Manage the Online Reputation of Your Business

By: Brian Horn on: January 27th, 2010 17 Comments

Online reputation management is the process of appraising, tracking and continuing conversations concerning your business, on the Internet…including forums, blog posts, articles, and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook,

It consists of 3 steps:

  1. Listening to the online conversation regarding your business
  2. Understanding the reason for it and why your customers or prospects have that opinion
  3. Interacting with your customers and prospects to diminish any damage to your company’s brand that have resulted because of someone’s negative feedback about your business, product, staff or even you personally.

Reputation management is about controlling what people view  on the Internet about you and maintaining positive views. Damage limitation is dealing with negative results on the Internet and reducing the damage it can do to an individual or company.

Suppose that someone writes something negative in an online forum about your product and the article which he has written is coming in the Google results than your own company website.

Reputation management helps to take the initiative and quite often prevent these negative results staying around in the first pages of the search engine result and limiting the damage that could have been caused to your company and product.

What are the steps to reputation management?

Different ways of Reputation Management are-

  • The initial step  is to see the actual negative content and analyzing does it have any truth. Sometimes it may be someone’s  opinion or may be a lie?  If it is a website, then it can be forced to take it down quite quickly.
  • Start a strategy for creating positive content about the company or individual. This can be done through article and video syndication, guest blogging, and creating optimized profiles on social networking sites.
  • Monitor the results and improvement.
  • Implement strategy to prevent negative content reaching or staying long on the front page of the search engines result.
  • Reputation is a social and external code of conduct.

In other words reputation is what other people think about you and not what you think about yourself. Most companies have a tendency to view their reputation as what they say about themselves.

In today’s connected world, reputations are now formed and sustained as much in Twitter or Face book as they are in press releases or other public affairs department.


Brian Horn, of HornDog Search Marketing, is recognized by many as the "Glazer-Kennedy Secret Weapon", because of his role in helping not only Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer with search engine optimization and social media, but also many of the top Information Marketers in the world. Brian shares SEO tips for small businesses over at at his blog,

17 Responses

  1. Charles Ra says:

    reputation is what other people think about you
    Online reputation management is the process of appraising, tracking and continuing conversations concerning your business
    now, with twitter n facebook. it is harder to form a good reputation.
    thanks Brian for your tips.

  2. Excellent points, Brian.

    And extremely timely advice in today’s “Web 2.0” world. All business owners need to focus on what others say about us (social media) — not exclusively on what we say about ourselves (advertising), as we could in the past.

    The days of restaurant owners having to watch out only for critics dressed up in disguises are long gone — in today’s world, everyone’s a critic and has the potential to trash the reputation of any business.

    This fact keeps many business owners up at night — but not so much the ones who follow your advice in this post and learn how to take action to minimize the damage.

    Thanks, Brian, as always!

  3. Walter Terry says:

    Great reminder, Brian. For my clients’ online reputation management I’ve used the very excellent one the U.S. Air Force uses for managing their rep on social media.

    Yours is more sleek and streamlined. I like it.

    Another meaty post, Brian. Keep up the good work!

  4. Rob Anspach says:

    Yes, very timely indeed.

    The thing about reputation… whatever it is – good or bad…will get personified and amplified via social media and emails.

    In the offline world reputation spreads slow and can be maintained … but online you have to react quick and always be vigilant.

  5. Whenever I consider buying a product that I can see is offering an affiliate commission, I realize that a lot of the good publicity and positive Google results are really affiliate links… so I will Google for the product name and the word “scam” or “complaints” or “ripoff” to see if there are negative comments that have simply gotten buried by commission loving positive mentions.

    The ultra secret key to reputation management is this; have an outstanding product, and over deliver on what you offer…

  6. Fan of DK says:

    One simple tip businesses should consider is buying their own product name with the word “sucks” after it….

    So, if you were paypal, you would be smart and buy before someone else…

  7. Brian Horn says:

    Thanks for all the comments and additional ideas. I’ve bought the “sucks” version of domains before too.

    Take that a step further, and actually create a site ( and and optimize it for those phrases.

    Of course, spin it to why you are not a scam…or why you don’t suck. But then you own the top spot if someone does search those terms.

  8. (here’s what the website might say…)

    “Why in the world did you search for the term “Brian Horn Scam” ?

    Welcome to my website. This is Brian Horn. Now, as a smart marketer, I have purchased this domain, because when people look get to the top of the search engine results, they look carefully and want to make sure they don’t get taken for a ride.
    I’m Brian Horn. And as my hundreds of testimonials can attest to, I value my reputation as the top dog in SEO seriously.

    Let me get you to the top of the the search engines AND protect your brand image by using inexpensive, yet well crafted strategy to build and protect your brand online…

    (get the spin?)

  9. Reputation management is key for social media marketing. Great points. “Most companies have a tendency to view their reputation as what they say about themselves.” – this phrase is priceless! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Rob Anspach says:

    …as much as I think the whole negative spin works – I’m not a big fan of putting sucks at the end of my domain…especially if my actual name preceeds it…

    Like Brian’s above ( I don’t want to be construed as a porn site…or any site that might otherwise get that connotation. or or or would be better examples.

  11. Rob,

    Absolutely true.

    Brian should be buying the domains that are likely to be searched for… which includes all those mentioned.

    I’d bet many more people would search for “Brian Horn Scam” more then they would ” I hate brain horn…” But for a cost of a few dollars apiece, it might pay to pick up all of them.

    (Especially when you find a godaddy coupon for a .99 cents domain… :-)

  12. With anonymity and lack of accountability on their side, anyone can get away with saying anything. Online reputation management is a necessity. Like Barney Fife said, “You got to nip it in the bud.”

  13. sites like ripoffreport make it so simple for anyone with an axe to grind or just plain bored to trash a company’s reputation… and have it come up on page one of Google.

  14. Rob Anspach says:

    …with great power comes great responsibility!

    Yes, you could grind an axe here or there but the reality very few will take the time to do so … It’s those few that have the power to alter perception and they know it… Just be vigilant first and you shouldn’t have a problem.

  15. You’re so right.

  16. Marc Enstad says:

    Some genuinely nice stuff on this website , I it.

Leave a Comment