thing.

Unfortunately, many consumers take them at their word and assess your reputation according to these “scores.”

That means you must be diligent in finding out who is reporting your information and what they are reporting whenever possible. Unfortunately, there are many services out there that engage in these practices. It can be almost too much for one person to keep up with. At least not when you’re dealing with various other aspects of your life.

The more you know, though, the better steps you can take to limit the information available about you online. Particularly, negative information and false information that can damage your reputation.

What Information is Used in Determining Your Reputation Score?

You’d be amazed at all the information that is used to determine your online reputation and assign you a score. Two primary sources of information are analyzed to create a score for you:

Public Records

  • Criminal court proceedings.
  • Arrest records.
  • Traffic violations.
  • Civil court judgments.
  • Marriage and divorce records.

Social Media and Web Properties

These organizations also use public information available at you online that includes information you willingly provide across various platforms, including:

  • Twitter profiles and posts.
  • LinkedIn profiles and posts.
  • Facebook profiles and posts.
  • Instagram profiles and posts.
  • Reddit profiles and posts.
  • Personal or business blog content.
  • Customer reviews.
  • Social media mentions by other users.

Not only that, but the things that might cause “dings” to your reputation include posts that promote alcohol or drug use, posts that are overtly sexual, controversial posts or opinions, bullying, and other statements the determining agency views as negative. Even comments to your posts can have negative consequences when it comes to your online reputation.

What Does a Bad Reputation Scorecard Mean for You?

How important is your online reputation score? According to Forbes, 22 percent of businesses risk losing businesses from a single negative review. That number increases to 59.2 percent if there are three negative reviews.
Of course, those numbers are for businesses rather than individuals. It doesn’t who you are:

  • A business owner.
  • An individual with a career.
  • A parent.
  • A recent college graduate.
  • A student.

Your reputation matters. Because of this, arbitrary reputation scoring systems that operate without your knowledge or permission should be alarming.

This is especially true when you have no control over the information being used to determine these ratings or reputation scores. You can’t even verify that the information is accurate or that these organizations have the right to use your name, your image, or your personal details for profit.

Additional Effects Associated With Bad Reputation Scores

Beyond the effect these scores have on businesses, as illustrated above, individuals may face even harsher implications from a bad reputation score. In fact, a negative reputation score online can affect your ability to do the following:

  • Get a job.
  • Rent the home you desire.
  • Qualify for promotions with your current employer.
  • Obtain scholastic or performance scholarships.
  • Get accepted into certain universities or degree programs.

In other words, you do not need to own a business in order for your online reputation score to matter. It matters a great deal for people from all walks of life. That is why you need to do more than merely ask, what is a bad reputation score. You need to know what you can do about it.

What Can You Do About a Negative Reputation Score?

One of the most important things you can do about a bad reputation score is to act. The longer it lingers, the more damage it is doing to you and your goals. It is time for you to control the narrative about your reputation rather than leave it to others.

  1. Clean up your social media presence and address language, images, and other potentially negative information.
  2. Address negative reviews about you or your business. Don’t let them sit unaddressed. That makes it appear to others that you don’t care.
  3. Find out about all the negative reviews of your name or your business. Consider setting up Google alerts so that you’re notified of mentions of your name online.
  4. Develop a positive information and social media strategy to ensure plenty of good information about you online. You want the good to surpass the negative in search engine results.
  5. Start a blog or create a website that becomes the lead story about you. Keep it updated with solid information and watch the bad reputation score information sink to the bottom of the search engine results.

Unfortunately, these things are time-consuming and quite involved. It is sometimes best to leave the details of improving your online reputation to the pros who understand and have streamlined the process.

Don’t allow yourself to drown in a sea of negative information associated with a bad reputation score. Fight back by taking control of your online reputation.

Don’t know where to begin?

InternetReputation.com has you covered. Call us today at 941-259-4554 today or visit InternetReputation.com online today to start undoing the damage of a bad online reputation for you or your business.

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