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How to clean up your online reputation

Online and offline reputations help shape your business

A good reputation - online and offline - is clearly key to your success. We look at how to clean up your online reputation and whether to hire the pros, or simply do-it-yourself.

Organisations such as ReputationDefender, RemoveYourName and Integrity Defenders offer business packages to help you take on your online reputation. Essentially, however, these services focus on two tasks: requesting that negative information about you or your company be taken down, and helping you create new content to displace the negative content.

ReputationDefender, which is perhaps the best-known reputation-oriented service, charges between $3,000 and $10,000 (£1,900 and £6,375) to monitor your reputation. RemoveYourName and Integrity Defenders are a bit cheaper; their packages start at $3,000 (£1,900) and $630 (£400), respectively. Often the quoted prices are just a starting point. ReputationDefender charges extra, for example, for helping you get rid of unsavoury remarks that they uncover.

Here are some key points to remember if you decide to hire an online reputation management company:

Weigh any negative reviews of the company more heavily than you normally would. Remember, these companies are in the business of defending and rehabilitating reputations; if 10 'bad' reviews of their own service get through, imagine how many others they may have buried.

  • No company has the magical power to automatically remove negative reviews from the internet.
  • Consider the benefits of a service that charges monthly versus a flat-fee service. Monthly services, such as BrandsEye, will constantly monitor your reputation. Flat-fee services, such as RemoveYourName, will spend as much time as it takes to get results. If you're looking to remove specific negative reviews, a flat-fee service might be best for you; but if you just want someone to monitor your reputation, a monthly service makes more sense.
  • It's entirely possible that a reputation-monitoring service won't be able to help you, or that the service's efforts may backfire. In the case of Ronnie Segev, ReputationDefender and a blog called The Consumerist ended up in a spitting match after ReputationDefender requested that an article about Segev be removed.

NEXT PAGE: Manage your online reputation yourself

  1. Online reputations affects business success
  2. Hiring organisations
  3. Manage your online reputation yourself
  4. A full-time job?

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