In this excellent article Computer Weekly explores the subject of Online Reputation Management and asks the question “is it ethical?” As a company that has handled a number of different Online Reputation Management campaigns I have often asked myself the same question.
I believe that you decide whether or not to handle an online reputation management project much in the same way as you decide on which other clients you work with. I have been asked to handle multiple reputation management projects and have walked away from many.
Many SEO’s are probably wondering whether they should they offer this service and to whom. When we are approached by a potential reputation management client we look at the facts. What is being said, how often its been said and by whom. If there is a common theme which is being repeated in many different places then that is a red flag.
In the past we have handled a reputation management project where the negative comments were extreme. However, when we did our research they were all coming from the same IP and could be traced back to one of their competitors. Although on the face of it they seemed to deserve their negative reputation when we analyzed the situation they did not. My advice is to follow your gut, do your homework, and apply the same ethics that you apply to the rest of your business.
The bottom line is that Online Reputation Management is good solid organic SEO incorporating web publicity. Along the same principal that I have of not doing SEO for porn sites – I won’t do reputation management for a company I believe deserves their reputation.