It doesn’t matter how many steps you take to build up and protect your image online, there might come a time that it is attacked. Once your online reputation has been damaged by negative information, you will need to take action immediately in order to repair it and prevent it from becoming a long term problem. You have a few different options for damage control.
Before you can start doing reputation repair, you must figure out where all of the negative information in the attacks are coming from. Search major search engines and social networks to see what is coming up in search results for your business name. These sources will most likely show up on the first two pages of Google, but you might also use a Twitter search or a tool like social mention to see where you’re showing up on social media networks.
If you need to repair your online reputation yourself, you should start by deleting anything negative. If the negative feedback is something under your control, such as a personal blog or comment, then you can just go ahead and delete it. Instead of waiting for Google to crawl your site and find the changes, you can use Google Webmaster tools to remove the URL from search results. Review their support documentation if you need help.
If you find something negative on a third-party site, you can request that the website’s webmaster removes the content. You could respond directly if there is a comment section or a place to file complaints. Addressing these complaints in a helpful and professional way and actually serve to build your image.
Another critical step is to react to negative information with positive content. Begin by posting articles regularly, content, blog posts, social update and other information which can push the damaging content down in search results. Use whatever at CEO tactics you know about to help promote your positive content higher up in Google.
As an additional note, look out carefully for other private data showing up online. If something like your social security number or credit card Number gets posted, get in touch with Google to have it removed. Search through their documentation for the correct URL to submit your request.
There are specialist online reputation management services which you can pay for to help repair your reputation. However, depending on the extent of damage, this can turn out to be an expensive option. If you have the funds, it could be the most effective. You can also hire different firms to monitor your reputation overtime.
Always be careful who you hire to manage your reputation. There are many dishonest or simply inexperienced businesses who could actually do more harm than good.
Regardless of whether you do it yourself or use the help of a professional, you should act fast to repair your online reputation once it has been damaged. One negative comment can go viral quickly spread through the Internet. By monitoring your reputation overtime, you can see this damage before it becomes uncontrollable.