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In 2021, it’s impossible to overlook the importance of a positive online reputation. A positive online reputation is now crucial for individuals from all walks of life. With that, so is online reputation defense.
From teenagers fresh out of high school to the CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies, how a person is perceived online is now more important than ever.
Across the board, schools, universities, employers, and more now routinely search online for the names of individuals looking to enroll, seeking work, or otherwise wishing to deal with a business, educational institution, or other organization.
At the other end of the spectrum, school principals, company presidents, politicians, and other persons in positions of great trust and responsibility can be brought to their knees by an online reputation crisis.
So, what does this mean for you? Almost exactly the same as it means for anyone else, regardless of who they are. That is to say, in 2021, we’re now all at the mercy of possible online defamation.
What’s more, it’s not just straightforward defamation that’s an issue in today’s predominantly digital world. Any negative press, poor reviews, and even past social media indiscretions can quickly become the undoing of almost any individual, business, or organization.
It’s for this reason—and many more, as we’ll explain—that online reputation defense, also known as online reputation protection, mustn’t be overlooked.
Do you need online reputation defense?
Of course, online reputation defense is more important for some people than it is for others.
While many retired seniors have relatively little hanging on their online reputations, anyone in school, seeking work, or employed in almost any industry is, at least to some degree, at the mercy of what’s said about them on the web.
If an individual is even remotely likely to be ‘googled’ or otherwise looked up on any of the big search engines, including Yahoo! and Bing, it’s imperative that they understand the implications.
Sure, it’s easy to assume that nobody is doing this. However, it’s not just job-seekers and potential new students being looked up, reports suggest, nor are people searching solely for the names of celebrities and others in the public eye.
Online reputation defense reports
Quite aside from the possibilities already mentioned, reports suggest that increasing numbers of people are now looking up their dating app matches before agreeing to meet.
More significantly still, banks and other lenders are also known to search online for the names of individuals before agreeing to loans as part of their checks.
Imagine being turned down for a date or a loan because of one or more negative results on Google. This could be:
- An arrest record, however old
- A story from the local or national press
- An old, long-forgotten social media post
- One or more unflattering mugshots or other photos
- A poor professional review of an individual or their business
- Salacious blog posts written by or about a person
- Any other negative, lewd, or otherwise questionable content
As a business owner, an individual and their company are also further at risk of negative reviews, one-star ratings, and unfavorable remarks on platforms such as Google My Business.
The potential impact of even a single one of any of the above could be devastating on a number of different fronts. Not only could a poor online reputation cost you a date, but it could also potentially cost you your education, your career, your chances of securing a mortgage, and more.
Tied to your family name, it could also have a negative knock-on effect on your spouse, parents, children, siblings, and others around you. For this reason alone, perhaps, everyone should consider taking appropriate online reputation defense measures.
Remember the retired seniors we touched on a moment ago? In line with the above, consider, as an example, that grandpa should be arrested for DUI. Although he may have little riding on his own online reputation, publicly published arrest records and local news stories can have far-reaching effects.
Those tied to him by name or location, particularly in a small town or where a family shares a unique surname, can quickly find themselves judged by association.
This is just one of countless possibilities, of course, but serves as a stark reminder as to why online reputation defense or protection can quickly prove to be fundamental in today’s digital age, whoever you are.
Further understanding online reputation defense
Appreciating and understanding online reputation defense ultimately begins and ends with genuine recognition of the risks associated with overlooking the matter.
Having now broached that, the good news is that professional online reputation protection is one of the most affordable and cost-effective forms of reputation management available.
Why? Online reputation defense, at its core, is both preventative and proactive.
Affordable, cost-effective, proactive, and preventative
By looking to address online reputation defense by default, you’re best positioned to prevent the most severe fallout should the worst happen. With the right online reputation protection plans in place, many people, in fact, can avoid an online reputation crisis altogether.
It goes without saying that nobody wants to be arrested or have their name or the name of their business dragged through the mud. At the same time, when it happens, there’s little that anyone can do about it after the fact.
Without adequate plans in place, the first page of search results on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and even social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are likely to become quickly filled with new information about what’s happened when searching for a name.
That’s because any new information very rapidly becomes more relevant, typically at least, than almost anything that may have popped up previously. Usually, that’s some very pedestrian, mundane results that will appear in some form for the majority of people.
However, with online reputation protection, you’re taking a defensive stance against this and any other future online reputation damage. By having highly relevant content in place, anything that’s newly published will have a harder time rising to the top of the search results.
In the most straightforward sense, that’s the primary basis of what we’re talking about here. The same applies whether it’s your name or the name of your business or brand.
Maria Kalyadina, social media manager for software company SEMrush, summarizes this nicely in a recently published piece about effective online reputation management.
“You can never anticipate a crisis, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare for one,” says Maria. “So, a sound crisis management strategy should always be in place as things escalate online at an unprecedented speed,” she adds.
That’s some extremely sound, free advice that we can all afford to take on board.
Online reputation defense FAQs
How does online reputation defense work?
Online reputation defense works by defending against the possible appearance of negative online content before it happens. It may also be employed following an online reputation crisis to prevent future harm from a reoccurrence of similar events.
How can I protect my reputation online?
Online reputation defense represents among the best ways to protect your reputation online. You can also take measures such as ensuring that any self-published content on the web—for example, on social media or blog websites—represents you in the best possible light.
Review your privacy settings across the board, too, and delete anything that could come back to haunt you.
How much does online reputation defense cost?
Proactively protecting your online reputation is among the most affordable forms of reputation management available. Prevention, as the old saying goes, is better than cure.
Professional reputation protection typically costs just a fraction of what an individual may need to spend on repairing an already damaged reputation.
How long does online reputation defense take to work?
Online reputation defense is effective almost immediately. By contrast, repairing a damaged reputation, a risk associated with not taking suitable online reputation protection precautions, can take anywhere from three months to one year or more to see noticeable results.
Ready to tackle online reputation defense head-on? At NetReputation, we have more than a decade of experience in online reputation management, protection, and defense.
Why choose NetReputation? Recently rated the best global reputation management firm of 2020 by Newsweek.com, we’re also ranked top within the reputation management sector by Ebiznewswire and Digital Exits.
Want to know more? Call our team today for a no-obligation discussion or request a free online reputation consultation now to receive further information and advice from the web’s #1 online reputation management service.