Online reputation is how people will see you when they search for you online.
What Do You See When You Google Yourself, and How Are You Being Represented?
Everyone has a reputation online. The question is, do you have a say in it? Online reputation management (ORM) refers to taking control of the conversation. Its strategies and techniques ensure that people will find the right materials when searching for you on the internet. The main purpose of online reputation management is to create a balance and counter misleading trends.
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Online reputation has become so prevalent in today’s world. The internet is our first stop for anything we need. Not only do people view the internet as their primary source of information, but they also trust it at face value. More importantly, they make decisions on what they find:
97% of people read online reviews when searching for a business (BIA Kelsey)
Two out of three people see the internet as the most reliable source of information about a person or business (Edelman Insights)
More than 70% of hiring employers have rejected a potential candidate because of something they found online (Cross-Tab)
Others Are Creating Your Reputation
While it’s reassuring to assume you have significant leverage on what others think of you, you actually have very little of your online reputation. Your reputation is mainly determined by what strangers say and think about you online.
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There are things that you can do to influence how people view you or your business. These efforts can take time or money, but being able to control your name makes the process worth it. The worst decision you can make is leaving the internet in control of your reputation.
Your Online and Offline Lives Are Combining
With each passing day, the online world is becoming more integrated with our daily lives. From smartphones and TVs to the self-driving cars that seemed like science fiction, you are living each day more connected to the digital world. That means there are more ways for you to leave a mark online, both positive and negative. You might not think people are searching for you online, but the chances are that someone is.
Employers doing research before an interview
Landlords looking into potential renters
College admissions evaluating students
Risk assessments from insurance companies
No matter your lifestyle, there is a large amount of information about you online, and people have access to see it.
Your Online Reputation Lasts Forever
If a person writes something negative about you online, it can put you at a severe disadvantage over the long term, especially if you’re not aware of it. It’s essential to keep tabs on what people are saying about you online and then take steps to counteract them. You also need to monitor the things that you post about yourself. Thanks to social media, posts from decades ago can come back to harm you.
Why Do You Need Online Reputation Management?
Given how advanced technology has become, why can’t reputation online handle problems on its own? Despite the advancements, that’s not likely to happen. Google’s algorithms only give us what we search for. If we ask for gossip, conspiracy stories, or negative reviews, that’s what gets associated with our search terms.
Search Algorithms Will Prioritize Popularity
No algorithm can tell if information accurately reflects you or not, so popularity becomes the primary measuring method of what makes a good search result. That’s why petty lawsuits dismissed years ago, embarrassing photos, and other kinds of irrelevant-clickbait results often dominate online reputations.
Online Reputation Management Prioritizes a Balance
Online reputation management counteracts human bias, ensuring the materials that matter aren’t overwhelmed by false information. If you don’t trust an algorithm to represent you online, you need to develop an online reputation management strategy to protect your interests.This need will always exist. As time goes on it will become more and more essential to manage our online reputations as search engines and other online algorithms take on a more significant role in our everyday lives.
Are ORM and SEO The Same?
While there are similarities between online reputation management and search engine optimization (SEO), there are also significant differences. SEO focuses on promoting a specific website or page to the top of the search results. While online reputation management is about controlling the assortment of websites that appear in your results. This means the tactics and measures of success are different for both.