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Posts tagged ‘bad reputation’


The Alphabet Soup of Your Online Reputation, Part 1: SEO, SERM and ORM

Is there a difference between Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Reputation Management?  Absolutely. In fact, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM) or Online Reputation Management (ORM), are as different as night and day.  Just as night and day contribute unique roles in our world, so do SEO and SERM.

Search Engine Optimization has an important part to play in the online world of reputation management – promotion.  Good SEO companies can push the presence of a brand new website on search engines to the very top of the list.  Search Engine Optimization companies take static space (like a billboard in the desert) and bring it to “Times Square” visibility on the web.  The idea is to build a positive online reputation.  But what happens when someone else makes that online reputation not so positive?  That’s where companies like Reputation Advocate enter the online reputation management stage.

SERM and ORM companies like Reputation Advocate track actions and opinions, report those actions and opinions, and then move swiftly to counteract negative actions and opinions in order to preserve or restore an online reputation.  (How we do that, I will cover in a later entry.)  Once a person understands this, it quickly becomes apparent that Search Engine Reputation Management and Online Reputation Management are completely different from SEO work and requires an entirely different toolbox and skill set.

SEO companies use third party sites and keywords to push readers to a main company website.  Search Engine Reputation Management companies use third party sites and keywords to improve positive search engine results in order to successfully restore an online reputation.  So a company may want SEO consultation to drive traffic to their site.  But when the traffic is suddenly stuck in a snarl of negative comments or online slander, they need help from a SERM company like Reputation Advocate to re-establish their online reputation.

Reputation Advocate has worked with many clients who hired a Search Engine Optimization company prior to contacting us for help in rebuilding their online reputation.  While the SEO company may have done a great job of pushing their site to the top of Google, the online slander was still highly visible.  Again, SEO companies have an important role in online reputation but that is not necessarily repairing an online reputation.

At Reputation Advocate we have a unique prescribed method to ensure that what a client wants seen about them and their online reputation, is seen.  It is extremely labor intensive.  It is extremely time consuming.  It is strategically oriented to the max!  In fact, at Reputation Advocate we go way overboard in comparison to many other companies who offer online reputation management and repair services.  We have seen the unfortunate results when there are shortcuts.

To give you an idea, when Reputation Advocate works with a client we often develop 15 websites, send out a minimum of 5 press releases and write up to 100 original articles.  (That’s just the beginning.)  It is a lot of writing and work, but we “bomb” the Internet with “all that is positive” about our client.  Reputation Advocate’s tried, tested and successful online reputation management strategy virtually “erases” the visibility of online slander.  (Again, I will write more on that in a later entry.)

In conclusion, as important and different as day and night or black and white are, so are Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Reputation Management.  To promote an online presence, you may want SEO.  To defend and advocate for your online reputation, you need a SERM company like Reputation Advocate.

For more information about how Reputation Advocate can help you manage your online reputation, visit us online at or call 888-229-0746.



Everyone has to make a living. Some make it while practicing integrity and others in the shadows of questionable practices. The Book my family lives by says that the love of money is the root of all evil. But nowhere does it say that money itself is evil. Money pays the bills, educates the kids and allows for a little planning in life. It’s the “root” that creates the problem.

I decided to write this article after a few recent experiences in my chosen vocation; online reputation management. I spend all day, every day, listening to people who are being hurt by content that appears on the Internet about them. Some are being attacked professionally. Maybe they own a business and an ex-employee or disgruntled customer levels their scope and takes aim through the barrel of the World Wide Web. For others it is deeply personal – marriages, illness, mistakes long past but brought squarely to the forefront of their life again. If you don’t have empathy for people then this is a poor choice for vocation.

Which brings me to my point. Most people are attacked by someone that they know. A competitor, ex-lover, neighbor, jealous friend or a former employee, these are the underlying sources of most online slander. That fact seems to shock people when I first suggest it. Most complaints are not valid. Many times the complaint is so distorted that it’s laughable if you take the time to read it. But therein lies the big problem. No one reads the complaint, they just read the headline or metatag.

Since this year has begun our company, Reputation Advocate, has been attacked more than thirty times. At the office, we discuss the source and easily rule out our neighbors, former employees (we have none to date), friends (we have many) and romance gone bad (happily married now for 18 years). That brings us down to competitors. So let me circle back around to character and integrity and consider motive. In the big picture all boats rise together as the old saying goes. For the firms that provide quality service, stand behind their words and admit errors when they are made I believe that online reputation defense and management services will be needed for years to come; we can’t put this genie back in the bottle.

Attacking competitors is perhaps the lowest form of a business development strategy. With that said, I frequently deal with business owners who know that the online attack they need help with has come from a competitor; they see it in the language and detail of the false statements.

