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Importance Of Online Reputation – Reputation Management

by DiTesco

reputation home business

I think that the answer to this question is pretty obvious and really does not need any further digging. However, if you insist, here is a quick excerpt of the words definition (via Wikipedia).

Reputation is the opinion (more technically, a social evaluation) of the group of entities toward a person, a group of people, or an organization on a certain criterion. It is an important factor in many fields, such as education, business, online communities or social status. Reputation can be considered as a component of the identity as defined by others.

For offline businesses, having a good reputation matters a lot. If you have a good reputation, the “word of mouth” factor spreads easily like crazy and satisfied clients keep coming back, while potential new customers arrives “knocking on your door”. In certain occasions some customers may even boast about using your products  or services, as it can be considered a sort of publicity and gives them an edge from someone who does not (endorsements).

To exemplify, a friend of mine recently purchased and iPad 2. While we were together with a bunch of other people together at his house, he deliberately left the device on a place where everyone can see it. He literally was boasting about having the “best” in the world. Not only he was talking about his new shinny iPad 2, he was also publicizing the store where he bought it from and what a great deal they made him, the support, the friendliness of the sales people, the works. That guy is “free” advertising and one that is talking positively about everything. He was a happy man. Are you following? I’m sure you are…

You see, as a buyer he was happy. He knew that the device he just bought was backed by a company with solid credentials and all that. There might be “another” device that is equally good and perhaps even cheaper, but as he says, it is not an iPad. Which brings me to the question, will you buy something from someone whom you never heard about before, not recommended by anyone you trust, and without credentials? Easy answer, right?

Right, and this is particularly true (if not more) on the online world. Building reputation is not easy and getting endorsements from equally credible people or organizations is something you should be always working on as it is probably one of the most important factors in doing business online. You will get tired of seeing many people saying no traffic = no money (me included). Well, here’s another one for you, bad reputation = dump you current business and reset everything from scratch (that’s worst).

How Do You Know If You/Your Website Has Good Reputation?

reputation thumbs up downReally, and above all, you should be the first to know if you are “behaving” yourself up to the best standards and practices of having a presence online. Are you building relationships, are you providing useful content, are you helping others, are you promoting the best possible way your products and services, are you…,  and the list goes on.

I won’t blabber about this too much here as you can, in addition, easily find articles on reliable sources that provides information about the subject matter. Find them, read them, understand them and finally, TAKE ACTION.

Tools or Services That (Can) Help

If you notice, in brackets, I say “can” because many will probably say, its useless or what is it good for, etc. I can easily give an example about Klout, MozRank, PR and Alexa, were many debate about its usefulness, importance, accuracy and all that. The hard truth is, there are people who rely on them and this is what matters. Advertisers or potential customers have different methods of conducting their analysis as to where they think they should advertise or make a purchase from. The more “positive” signals you have, the better. Will you advertise or buy something on a website that has an Alexa of 15 million and a gray PR toolbar, with the owner having a zero Klout? NO. You will probably be more interested in websites that has better numbers for sure. Why? Because they are signals, which can be indicators of your reputation.

In addition, if you are one of those that worries about SEO and getting more organic traffic, you should know that most of these sources are “first time” visitors and for them, you are a complete stranger. You can have the best “sales pitch” in the world, quality content, a great theme, fast loading website, etc., but trust me, they won’t buy until they dig a little more about you or whatever it is you are selling.

How Do You “boost” Your Reputation?

building reputationNo advice is better than “building relationships and surrounding yourself with trusted people”. The social networks are out there and all you have to do is use them, properly. If you have satisfied customers, ask them to provide testimonials. If you have business partners, collaborate with each other to boost your credibility (and theirs too). This is very powerful in the online world. Why do you think the A-Listers “cross” reference themselves with each other?

Also, make sure that your website is “safe” for browsing. Safe for children, no SPAMMY links, no malware or malicious codes installed, etc.

Other forms of building reputation.

Alexa: Here we go again :). As I said, many people rely on it, so get your website reviewed as much as possible. The more reviews your website has, the better.

PostRank: PostRank’s platform tracks where and how users engage, and what they pay attention to — in real-time. Perhaps one of the most popular social engagement data measurement service currently available. PostRank measures user activities, indicating the relevance and influence of a site, story, or author.

WOT: The “website of trust”. Just get in there and don’t worry about the badge thing as they will charge you for it. While you will again debate about their methods, truth is, having a poor reputation there can make a difference. Last year, I got an order cancelled from a client that said, “sorry, your website’s WOT is not good enough, and I don’t want to risk my own reputation”. Needless to say that I got very worried. Head over there and YES, one guy, just one, who probably did not like me much (don’t know why, lol), rated my site as “unsafe for children”! To make this story short, if it were not for a friend of mine that assembled an A-Team and went over there to my rescue, that rating would have never left the red zone (all better now). Thanks btw, @HollyJahangiri, for the push :).

