Reputation Management FAQs
Below are answers to the most often asked questions about online reputation management services. They include the costs of reputation management, costs of review management, how long various programs take, and other questions we are asked most often.
How long does reputation repair take?
Removal of negative content from search results can take just a few weeks, or longer depending on a number of factors. Removal of reviews can take only a week or two as well. Suppression (pushing down) of search results can take three to ten months or longer depending on the level of difficulty.
Read about how long it takes to change Google rankings here.
How long does removal of negative articles or blog posts take?
Duration: 1-8 weeks
If the problem you are having is with negative content, and that content can be removed at the source, it can take as little as one week, or as long as a few months to remove a web page. Factors affecting duration include whether we have a relationship with the site, can contact the publisher, and if the publisher agrees to removal.
How long does the removal of online reviews take?
Duration: 1-2 weeks
Reviews that violate the Terms of Service (TOS) of the review platform can often be removed in a few days or weeks depending on the responsiveness of the platform.
Reviews that do not violate the TOS can usually only be removed by the individual that posted the review. Sometimes that individual can be convinced to update or remove a negative review.
Removal of videos
Duration: 1-2 weeks
There are a few methods to remove videos from YouTube or Google. Note: Google owns YouTube.com. If a video is in violation of the Terms of Service of the platform or contains a copyright violation such as a DMCA issue, the video can usually be removed within a couple of weeks.
How long does it take to push web pages down in search results?
Duration: Early results: 8 weeks. Completion: 6-12 months.
Reputation repair (excluding removals) that involves pushing negative content down and positive content up takes about two months to begin working in most cases.
The average reputation repair campaign takes six to ten months for satisfactory results. There is usually no long-term commitment (maintenance agreement) needed.
Learn more about how long reputation management takes here.
Does all content need to be approved?
Representative / Branded Content
Reputation X will create and submit for approval any "representative" content. Representative content is content apparently created by you, and that represents you.
Examples of this include blog posts on your site and social media messaging. Content like articles that are interviews of you or people in your company, articles specifically written about your brand but posted on third-party sites are also "representative" (we also call it "branded content") and normally require your approval before posting.
Non-representative / Non-branded Content
Non-representative (non-branded) content is different. Any content that is created by third parties such as bloggers or journalists, and that is not specifically representative of your brand does not normally require approval.
Why is third-party content different? Two reasons:
A) We don't have as much control over what third-party publishers post. For example, if we find a journalist who will be writing a piece about your industry, and we ask them to include you, we do not control that content - the journalist and publication do. Therefore we do not get to pre-approve the content. The same is true most of the time for bloggers and other third-party content creators.
B) Even if we were able to provide approval of all third-party content (we are not) the amount of content might be overwhelming.
Non-representative / non-branded content is very important though because it provides significant SEO value through mentions of your brand and links. It is a natural and organic aspect of the internet.
How much does reputation repair cost?
Why does reputation repair cost what it does?
A true reputation improvement campaign requires the following minimum resources:
- Brand Reputation Strategist
- Project Manager
- SEO expert
- A Content Manager / Writer
- Researcher and an Outreach person
- Web Developer
- Various software platforms
Human resources are usually based in the US, Canada, or the UK, with international resources as needed for culture-specific content or translation when needed.
Find a detailed guide to how reputation management budgets are spent here.
Cheap vs. "real" reputation management
There are software-based reputation companies and human-based companies. Most inexpensive reputation firms are either DIY (do it yourself) or really just reputation monitoring and advice software. They don't actually solve problems. But they are inexpensive because there are very few people, if any, involved.
A full-service reputation management agency uses software but relies on people to do things like:
- Research influencers and reach out to them
- Create content like articles, blog posts, social media, videos, and more
- Negotiate with publishers
- Adapt reputation strategies to evolve with search engines
- Have online content removed
Software can't do that.
Learn about the perils of cheap reputation management companies here.
