Managing Your Web Reputation, One Review At A Time

Managing Your Web Reputation, One Review At A Time

As a Google Local Guide, I review every place I visit and every place I eat. With over 300 reviews and photos uploaded to Google, I am just one of many who are helping Google index local businesses, build reviews and improve the accuracy of Google Maps.

Google does not pay me for these services, but I do receive special Google branded products and other perks for being a Google Local Guide.

Here’s what I’ve found out as I travel my local area.

  1. Reviews really do matter.
  2. People actually look at the photos I post for about a business.
  3. Negative reviews mean I probably won’t visit.
  4. I am constantly evaluating my store or restaurant experience.
  5. If I receive poor service, I will write about it.
  6. Even for lower end restaurants food presentation is important.
  7. People actually read what I post about a business.
  8. I do not tell business owners I am reviewing them.
  9. I myself select who I trade with based on online reviews.
  10. Reviews are more important than a nice website.

The bottom-line is that you are on display and being rated with every phone call, every visit, every plate that is served. You may have the best website, but if your visitors do not receive the royal treatment when they call or visit, you’ll set yourself up for a negative review. Get several and they can damage your business and sales!

To get savvy help in writing rebuttals to negative reviews, contact us today.


Hackers Want Your Reputation and Credentials

Hackers Want Your Reputation and Credentials

Site reputation – that’s what hackers want to steal from you for their own personal gain. Don’t think that you need to just be using WordPress to become a victim. I’ve seen regular HTML website fall prey to hack attacks too.

It typically all starts with your user name and password being stolen. Hackers create a phishing page that looks legit that they hope you will click and then enter in your user name and password into. The best defense is to never click links in an email and if you do click a link, never share login information no matter how valid a site or form looks.

Instead, go to your login address using your browser and access your account without clicking a link. You will typically find that there is not a problem with your account or access. But the email you had received had some dire notice that you were going to lose access or your account would be closed. Be suspicious of everything.

Troy Hunt has it right in his article on how and why hackers want to get into your site and steal your credentials. His article is worth the read to allow you to make sure to stay safe. You will be amazed at the extent hackers will use, to mask their presence in an effort to steal your credentials and then your website reputation.


Online Reputation Remediation Tips

I have been toying with creating a new service for reputation remediation but have decided not to pursue this as a service for my firm mainly because the vetting process would be so difficult. How do you really know who has been a victim and who really warrants the bad PR about themselves online? Typically I feel like I am a pretty good judge of character, but I have been fooled. I simply do not want to use my expertise to remediate someone’s online identity so they can hurt people again.

As I will not be rolling out the service, I have done enough research to know that for people who really need help and who may have been targeted without justification that this may be a very workable approach for them to take themselves.

1. Social Media Account Set Up 
In an effort to push down bad search results we recommend that you set up accounts on these selected social networking and social media sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, FriendFeed, Plaxo, Naymz, Tagged, and Xing. The more information you enter the more complete your online presence and more legitimate it will be .

Additionally if you have pictures of your family, pets, and a recent vacation we recommend you load them. Make yourself a real person one who is approachable.

2. Do 10 Days of Status Updates on Your Social Media Accounts
Update the status on each of the accounts you set up twice a day for 10 business days. You  want the search engines to believe that these are new active social networking accounts to allow them to be included in their search indexes.  

3. BlogSpot Blog Set Up 
In an effort to additionally remediate your reputation online we recommend that you blog set up a Blogspot.  Make sure to register your blog with Google and the other search engines.

4. Create and Publish 12 Blog Posts
In an effort to provide additional positive content about you, we recommend that you write twelve blog posts over a four week period posting on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule. Each blog post should speak positively about you and your services. Highlight different positive things about yourself such as non-profit participation, church activities, family events, things you are working on that will benefit your community or business environment. Link to your website and your social networking profiles.

At the end of four to six weeks take a look on the various search engines to see what has happened. I would love to hear feedback from you if you try this program to tell me if our recommendations worked to help drop down the bad search results on your name or business name. Typically Google will update their index the fastest. You may see an improvement in search results under your name in as little as 7 days. Yahoo and Bing update their index on about a three to six week cycle so results will appear on those two engines much more slowly.