Thursday, June 20, 2024

Unethical Reputation Management Tactics And How To Spot Them

Why is your online reputation important? The internet is the easiest way to find information about a person or business. If your reputation suffers, anyone can see it; 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.

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Spam

Generally speaking, spam comes in two forms, catering 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 quickly. Those websites can push down legitimate sites to hide unfavorable information.

Another form of spam pertains to the content itself. A website can artificially boost its search rankings by spamming keywords and specific links. Using both forms of spam in conjunction is one of the most effective and unethical ways to perform online reputation protection.

Fake Reviews

Fake reviews are exactly what they sound like. Service providers create counterfeit checks to boost a person or business’s reputation. Artificial studies 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 counterfeit checks, and in some cases, participating can lead to fines and other penalties.

Fake Accounts

Fake accounts work similarly to spam and fake reviews. The reports — often called strawman accounts — target high-visibility sites, like social media or review sites. Fake accounts can overwhelm search results, pushing bad reviews, websites, or reports into obscurity. They bury real results and hurt the reliability of the sites and resources that they attack.

Site Attacks

Perhaps the most malicious, unethical tactic often used is a direct website attack. 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.

William M. Alberts
William M. Alberts
Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Professional beer scholar. Problem solver. Extreme pop culture fan. Fixie owner, shiba-inu lover, band member, International Swiss style practitioner and holistic designer. Acting at the intersection of design and mathematics to save the world from bad design. I'm a designer and this is my work.

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