What Is An Online Reputation Agency?

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January 29, 2021

What is an online reputation agency? Learn more about this unique business and how a proven reputation firm can help you be your best on the web. 

Did you know that “google” is now used as a verb? Such as, “I just googled you, and your reputation is shameful! I saw your mug shot. That was definitely not your best side.”

If you google yourself and you don’t have a mug shot online, that is good. If you google yourself and you find your mug shot online, that might not be good, unless your photo is one of the top ten celebrity mugshots, which are:

  1. Bill Gates
  2. Frank Sinatra
  3. Jay-Z
  4. Eminem
  5. Nick Nolte
  6. Jeremy Meeks
  7. David Bowie
  8. Keanu Reeves
  9. James Brown
  10. Robert Downey Jr.

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Most people recognize nine of the ten men on this top-ten list, except for number six, Jeremy Meeks.

Jeremy Meeks is a former gang member who was part of the Los Angeles gang called the “Crips.” He is not the kind of guy that a young girl wants to take home to meet her mother. He has felony convictions on his record for illegal firearm possession, resisting arrest, grand theft, and a long rap sheet of other crimes. He was captured in a massive arrest initiative in California called Operation Ceasefire.

After his arrest, the Stockton police posted his mugshot on their Facebook page. Social media users noticed the photo gave it over 96,000 likes and more than 10,000 shares and dubbed him the “hot felon.”

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While he was in jail, serving a 27-month sentence, he landed a modeling contract that started when he got out. Nicki Swift produced a YouTube video about his story. The modeling agency also worked as his online reputation agency. Now, Meeks has a lucrative career, a net worth estimated at $5 million, and over 1.6 million followers on Instagram. Such is the power of an online reputation.

Meeks is an extraordinary example of what is possible with the help of an online reputation agency. Meeks still has a “bad boy” image. However, he is not as criminally-inclined as he was before.

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The point of this story is to show an amazing example of how an online reputation agency can manage even the worst possible stuff to create a positive outcome. It helps if you are a supermodel handsome like Meeks; however, the same techniques can work for regular people and companies.

As they say in the advertising business, “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” It is just a matter of spin. If you google “Jeremy Meeks,” everything about him comes up to fill the first search results page. All the top search engine results are about him. I am sure there are plenty of other men named Jeremy Meeks in the world. However, he is the only one that the Google search engine is most interested in promoting. He has the top “relevance” for a search of his name.

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All the listings about the “hot felon” Jeremy Meeks have a positive spin on his story, even though, as an adult, he spent a total of nine years in jail. His prison time started after a brutal assault on a 16-year-old boy when Meeks was just 18 years old.

What does an online reputation agency do?

As with the Meeks example, an online reputation agency might be able to turn serious negatives into positives. An online reputation agency's job is to research and monitor what information is online, respond to it, work with it, push the positive spin up in the search engines' results, and push the negative items down.

Whether something is positive or negative depends on the circumstances. The late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama, during the civil rights movement. Eight years later, in 1964, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Having that arrest record is a positive.

An online reputation agency's main work is to take an active stance in managing someone’s or some organization’s online reputation.

If You Don’t Manage Your Online Reputation, It Manages You

Many falsely believe that their online reputation is something that they have no control over. Managing an online reputation takes special skills, software tools, expertise, and quite a bit of dedicated effort. However, it is far better to manage your online reputation. It is an unwise strategy to leave something like this, which is vitally important, to chance.

Hiring an online reputation agency makes it much easier for people to get this under control.

What can you expect from an online reputation business?

An online reputation agency works to diminish negative information and increase the positive information that appears on the search engine results page.

There are five basic steps needed to accomplish this, which are:

  1. Conduct research to collect all the information that can be found online.
  2. Develop a strategy and an action plan with specific goals of what is to be accomplished.
  3. Create positive, unique content.
  4. Publish positive content online in a strategic way that ranks at the top spots on the search engine results pages.
  5. Suppress or delete negative information that appears in the search results.

In step one, advanced search technology is used to analyze search results and uncover negative information easily accessible by the general public. The collection of this information helps prepare a customized data-driven strategy in step two. It is a powerful, focused effort to achieve the campaign’s goals. Unique positive content is created for step three. For step four, this content publishes on high-authority websites that are favored and trusted by search engines. Simultaneously, there are intense, sustained activities to suppress/delete negative search engine results in step five.

This process typically takes a few months to achieve all of its goals. Most begin to see a positive change after the first 30 days. One of the advantages of hiring an online reputation agency to work on these things is that they are experts in accomplishing public relations goals. They will stick with the effort until the goals are achieved. Many who do not have these skills can easily become frustrated. It is easy to give up, especially if some removals are very challenging.

When hiring an online reputation agency, hire one that has an excellent track record of success. The best ones are paid well because they are very successful for their clients. As we saw with Jeremy Meeks' example, it is possible to turn a convicted felon into a millionaire as long as you work with a top online reputation agency.

Online Reputation Management for Businesses

A business with a one- or two-star rating on a popular review site like Yelp can lose up to 86% of their customers. Businesses with too few reviews are not trusted. Consumers suspect a business with only positive reviews as having only fake reviews.

Negative reviews are opportunities for a business to shine by publicly showing how well it responds to a consumer complaint and resolves it in a fair, generous, and timely manner.

Consumers want to know that a company cares about its customers. The absolute worst strategy for a business is to ignore customer complaints on a review site. Consumer complaints that say nobody at the company will help them resolve issues are toxic for a business. These poisonous reviews stay online forever unless the company makes an effort to handle these complaints.

An online reputation management company providing these services for a company will protect businesses from this toxic problem. There is constant monitoring of all the review sites. This allows a company to respond rapidly if there is a customer with a problem. The agency will contact the business to help get a problem resolved quickly.

Businesses benefit from having services in three categories, which are

  1. Online Reputation Repairs: The agency cleans up a bad reputation by removing or suppressing negative content and replacing it with positive content.
  2. Build Brand Awareness: The agency strengthens the online presence of a brand by dominating a brand name search and improving what is found when searching online such as the accuracy of Wikipedia information.
  3. Improve Reviews: These efforts by an agency improve reviews and ratings to increase the star-level.

What can an online reputation agency work to remove?

Here are some of the items that are targets for removal, depending on a client’s specific needs:

  • Bad reviews
  • Complaints
  • Embarrassing photos
  • Governmental information links
  • Legal document from civil courts
  • Libel
  • Misinformation
  • Mugshots
  • News articles
  • Posts on attack sites
  • Posts on public forums
  • Posts on blogs
  • Unauthorized use of copyrighted material
  • Unauthorized videos

What can an online reputation firm create for a client to influence public opinion positively?

  • Articles
  • Awards/Grants/Scholarship programs
  • Blog postings
  • Media mentions
  • Photos
  • Podcast interviews
  • Press releases
  • Search engine optimized (SEO) reputation websites
  • Social media postings
  • Videos

Conclusion

It is easy to get started with online reputation management, and you do not have to go to jail first like Jeremy Meeks! Try the free tool to get an overview of your current online reputation for yourself or your company.

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