Techniques used in reputation management
There are many different techniques used to improve reputation. The mix used will depend on your strategy. They include:
- Removal of negative content
- Review improvement
- Wikipedia page development
- Content design and development
- Influencer publications
- Web development
- Knowledge panel development
- Pay per click (temporarily)
- Profile development
- Search engine optimization
- … and more
Find more details on the reputation management process here.
What happens during the strategy phase?
We’ll research your brand and the information environment in which it lives online.
We’ll also look at similar entities to understand what behind-the-scenes attributes are working, as well as why both people and search engines respond well. The most beneficial findings are emulated in the project.
Then, with a full understanding, we will create a custom strategy, share it, and discuss it with you before execution.
Get more information on reputation strategy here.
How does Reputation X choose sites to promote?
We work to improve sites about your brand, whether it be corporate or personal, that have high positive sentiment (or we create them). When promoting positive online content, we look for a number of technical factors, some of those factors include:
- Relatively high position in search results
- The headline is clearly about the brand, esp. if the name is in the headline
- The number and quality of inbound links
- The anchor text of the inbound links (what words are in the link)
- The domain authority and rating of the site on which positive content exists
- The client agrees the site is worth promoting
The importance of a good narrative
A good story improves the online narrative. Sometimes it exists and needs polish. Other times it needs to be created.
A compelling story will generate third-party interest that naturally improves the visibility of certain content. Part of our technique is to promote that content to improve what people see.
A good narrative improves online reputation because search engines watch what people do and adjust content visibility (good & bad) based on how people interact with search results. When people find the content interesting, they send signals to search engines about what content should get priority.
Find out how a good narrative reduces marketing costs here.
How is a new narrative created?
One of our objectives is to create compelling content people want to consume. That’s the reason we developed the Reverse Wikipedia Strategy of online reputation management.
Removing content from the internet
Removal is considered on a case-by-case basis. Some sites allow the removal of content, while others, such as government sites and news sites, do not.
When possible, we attempt to remove content at the source. We only do this with your permission.
Learn more about removing web pages here.
How is negotiation used?
A tactic sometimes used by reputation management consultants is negotiation. Publishers or third-party content creators are contacted, and asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement; then negotiations begin for the removal of certain content.
How does useful content help?
Google’s mission reads ‘to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’
Reputation X works with Google and other online information environments, not against them. That means we will create accessible and useful content as part of your campaign.
Learn more about content for reputation campaigns here.
Difference between branded and non-branded content
The content we create for your campaign will be either “branded” or “non-branded” content.
Branded content is usually clearly about a brand, appearing to either represent it or make it the subject of the content. In reputation management, it is often more visible and typically contains clear, reputation-enhancing information about your brand.
Non-branded content, on the other hand, is not about the brand but still supports the industry or other areas of interest relative to the brand. This type of content is often used for supporting branded content and to pass “authority” from one site to another.
How are influencers used in reputation management?
When possible, we use brand placements in well-known online publications and by well-known people. This is easiest when a compelling story is available to pitch. These types of publications can substantially alter the perception of a brand online.
How is positive content promoted?
Content doesn’t just rise. It needs some assistance from Search Engine Optimization.
Part of our program is SEO. SEO is about one-half content and one-half links from other sites.
As part of your campaign Reputation X will build inbound links to certain positive web pages to help them rise and become more visible.
What kind of web development is used?
When Reputation X designs a campaign we often suggest certain technical changes to sites you already control.
Changes are usually not noticeable by visitors but can change the way your brand is shown online. These changes can help the main website and also third-party content that represents the brand in a positive way.
Examples of web development include:
- HTML improvements
- Schema (structured data)
- Information architecture
Learn more about reputation-related assets here.
How is Google Knowledge Panel improved?
As part of your campaign, we will work to develop the brand-related data sources that inform the Google Knowledge Panel for your brand.
The Google Knowledge Panel is important for a number of reasons. It appears “above the fold” for many branded searches, is trusted, combines information from many sources, and can be controlled to a greater or lesser extent by you.
The panel’s contents are informed by other data sources - many of which we develop as part of your reputation management campaign.
By improving the data and information architecture of underlying sources, we can improve how your brand appears in search results.
Find out more about Google's Knowledge Panel here.
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