At Reputation Advocate, we have come to recognize the oily fingerprint delivered from across the ocean. To some, it’s highly ironic that we, an online reputation company, are attacked and have to defend and suppress content ourselves. But we knew this would be the case as we began. The anonymous nature of online slander lends itself to those who have no other strategy for business development. No one is immune. Many doctors get ill and die every year al the while attempting to heal others. This is true for both Reputation Advocate and our many clients.

What I attempt to convey to those who retain us is that there is no absolute online protection for anyone. On behalf of our clients we expend a great deal of thought and energy focused on the positive aspects of who they are and what value they bring to their customers. Presenting the truth professionally will always prevail in the end. Companies that provide service, products, integrity and honesty will always have clients, job opportunities and success.

For Reputation Advocate, as for most of our clients, our “product” makes a difference. We do not execute perfectly every time. We correct mistakes as we define and admit them. We treat our clients with respect. In exchange for that we derive income. For those firms that focus only on the last element of success – income – they miss the point. Making a difference in a client’s life, adding value and creating content that reflects well on the client is what will create true success. Complaining and sniping anonymously from the shadows will ultimately undermine any success that could be achieved.

So this is a message on behalf of all of our current and future clients. It is a message from Reputation Advocate to its detractors. It is a message to all of those defamed on the Internet that have not yet chosen to fight back. Provide service, treat people fairly, admit that you are not perfect, try hard and keep going. Make a difference in the world. Now that is success.



Brand Reputation Management is an important task to maintain a level of dignity in commerce. As a brand becomes more popular and develops more customers, it will become more widely spread.

The more well known a brand image is, the greater the chance that someone will grab a hold of the image and soil it. Seeing unrelated complaints on a Better Business Bureau page, because their brand image was soiled, gives a business owner a gut wrenching feeling.

Therefore, online reputation management monitoring software will allow a company to maintain its brand image without any such worries. Some software allows its users to track certain keywords across the net. Other packages use a Natural Language algorithm to conduct searches.

The Buzzlogic and Nielsen systems work by allowing an individual to track influences in a particular industry or market sector. Yet other systems use visible metrics to allow an individual to watch over their brand image. Of course, regardless of the system chosen, one should always remember that the ultimate goal is to achieve dignity in commerce. One should be avoiding the hassle of having complaints run up with the aforementioned Better Business Bureau.

-Steven Wyer

Steven C. Wyer is the Managing Director of Reputation Advocate, LLC ( The firm specializes in online reputation management services for both individuals and companies. Steven Wyer can be reached at 888-229-0746.



Cur-ren-cy [kuruhn-see] The fact of being widely accepted and circulated from person to person. (Source:

If I am reading this definition correctly, then one of the meanings of currency has to do with a fact being widely accepted from person to person. That’s what it says, right?

One general conclusion can be drawn here–people have currency. That’s right. Your reputation, the facts widely accepted about you, is currency. You can feel pretty good about that. Even if the economy is in the dumps, at least your reputation has high value. At least you have that going for you!

So now, a question. What if the information about you, the information widely held from person to person, is not fact? What if it is false, misleading information taken out of context? You get the picture. Where would such a thing happen and who could be so low? The answer is anyone and the location for these offenses is global in scope.

Each one of us has a reputation. Actually we each have two reputations. The first one is made up of the widely accepted facts about us that are known by those close to us.  Friends, family and business colleagues all create our “currency”. Using this currency, we have built careers, developed friends, earned degrees and professional licenses, and built businesses that largely define the lives we live today.

There is also a second reputation, but it’s one that you don’t control. Your online reputation is not typically something that you think about, until… Until you apply for a job only to be turned down without explanation. Until you lose a friend, a client or an important contract and later find out that someone “googled” you. Until…

Here are the facts.

  1. Most people go online and do a search to see what can be learned before pursuing any type of relationship.
  2. Most people believe that the information found on the first page of that search is the most relevant, even if it isn’t accurate.
  3. Whatever conclusion is drawn, there will almost certainly be no attempt to verify that information with you.

By now you are probably typing your name into Google for a quick search. When you do, don’t forget your middle name, initials and nicknames. There is information out there about you. Count on it. If you have ever been mentioned in, or any of the more than 100 complaints sites available for expressing opinions, you already know what this bad information can do. It can rob you of your currency.

Don’t ignore what is out there on the Internet about you. You either have to deal with it, or you will live with it. And here’s another very important fact. Once information is posted on the web it is almost impossible to get it removed. So don’t squander your currency.

Find out what has been said about you and then research solutions to hit this problem head on. Creative solutions do exist. Click here and take a look at a few.

–Steven Wyer