How to lift your personal online reputation
Traditional communication strategies will enable the organization to build its reputation, but the internet throws the dimension of online reputation into play. The internet provides instant information about almost any organization, product, or service, and about many individuals.
After several aspects of online reputation are covered below, you can gain vital insights into what you can do to thoroughly check and act to boost your own personal online reputation.
Social media now provide a platform to enable people to pass judgment about these topics without their views being filtered. They can instantly share their opinions with literally anyone of the hundreds of millions of users around the world. In particular, they control the online reputation of the organization through their comments and observations. It is a highly volatile situation.
What’s more, internet companies like Google, eBay and Epinions have already set up the analytics for people to find out the reputation rankings of organizations. Alexa also provides the equivalent of reputation statistics for most sites on the Web, showing how frequently they are visited and how popular they are. The reputation metrics are typically collected from other users who have had dealings with the product, service or organization being rated. All users can indicate the extent to which they were satisfied or dissatisfied. The reputation emerges from the average rating from all users who have interacted with the organization.
Google is not just a search engine; it is a reputation influencer. Google sorts information about every site on the web so that the highest-quality hits reach the top of the list on search result pages. Google derives its estimates of a website’s quality from the number of other sites that link to it as well as algorithms that give greater weight to links from more important and relevant sites. By publishing its search results pages, Google in effect runs a real-time measure of the reputation of any person or organization, as well as brand perceptions.
Ebay keeps reputation ratings on all the people who offer items for sale on its website. After buying an item, the buyer can return to the site and rate the seller on promptness of shipping and whether the item sold matched its description. The results are visible for anyone who wants to look.
Epinions collects user feedback, reviews and ratings for a wide range of products and services. People like this independent service in which any user can guide any other user to good products with candid advice and can warn them against problem suppliers. It is also highly successful.
These sites, and many others, enable all kinds of people to voice their views. Blogs are an obvious case, along with text and image-based social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and thousands of discussion boards.
The other thing about online reputations and stakeholder opinions is that once they are picked up by Google and other search engines they seem to never disappear from the web – they haunt cyberspace!
Blog lies catch up
For instance, a week after denying in his blog the rumors of forthcoming job losses, Jason Goldberg, CEO of US job-finding site Jobster, announced layoffs of 40 staff. Other bloggers and people in discussion groups savaged him over his deception. A search on “Jason Goldberg” more than a year later still contained references to his deception on the first page of the Google search results – a result that still must haunt him. In this way, Google and other search engines are in effect a reputation management system.
Social media power of a disgruntled customer
Another online reputation lesson is never underestimate the power of a single angry consumer connected to the internet. For instance, one disgruntled passenger of a low-fare US airline triggered hundreds of critical blog comments and emails because the airline had badly treated him. They didn’t realize how much damage he could cause as his vitriol spread around the country via his blog headed: “Do not fly Spirit Airlines.” The airline CEO had thoughtlessly clicked the “Reply to all” button on his email in which he instructed his staff how to respond to the passenger. They relayed the email to the passenger and therefore to the world! (Must have been unhappy staff, too!) The CEO’s email of 20 August 2007 said:
Please respond, Pasquale, but we owe him nothing as far as I’m concerned. Let him tell the world how bad we are. He’s never flown us before anyway and will be back when we save him a penny.
The viral story quickly gathered sympathetic responses and similar stories of frustration from other customers. Six months after the event, the customer’s rant was still ranked number 3 on the first page of Google results page for the airline! The episode probably cost the airline millions of dollars in revenue and dented its reputation.
In this way, organizational reputations are vulnerable to an unprecedented extent to informed and uninformed comment, to supporters and to critics. Therefore, they need to invest in online reputation management strategies.
How to boost your personal online reputation ranking
When we want to learn more about another person, the first place we turn is the internet, and Google is the top search engine for this. Every day, over one billion names are searched on Google and most job recruiters are required to Google potential employees during the hiring process. While you may not have Googled yourself, it’s certain that someone else has – and they are making judgments about you based on what they find. Around 45% of people have found something in a Google search that made them decide NOT to do business with someone.
Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to ensure you make a good impression when someone Googles you. Go to the BrandYourself website, which shows you the clear, detailed steps below that the consultancy has developed that enable you to assess your current online reputation and what you can do to lift your positive ranking:
- Diagnose your Google ranking and online reputation
- Introduction to personal search engine optimization (SEO)
- Building the foundation of your online presence for Google search results
- Advanced tactics to boost your Google ranking and online reputation
- Emergency tactics for fixing a negative Google search result
- Improving your Google image results.