Today I received an email trying to sell me on “reputation management”:

If you’re not familiar, these types offer relief from a bad review on websites like Rip Off Report, Glassdoor, and Pissed Consumer– site rife for abuse with anyone with an axe to grind against an individual or company.

But these “reputation management” services are almost as scammy as the review sites themselves. Often, they’re the same companies— we know a few of them, and some have been exposed in this racket last month. I have a lot of experience over the last 10 years in SEO– and know what techniques are legit vs fluff. They all charge exorbitantly and then keep charging you to “push the bad things back down”.

The only reputable player here that I know of is Vendasta. Instead of relying on outdated and shady SEO practices that no longer work, they provide tools to increase positive mentions and engagement to offset the bad. Meanwhile, the snake oil sellers abound, like bottom feeders.

They’ll try to whiz-bang distraught business owners who got a negative review with the same old tactics, just rebranded. You’ve heard the proverbial man in pinstripe crowing on the internet street corner: “Step right up! We’ll post your website to directories! SEO! The Google! PR! Instant Raaaankings! We promise instant results!” “I’ve kinda heard of these things! Sign me up!” says an alternate universe version of yourself who doesn’t know any better.

And now you’re part of their game– a scammy descent into the abyss of the bottom feeders where they’ll tell you “Oh no, your enemies have fought back, we need more ammo (read: money)”. And at the end of the day, they’ll nibble away as much as they can before fleeing with your cash. The only real way to deal with it is time and effort by building a personal brand that highlights your successes via accolades and endorsements– cast a light bright enough to dispel the shadows while sharing your passion with the world.

Long story short- social and video posts now rank higher on Google and other sites. You can indirectly address any reputation issues by having clients produce great content and actually take care of their customers instead of trying to bury it (which won’t work).

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