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Arment Dietrich

Reputation Protection

By: Arment Dietrich | March 3, 2008 | 
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Blog written by Maggie Hassler

Managing reputations has become increasingly difficult with the development of the Web and easy access information through search engines.  In today’s world the easiest, and therefore most common choice of researching a person or business, is through the internet by way of search engines.  Unfortunately, not everyone is proud of the information that pops up on the computer screen. 

When you Google your name, are there unflattering pictures of you from your wild days in college?  No problem! Call up the specialists. Firms such as Reputation Defender and Tiger Two specialize in online reputation protection.  According to a recent article in the UK Sunday Times, these firms can ensure that “only friendly entries appear on the first few pages of results when a client’s name is run through search engines such as Google.”

At fist appraisal these tactics seems a bit unethical but consider the type of client that might benefit from this service.  One client of Reputation Defender such as this is an academic psychologist hoping to “bury” his written works on his own depression.  Another example is a concert pianist who was jailed for harassment after calling Priceline.com 215 times in efforts to receive a refund on an airline ticket he never purchased.  Yikes!!!

Another consideration is that information still remains available on the Web.  The services simply move it to the second or third pages of search engine results.  First impressions are everything for some people and clients.  However, if someone does indeed intend to find unflattering information, they will.

What do you think?

2 comments
Maggie Hassler
Maggie Hassler

Thank you, Nancy. It seems through the research I have done, that those people against this form of reputation protection don’t have a solid argument as to why. I strongly believe that that this is a good tactic in some situations.

With that in mind, one of my only concerns with online reputation defenders is that by strategically moving or hiding information on the Web, nothing is actually resolved. As I’m sure you know the blogosphere is a powerful public relations tool if used appropriately, a place to air concerns and engage in conversation. Are people and companies hurting themselves by hiding these concerns rather than alleviating them?

Nancy Williams
Nancy Williams

Thank you for the mention, Maggie. You're right - what we do can appear unethical to some. But our main goal is to give people who have been at the bad end of an internet campaign a right of reply. No matter what the media might say, we can't (and don't want to) clean anything off - its a matter of giving a more balanced view.

The examples you mention are great examples of the kind of people who really benefit from online reputation management. Not everyone who looks bad on the internet is actually that bad in reality!

A really balanced article. Thanks again.

Nancy Williams
Managing Director
Tiger Two Ltd.