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Five Ways to Repair a Bad Online Reputation
What to do when the words on the internet aren't good.
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 by Heather Legg

What happens when your or a client’s online reputation starts showing signs of damage? It’s time to repair it, and the sooner the better.

With some certain strategies, you may be there just in time to thwart any too severe damage.

As A Public Relations Pro – Do Your Thing

Your expertise is getting the positive information out there. That’s one of the best things to do, and not worry about the damaging material. The stronger you can make your client’s name and reputation, the harder it will be to hurt it.

Bury the Bad

Get the damaging content into the dark abyss where no one really looks. The more positive information that comes first in a search, the better. Keep the good press coming, and create a positive image that will take the place of any bad press, just as in the above tip. The more positive content you can have online about your client, the further down the SEO ranks the bad information will fall. Most people don’t go past the first or second page of results, so if you can fill those pages with good, positive information, you’re ahead of the game.

Use Social Media

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ – all of those will help repair a damaged reputation. These often pop up at the head of the search engines. Blogs are a great way to promote your client and overcome any bad press, and video blogs are becoming stronger players in the game. You can update any of these frequently and easily so you can continue to combat any bad press.

On the flip side, make sure any social media is used wisely and nothing embarrassing or damaging is posted. If it is, try to get it removed. It won’t always work, but you can attempt to remove posts.

Make an Apology If Necessary

Sometimes an Internet reputation does get damaged for a valid reason. If your client has made a mistake and an apology is due, get it out there. It will do wonders for a reputation to take responsibility and own up to that mistake. Not only will it appease whoever was wronged, but it will also show your client’s ethics and character.

Be Aware Of Content

Stay vigilant of what is out there. Do searches on your client and make sure the reputation is in good standing. It’s easier to fix things before too much damage is done, and the more you are on top of it, the easier it is to do.

Nobody wants to see damaging content that can hurt an online reputation, but unfortunately, it happens, whether true or not. It can be hard to get rid of, but not impossible to remedy. Keep an eye out about what’s out there, and remember to plug the positive press.

Heather Legg is a freelance writer who writes about
small businesses, online reputations and a variety of other topics.

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