Why is your online reputation important? The internet is the easiest way for anyone to find information about a person or business. If your reputation suffers, anyone can see it, and as we all know, the internet is forever. Reputation management helps you overcome bad information and take more control over your online presence. There are legitimate ways to help your reputation, like a negative review removal service. There are also unethical practices that are ultimately bad for everyone involved. These are some of the most common.
Generally speaking, spam comes in two forms, and both cater to the same idea. They try to bury unfavorable search results by spamming Google, websites, or other engines with false or bad information.
One way to spam search engines is to mass produce low-quality websites. Bots and content-generating tools can allow a single person to create many websites in a short time. Those websites can push down legitimate sites to hide unfavorable information.
Another form of spam pertains to content itself. By spamming keywords and specific links, a website can artificially boost its search rankings. Using both forms of spam in conjunction is one of the most effective and unethical ways to perform online reputation protection.
Fake reviews are exactly what they sound like. Service providers create a bunch of fake reviews to boost a person or business’s reputation. Fake reviews show up all the time on just about every review site. Some recent statistics show that fake reviews might appear more frequently than most people realize.
Fake reviews are more than just unethical. They also violate FTC guidelines. The FTC spends a lot of resources on combating fake reviews, and in some cases, participating can lead to fines and other penalties.
Fake accounts work similarly to spam and fake reviews. The accounts — often called strawman accounts — target high-visibility sites, like social media or review sites. Fake accounts can overwhelm search results and push bad reviews, websites, or accounts into obscurity. They bury real results and hurt the reliability of the sites and resources that they attack.
Perhaps the most malicious unethical tactic that is often used is a direct attack on websites. There are several ways to perform such an attack. The most common is probably a DDoS attack. This attack spams a site with information requests at a volume high enough to cause the servers to crash. Other attacks are just as malicious and used by unethical online reputation experts to remove unwanted information from public view.