3 Approaches to Reputation Management: Which One Do You Need?

Already a while ago I acknowledged that reputation management is part of SEO 2.0. I never mentioned it again though since then. Reputation management is a relatively new term in SEO and it is hot. Really hot. Some social media and SEO specialists really focus on it lately or even start to sell reputation management services as their main offer. I already noticed a stratification of the reputation management definitions or rather the approaches to it though.

Thus I identified and categorized the 3 approaches to online reputation management I perceive:

1. SEO approach
In one sentence: “We have to rule the top 20 of Google for our name”.

2. Social media approach
In one sentence: “We have to monitor all instances where our company is mentioned and react to them”

3. SEO 2.0 approach
In one sentence: “We will proactively build a reputation for ourselves by engaging in online communications”

I use all three to some extent for myself and most renown SEO experts do too it seems to me. It’s a different thing for clients and companies though. I often witness reputation management gone wrong. Some of the worst practices are:

  • Spamming social sites and blogs
  • Setting up of fake blogs
  • Orwell like monitoring of the Net
  • Pr people denying any wrong doing by companies with unsubstantiated claims
  • Lawyers fiercely intimidating bloggers

None of these really work, in contrast, they aggravate the reputation problem in most cases.

There are good examples though.

  • Contacting bloggers and/or commenting on their blogs in a responsive manner
  • Setting up of own communities
  • Fixing problems and being outspoken about it

While these examples work and are appreciated by the public in he SEO 2.0 they are still not enough.

It’s not enough to manage an existing reputation that is in a way independently being forged by others.

In SEO 2.0 we concentrate on long term reputation building.

We engage in online practices that shed a positive light on us. These can be

  • Socializing with experts in an industry
  • Altruistic participation in online communities
  • Non profit projects that are not directly tied to overt advertising

This is only a very short introduction but I think it enough to get started with reputation management online or better reputation building.

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