Klout: As defined by their developers – “The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.”

A friend of mine Ileane, has recently wrote about adding Klout to your social profile, so just head over there to find out more about it. No need of repeating it here.

LinkedIn: As you may already know, LinkedIn is known for being one of the best social networks for professional and like minded people. If you are not there yet, you should and if you are, build connections and get those “recommendations” in. They make a big difference.

AdAge Power150: The Power 150 is a daily ranking of the top English-language marketing blogs in the world, as developed by marketing executive and blogger, Todd Andrlik. Although they call it Power150, it currently ranks hundreds of blogs written about pretty much every imaginable marketing discipline (as of today 1152 are ranked). Getting in there is not easy (took me almost a year since submission), but once its there, it is an indicator that your website is at the very least, reliable. The ranking system they use is a combination of several factors, which include, PostRank, ToddIndex, Yahoo Inbound, Alexa (again), and more.

Webutation: Relatively new to me, but the website seems to be gaining momentum and is getting a lot of buzz. The source of information they use is a combination of WOT, Google SafeBrowsing, , users feedback and more. Don’t know about you, but in my experience, sometimes it is better to jump in the band wagon than not. Nothing to loose…

That’s it!  What do you think about this issue? Do you think is really is important?

Anyway, there are probably other sites that measures reputations and other forms of “boosting” your online persona, like the recently introduced Google +1. Don’t know them all but this is a good start. Which reminds me. Please contribute by commenting, any other reliable website that you know of or other forms of building trust, that I have not covered here. I’m sure there are plenty. This is really a very important issue and your input will really be appreciated.

Article by

+DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Consulting Services.

Francisco has written 893 articles at iBlogzone.com

1 Stepehen Jack June 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I guess your post follows the type of marketing which I know as viral marketing. You have mentioned so many tools to judge the reputation of website but in my personal humble opinion your website reputation can only be judged by the user reviews and what they are talking about you. Right? πŸ™‚

2 DiTesco June 29, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Hi Stepehen. You are right about reputation being judged only by users and really this is the only thing that counts. Most of the sites above are all “user driven” and this is why I think they are all important and interesting to be in. Klout, measures social engagement (by users), Alexa reviews are given by users, WOT ratings are provided by users, and so on… Thank again for you input. Appreciated

3 Andreas June 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm

A reputation can make it or break it in terms of sales and online success. If you have a bad reputation online, chances are that you are not going to make it far, since word about your reputation is easily spread through social networking.

4 DiTesco June 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Indeed Andreas. The word viral that so many of us uses sometimes most likely spreads faster negatively than positively. This is why we have to protect our reputation at all times. In the real world, huge companies broke their business just because of the “side effects”. Take Arthur Andersen, they are a big example.

5

Harriet

June 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm

This is very true, reputation is everything! I believe that a good blogger builds up a good reputation by responding to their commenters and building up a good relationship with them so that they they reccomend the blogs to others and the blog gets more interested readers!

6

Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing

June 28, 2011 at 1:12 am

Online, your name is all you have…it’s really as simple as that. πŸ˜‰

7 DiTesco June 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Hi Dennis. Simple but true… πŸ™‚

8 Mitch Mitchell June 28, 2011 at 3:42 am

Very good post DiTesco, and so true. You know I write about influence all the time, in a big part of influence is being trustworthy and therefore protecting your reputation. It definitely is the one thing that nobody can afford to lose.

By the way, I’m not sure you used ‘circumventing’ properly here. I wouldn’t want your great message being misunderstood.

9 DiTesco June 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Hi Mitch. thanks for the heads up on “circumventing”, not sure what I was thinking at the time πŸ™‚ Anyway, I agree Mitch, reputation is so hard to earn and putting it at risk is something that should not come into play. Sometimes the negative effects are so bad, that one can not even recover from it.

Thanks for your thoughts and all the best.

10 RonLeyba June 28, 2011 at 5:16 am

Too many tools to measure and check my website or blog reputation. But in the end, your real follower or community will determine what is the real deal between you and your reputation.

11

Jane | Find All Answers

June 28, 2011 at 8:04 am

Gaining a good reputation online is easier than gaining it offline. Coz, there are millions of ways in which information can spread online, while it is very limited for offline spreading.

At the same time it is quite easy to lose it as well, LOL. Anyways, concentrating on offering high value and branding at the same time, should develop some decent reputation.

Cheers,
Jane.

12 DiTesco June 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Hi Jane. Well said. Building your online reputation and establishing a brand is in fact easier online, because of the reach you can have. However, business wise, it is also the one that should keep a “sharp eye” on, because dealing with people that you have not met face to face, and probably will never do, is much riskier than offline. And this works for both sides πŸ™‚ Thanks for providing your views, all the best

13 igor Griffiths June 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

thanks for the post and the resources, there are many more and the key is to find those that fit in with your business and personality. No matter how good the more social sites are, if you hate going on there then it will show in the content you place on there.

