How Much Does Reputation Management Cost?

Reputation management can be active or passive. Active reputation management actually changes the way a person or company is seen online. Passive reputation management includes things like DIY tutorials and monitoring. Passive reputation management is very inexpensive. Active reputation engages many resources and people to solve a problem and is therefore more expensive.

Reputation management pricing depends how difficult a project is estimated to be. It also relies on the timeframe, and the type of project it is. The cost for an active managed campaign can run $3000 and up per month depending on the severity of the issue. It will usually last six to twelve months.

Low-cost reputation management is fine if all you need is monitoring and a real problem doesn't exist.

Why Does It Cost What It Does?

A successful reputation management project may consist of development of hiqh-quality web properties, social media, well-written content that people find useful, search engine optimization including earned links, and more. Many resources go into the price calculations of a reputation management campaign.

The biggest cost factors in reputation management are:

  • Cost of research and development of online content
  • Cost of search engine optimization services

According to Forbes, a good national SEO campaign will cost $2000 to over $10,000 per month, and that's for only one site. Reputation management prices are based on not only creating and optimizing web content, but moving multiple sites up in search results, removing a page altogether, or having it de-indexed by search engines.

Why are SEO and ORM Priced Differently?

Reputation management is different than SEO. In fact, SEO lives within a reputation project. A reputation campaign will often engage:

  • Public relations
  • Web development
  • Content creation, curation, and management
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media management
  • Negotiation
  • Legal representation

As you can see, search engine optimization is just one tool used by reputation managers. SEO alone is not reputation management. 

Online Reputation Management Packages

ORM package costs that include only reputation search and social monitoring can cost as little as $200 per month or even be free. These are passive measures in that they generally don't solve a problem. They rely heaviliy on automation with little human interaction which is why they are less expensive than active campaigns. 

Packages that actually change results will start at $3000 per month. There are cheaper reputation packages but they tend to either not work, or make things worse.

Case study: Here is an examination of how a cheap reputation service failed a customer.

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Most Reputation Firms Don't Do the Expensive Part

As mentioned above, the two most expensive parts of online reputation management are the content and the search engine optimization. Most reputation service companies don't perform the search engine (SEO) part because it is by far the most expensive, and that is the reason most online reputation projects don't end well. 

Reputation vs. SEO

It is important to know that reputation companies are different than SEO companies and PR companies.

  • SEO firms normally focus on one site.
  • Reputation firms focus on many sites (sometimes over 50).
  • PR companies are generally less technical than both

Reputation firms also tend to deal with branded terms (terms about a person or company name) whereas SEO firms deal with product or service related terms most of the time. 

The Cost of Removing a Search Result

Removal of a search result often uses either legal tactics (expensive) or relationships (which we have, far less expensive). The cost also depends on whether something is being removed from the source, like a web page, or from Google search results. SEO firms don't normally do this, even though they say they perform reputation management.

The costs involved with removal are based on where the negative content lives, who owns the site, and other factors. Most of the time a negative search result cannot be removed directly from the source or from search results, but sometimes it can.

Repution Management Cost Examples

Remove Complaints Board

$5,000 one-time

De-Index Ripoff Report

$20,000 one-time

Protect Search Results

$3,000 per month and up. Limited time.

Remove a YouTube Video

$10,000 one-time

Suppress New York Times

$5,000 per month. Limited time.

Suppress a Minor Blog

$3,000 per month. Limited time.

Build an Executive Reputation

$5,000 per month. Limited time.

Clean Search Results in Arabic

$10,000 per month. Limited time. 

Radically Alter Search Results for a Company

$20,000 per month. Limited time.

The cost of online reputation management

What Determines Price?

Real reputation management is complex. As mentioned above, some negatives can be removed completely, usually for a fixed price that ranges between $3000 and $8000 one-time. Most times clients need a web of content created in a very specific way to move bad search results somewhere else. These types of campaigns take more time and more resources.

