Internet Reputation Management is the practice of manipulating or reshaping one’s search results to reflect a more positive, or accurate, depiction of a particular person or company. This industry got started in 2006, originally to defend children from the dangers of social networking sites. However, it has evolved into something more than that.
The Internet, and search engines particularly, has become more important as a source for information, whether that is an impression of a celebrity or a review of a product. Think about itwhen you are going to try a new restaurant, go see a movie, look up a celebrity, buy a new product, you look to the Internet, and especially search engines, for information. Search engines allow for the aggregation of a great deal of information, most of which is user-generated, rather than produced by any professional journalist. Using a search engine to find new information about a subject has become so common, in fact, that Google has become a verb. You’ve heard it before, ‘I don’t know anything about H.L. Mencken.’ ‘Well Google him!’ User-generated journalism, often in the form of blogging, is incredibly unpredictable, though, and notoriously unreliable.
Negative search results are quite common, and although they are sometimes perfectly understandableoften they are ridiculous or simply false. Input Octomom or David Vitter and you will see a plethora of negative comments which any person would say they may or may not deserve. However, I think we can all agree that both Nadya Suleman (Octomom) and David Vitter have a right to publicize themselves in a positive light, too, rather than letting their reputations be held hostage to the whims of angry bloggers and forum trolls.
The only effective way to fight back against this anonymous barrage of negativity in their search results is to hire an Internet Reputation Management professional. They will conduct a campaign, on a business or individual’s behalf, that will help them to publicize themselves more positively. Although they cannot remove the offending search results, they can push them down in rankonto the second, third, or fourth pagewhere hardly anyone will see them. This is the essence of Internet Reputation Management, the suppression of links through the elevation of positive publicity.