Explanation of the Process of Managing Online Reputation When Negative Content Exists Online

The online reputation management processTypes of Reputation Projects

Removal from the Source

The content is removed directly from the website, normally as part of a negotiation. This type of process is straightforward and not covered in the process below but you can learn about it here.

Removal from Google Search Results

Removal from search results, but not from the source, is called DeIndexing. Learn more about DeIndexing here

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Often search results cannot be removed. When a negative exists it can usually be suppressed, or pushed down. This is the process detailed below:

Five Stages

The online reputation management process consists of five stages including Research, Development, Content, Publishing and Promotion. The last three stages are repeated at regular intervals as search results improve. Each step in the process is explained below.  

online reputation research

01. Reputation Research

reputation-tool-summaryEvery internet reputation management campaign begins with a thorough research phase. First, we identify the  subject’s (that’s you or your company) top search phrases. These might include variations on names, key titles or services, and other phrases that searchers readily associate with you.

Search Result Removal?

We look at legal solutions as well such as DMCA take-down requests and other legal methods. If we do employ legal reputation solutions we will often do it simultaneously with suppression or protection campaigns. Other removal tactics may include YouTube video removal, NoIndex removal, removing search results from Google, and other techniques.

Reputool Analysis

Then, we turn loose Reputool™ our proprietary online reputation management services diagnostic. It identifies the top search results for each search phrase, grouping them into categories. It analyzes and scores baseline results for use now and as a success metric later. We measure:

  • Problematic search results and content
  • Neutral or ambiguous search results and content
  • Positive search results
  • Owned web properties controlled by you
  • Similar profiles and sites that belong to people or companies with similar or near-relevance

After identifying similar people and/or companies to yours, we conduct a thorough analysis of their search results. For example, if the project is for mortgage company reputation management we identify a number of other similar companies. Then look at their search results in different locations similar to yours. We find commonalities between them that are revealed as patterns. Then use these patterns to inform our next steps.

Gap analysis

We then conduct a gap analysis, drawing out key differences between their results and yours—and paying particular attention to websites on our list of strong domains that tend to rank highly in search results. The gap analysis illuminates potential reputation threats and opportunities.

Development plan

With the results of our gap analysis in hand, we draw up a list of controllable web properties to develop with content that portrays you in a positive light and draws organic traffic, shares and those all-important inbound links. We’ll draw up a manageable development schedule that’s sensitive to your needs and concerns. The internet reputation development plan plays a big part in us knowing how to sculpt the ‘perfect’ search results page that people and search engines both appreciate.

Influencers and hashtags

Separately and simultaneously, we conduct social influencer and hashtag research to identify industry-specific people and trends critical to internet reputation management. These will be used later during the Promotion phase. Strateg

All of the above inform our reputation management strategy that guides the rest of the process.


02. Development


Web Property Development

Main website As part of the online reputation management services process we identify and build websites,  business directory listings, social media profiles, existing blogs, and other owned properties that you control and influence. We build those you need, but don’t have in place yet. These may include:

  • Charity website
  • Blogs
  • Social media profiles
  • Image sharing profiles
  • Video profiles
  • and more

With these in place, we set up a network of owned domains and set up a content distribution platform that enables us to quickly and seamlessly distribute content for each of your web reputation properties. The benefit of a content distribution platform is that there is one dashboard that can serve content to many platforms quickly and easily.


03. Content

Content creation is one of the most time-consuming pieces of the online reputation management services process. But you can’t neglect it, as it’s the foundation of every successful campaign. Your content campaign includes these steps:


Once we understand your brand we brainstorm content ideas designed to appeal to the kinds of people who may consume your content. At this point we’ve reduced these people to a representation called a Persona that enables us to visualize that archetypical person. 


We lay out basic content outlines and subjects for your approval and feedback. Often we’ll request new ideas and feedback on the ones we’ve already come up with.

Content plan. We match each piece of approved content with an appropriate, high-authority target, set up a publishing calendar, and revisit existing positive results (especially those PBNs) to determine how and if they can be improved. We also outline a coherent social posting and linking plan to buttress the content campaign.

With a comprehensive plan in place, it’s time to get creative! We help you develop a wide range of appropriate content types that may include:

  • Blog posts
  • Social posts
  • Outreach to bloggers and journalists capable of deploying well-produced content on high-authority, third-party sites
  • External articles, including scholarly articles and long-form reports
  • Slideshows
  • Press releases

04. Publishing

Repeating activity Based on the amount and frequency of content we create,we devise a publishing plan that keeps your reputation management trains running on time. This schedules content publication across many of your content channels, from posts on owned websites and blogs to articles on third-party sites and deployment to high-authority news aggregators. We often use a combination of manual and automatic publishing systems. That way timed content can be deployed according to a schedule, but trending timely content can be created and published on short notice. Types of content published include blog posts, guest posts, press releases, tweets, Facebook posts, Google plus posts, industry articles, video, slideshows, images and other special content designed and developed according to the projects needs. 

publishing header

05. Promotion

Repeating activty   What’s the use of a comprehensive content and publishing plan if no one sees its fruits? Along with great content, promotion is key to the internet reputation management process. To streamline promotion, we separateyour content and properties into three distinct groups:

Owned promotion. Reach out to the reader base on properties you own, including your blog and personalwebsite, using new and existing tools like email lists and SEO.

Earned promotion. We use social media and to solicit comments, feedback, shares and links to created content—whether by asking directly or by creating engaging content that naturally draws these forms of promotion.

Paid promotion. Done right, paid promotion can have high ROI. Powerful forms include guest posts on relevant, high-authority websites and blogs, paid discovery using tools like Outbrain, sponsored content on high-authority media websites and paid search campaigns.

Retargeting is simply watching results to see what has worked, then changing the way the content marketing and SEO program is focused so inertia continues and search results improve.  ... and Finally

Seeking out an experienced online reputation management services company and committing to an improved online image won’t produce changes overnight. ORM is a long game, a painstaking process marked by victories both large and small. 

We hope this article has given you a high-level understanding of what a comprehensive process for managing a brand's reputation online is all about. Modern online reputation management doesn't normally employ black hat (slightly nefarious) techniques, but instead focuses on great content, expert development and top-notch online promotion. 

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