Monitoring your reputation online can be done in order to protect a brand, business or the reputation of a single entity. This is technically done by pushing less desirable results lower into the search engines. This is done with the intent of decreasing their visibility. ORM means to track what is being written about a subject by only displaying positive or neutral content, and at the same time, pushing links or negative comments further down in the search engine. It can be viewed as “reverse-SEO” because instead of working to get more traffic or page views, ORM is meant to push highly-ranked negative results down in the engines so that fewer people will see them.
Many people who have reputations to uphold, use ORM tools, such as politicians, business owners and celebrities.
ORM is based off of using SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. Other activities included along ORM tools and/or software is content creation in popular social networking sites, such as; forums, gossip blogs, social bookmarking sites, online journals, etc.). These are the type of sites which harness the most power when it comes to the reputation of a certain entity because forums and other social networking sites are based off of people’s opinion. Other techniques include asking the site manager or owner to take down certain negative content and in some cases, a litigation order may be given if the entity has an attorney. Some tools are able to respond quickly to negative comments and remarks. For example, if a person writes a complaint about a business on a web page, an instant reply offering free products or positive reviews can be written on the same page. Some sites will try to screen out such positive reviews, but very rarely does this happens.
When a blog post of website receives fresh content from readers and contributors, it increases it’s page rank in the search engines. So, if a reputation tool is used to counter-act positive and negative reviews, it brings in more business and attention to the entity. Web companies have often given positive feedback from their usage of ORM tools and software. Owners of online stores and bid sites are also able to generate positive feedback and ratings in order to increase sales. It is expected in the next 10 years there will be an increase of Internet businesses, thus increasing the need for online reputation management tools. It is expected to grow by at least 30%.
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