When Something Cannot Be Removed

When a search result or web page cannot be removed, it must be suppressed or at least diluted in search results. Dilution usually involves creating a counterpoint in search results to a negative story. This is radically different than SEO and the steps involved begin with sentiment related research to find out what makes a certain search result page "tick". A typical suppression or dilution project looks like this:


True reputation marketing campaigns are sophisticated and involve quite a bit of research to get right. Packages don't work, more on that later. To do research right takes experts in SEO, content management, development and project management.

Better Content for a Better Internet

From research we create personas of similar entities to get an idea of what people and search engines want to see. Our objective is to actually improve search results not only for our clients, but for people performing a search for them. We want to make Bing, Yahoo and Google's results better. It is the only way to generate results that last. That quality takes resources. 

Only Native, Specialist Writers

Content is one of the big costs in a reputation management program. To save money most online reputation companies cut costs by outsourcing the content (web pages, articles, blog posts, etc.) to other countries. Most times these countries are not native speakers or writers. The quality suffers dramatically and Google can tell the difference. People who read it can tell too. In fact, sometimes using offshore labor to cut the costs of reputation management can backfire by making search results worse.

We create the right content for the right client. Only native writers who have knowledge of a particular industry are used for content. Good writers earn a good wage, and believe us - you want good writers.

How Bad is It?

A big determinant of the cost of online reputation projects is the strength and position of the negative. For example, a New York Times negative will normally be far more difficult to move than a local online newspaper. The cost of reputation management rises with the degree of difficulty.

What Determines Negative Result Strength?

We measure the strength of a web property by 'Page Authority' or 'Domain Authority' and other factors like trust. Domains and pages at the top of search results generally have high page authority and high domain authority. We measure the authority (strength) of pages and design a program that will alter those search results by creating very strong pages that reflect online reputation in the best possible light. Sites with a high degree of strength that need to be rearranged in search results will require more resources, and increases costs.

Why Cheap Reputation Management "Packages" Don't Work Anymore

Reputation management packages tend to be a one-size fits all attempt to bring reputation control to the masses. Of course, one-size does not fit all and that is why packages rarely work. These services are based on automation, instead of people doing work (because people are expensive). Because one cannot automate reputation work effectively they tend to leave a "footprint" in search results that are easy for search engines to spot as low-quality attempts to change search results. They rarely work, in fact many actually damage online perception of their victims. 

OK, But Why Are Those Packages So Cheap?

Reputation packages can be had by some firms claiming to be reputation management companies for a only few hundred dollars. We strongly suggest you run away from these. The way these packages work is by using either generic websites to post spammy content (search engines penalize you), or worse, using sites owned or controlled by the reputation company. There is no cost to the firm to post to their own sites so profit margins remain very high for them.

Cheap Reputation Management: When a Blender Writes Your Bio

Spammy content is "spun" by machines - yep, this is a "thing". It works by feeding a phrase into software, then the software jumbles up the phrases and creates pseudo-content. It is designed to fool search engines, but doesnt work most of the time. Worse yet, a blender wrote your bio. 

Non-Native Writers

When real content is actually created, cheap reputation management companies tend to use non-native writers to create the content. So a Romanian with English as a third language may be writing your life story. Spoiler alert! It doesn't end well. 

Reputation X does not sell packages, we only produce custom strategies and end-to-end campaigns.

Flexible Cost Means Flexible Duration

Good news. Reputation management costs can be controlled. Costs for reputation management can often be mitigated by increasing the project duration. Lower monthly costs tend to reduce resources, and push out time to completion. This is the classic 'do you want it fast, or do you want it cheap' question. Reputation management project duration can be fast if we are able to remove bad search results through negotiation or if the sites to be moved have low strength, but a project designed to improve search results using suppression against stronger sites can take three, six or more months to complete.

Is Your Reputation Worth Doing it Right?

If your reputation on the internet is important you might consider doing it right the first time. Reputation X does it right the first time and we hope after reading this you understand why. You can get a free analysis by filling out the form below or calling us. We look forward to helping. 

Reputation X helps brands clean up search results, improve reviews, and increase search visibility.

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