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.
Questions About Timing
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 the 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. Once content is removed at the source, it can take as long as three weeks for Google to remove it from their cache.
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 suppress web content?
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.
In a nutshell, Important content is generally approved ahead of time. Support content is not.
Representative / Branded Content
Reputation X will create and submit any "representative" content about your brand for approval. Representative content is content that is apparently created by your brand and that represents your brand.
Examples of branded content include blog posts on your site and social media messaging. Content like articles that are interviews of you or people in your organization and articles specifically written about your brand but posted on third-party sites are also representative (branded content) and almost always 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. Keep in mind that third parties are probably already posting about your brand, but you have zero control. When we do it, we have more control, but not total control.
For example, if we find a journalist who may be writing a piece about your industry, and we ask them to include you, we do not control that content. The journalist does. Therefore we are not able to pre-approve the content because it does not originate with us. The same is true most of the time for bloggers and other third-party content creators.
We have never had a third-party post anything negative about a client in over 15 years in business.
B) Even if we were able to provide approval of all third-party content, the amount of content might be overwhelming for you (the client) to approve.
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. Google's main patent is based on links.
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 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.
Cost Related Questions
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.
Does Reputation X edit Wikipedia pages?
You might be surprised to learn that Reputation X does not edit Wikipedia articles or employ Wikipedia editors. Reputation X is primarily tasked with research, recommendations, and relationships.
The vast majority of our Wikipedia-related work is centered around improving the quality of Wikipedia articles. We create a "package" of well-researched material for editors to reference. This often includes source material for references, editor bias research, similar article research, and recommendations on the best way to approach improvements in an editing environment that is often biased and rife with misinformation and missing facts.
Wikipedia articles are often incorrect due to a lack of published referencable third-party information. To fill these gaps, we make recommendations to clients to earn media that supports an improved narrative in the future. Once the information package is complete and all references are in place, we approach the peer-review group.
The peer-review group of vetted Wikipedia editors. While these editors do not edit our client's Wikipedia articles, they do improve our recommendations before being presented to the Wikipedia community. Expert third parties then reach out to editors who are subject-matter experts, often using Talk pages and other means of communication. The ultimate editors, whomever they might be, make final decisions about any edits they choose to make.
Questions About Technique
What techniques are 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 is a part of. This includes entities and publications associated with your brand, or with entities similar to yours. We're working to understand why your online profile looks the way it does, and then mapping the path from where it is to where it should be.
The strategy is a handcrafted line item document outlining each step we will take in the process of improving your brand's online profile. We will present the strategy to you and explain each item and its purpose.
You, as the client, approve the strategy or make requests for adjustment. We can often make changes live during the strategy approval meeting.
How does Reputation X choose sites to promote?
We are often called upon to cause specific search results to rise or fall for a given online profile. We work to improve sites about your brand, whether it be corporate or personal, that have high positive sentiments. Sometimes, we create them. The exact mix is different for every campaign. 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.
Removing content from the internet
Removal is considered on a case-by-case basis. Some sites allow content removal, while others, such as government and news sites, often 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. Negotiation is only used in certain situations because the act of reaching out to a publisher to change existing content can cause its own issues. We will only contact publishers directly with the client's advance approval.
What kind of web development is used?
When Reputation X designs a reputation management 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 portrayed 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 several 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 underlying sources' data and information architecture, we can improve how your brand appears in search results.
Find out more about Google's Knowledge Panel here.
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