As for reputation, the one story I love is that of Gerald Ratner and his one line statement about the quality of his companies products. Because of that one sentence, he was ruined and had to restart his business career.

Yes online your reputation can grow faster but it can also fall quicker and much deeper.

igor

14 DiTesco June 29, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Hi Igor. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The story about Ratner you give above is a perfect example of how things can go bad very quickly, and sometimes the pit is “bottomless”..

15 Theresa Torres June 29, 2011 at 2:25 am

Hi! It’s my first time here and I can’t help but agree with the view about reputation being a big thing especially in the online world. Negative things tend to stick more in people’s minds and a wrong move, a calculated attack from a competitor, or even an honest mistake can easily destroy what one has painstakingly built.
It really helps if one has a good track record and reputation and good friends to back you up.
Thanks for sharing the tools that can help in building reputation. I think it will depend on personal preferences and what works but it wouldn’t hurt to give them a try.

16

Online Reputation Management

June 30, 2011 at 3:27 am

Really illustrative post.There are many ways to safeguard our online reputation and it is very important that we take steps to keep our online reputation clean with reputation management tactics.Nothing, you post on the Internet, is private. If it can be viewed by one, it can be viewed by all.Bad search results and any sort of bad news can be a difficult pill to swallow.Managing your online reputation isn’t shameless promotion, it’s a means of defense and best practice. Thank you for the good writeup. It in reality was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! I have also a company providing service on Online Reputation Management please visit http://www.reputationhead.com/online-reputation-management/.

17

Robert Miras

July 2, 2011 at 3:31 am

Interesting! That was a very nice article no doubt of that. Little did I know there is a lot of way to know how good my site is. I only knew WOT then, but now I learned much of them. Thank you for sharing.

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18

brian speer

July 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm

It is very interesting. Its crazy how we overlook some things that are so simple but great

19 Sherryl Perry July 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Wow! I’ve been wanting to get a better handle on how to measure my reputation. My score has been steadily going up in Klout but it’s not because of any conscious effort on my part. Three of the resources you’ve mentioned, PostRank, WOT and Webutation are new to me but I’ll definitely look into them. Thanks for a great post!

20 DiTesco July 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Hi Sherryl. Good to see you here as always. Your Klout steadily going upwards is a good sign and even better without any “efforts” from your part. Needless to say that the “normal” contribution you are giving the sphere is in itself a “concealed” effort from your part. You just don’t know it yet, lol PostRank and others are good websites that measures influence and trust based on users engagements, so it is interesting to know how your site is viewed by them …. never know πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by

21

Zarah Alvie

July 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Hi Di,
Once again you got 10/10 rate for this post.Really its interesting keep it up man.
From:Zarah Alvie

22

Terje Sannarnes

July 6, 2011 at 10:31 am

Reoutation of business is extremely important for success of an entrepreneur. So, at the beginning an entrepreneur works hard to establish a good brand reputation at the market. Afterwords, when you have a well-recognized brand this brand will work effectively for your business.

23

Data Recovery Mac

July 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Reputation is really essential for success in business. It require lots of hard work and dedication.You have to prove yourself in competitive environment.Good read such nice post…

24

Alex Aguilar

July 9, 2011 at 3:21 am

Online reputation can suffer from focusing too much on SEO marketing and less on providing actual value to your visitors. Too many first time bloggers fall into the trap of chasing SEO traffic and populating their sites with linkbait in an effort to reach their desired rankings on Alexa or Google or whatever. When you base your online reputation solely on the whims of search engine algorithms, you are standing on very shaky ground.

25 DiTesco July 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Hi Sandeep, I understand what you mean, but the idea among other things is not to add another plugin on your WP site but rather replace some that either outdated or are less functional than newer plugins. For example, you might be using YARP, and a good alternative to that would be SRLP, which not only does what YARP does but also has deep linking functionality πŸ™‚

26

ceejay

July 19, 2011 at 4:04 am

Hey Di, thanks for stressing the importance of online reputation. As many of us are aware, your reputation can either make or break your career, especially on the internet. The main reason for this is that online relationships are vastly different from personal relationships. Our knowledge and perception of an individual is largely based on their online presence, which can be represented by their site content or audience feedback. We don’t interact face to face, so the credibility factor relies mostly on your performance and how you project yourself to others online. This reputation creates a chain that may enhance or tarnish your name and reflect upon your site. The list of sites that measure reputation and the advice you provided are essential for those striving to make a good name for themselves.

27 Rosendo Cuyasen September 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I’m looking for an article for my training and found your link to an article.
All I have to say is to give you thanks because I will be using some part of your article in my training.

Cool! Thanks

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