“Remember a good name is better than fortune or fame.”
When I was in grade four it was the fad at the time to have an autograph book and to get everyone you knew (school chums, teachers, family, relatives, ie. Everybody) to write something, a verse, a poem, some advice in it together with their name and signature. Most were funny, some very silly, some predictable (Roses are red, etc), but one was different from the rest.
A special person, my father, had written “Remember a good name is better than fortune or fame.”
That line of advice has stuck with me all these years, and when thinking of what to write for this page on reputation management, it sprang instantly to mind. I assumed it was a common old saying but when I had searched in Google, there wasn’t a match, and so I dusted off my old turquoise autograph book, and found the words on page two with the words “Love Daddy” beneath.
My father who is no longer with me, kept his good name throughout his life. He was a good and honest man in a time when it wasn’t easy to ruin a man’s reputation without cause. Then the Internet arrived and everything changed.
It was much easier to keep your name “good” back before the arrival of the internet. Either you had a deservedly good reputation, or if you didn’t, back then reputation issues could fade with no digital information trail to follow you, or if the deeds had been severe, one could build a new reputation by moving to a new location and starting over. But no longer. The Internet has changed everything about reputations by making them vulnerable to anonymous slander, misinformation and mischief that can be seen – and believed – by anyone worldwide.
Some people or organizations get a bad reputation for a reason; some for no reason at all just because a disgruntled employee, a competitor, an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend, or a jealous stranger decides to cause trouble because they can – and they can do it anonymously or under a different identity.
If this happens to you, or your business, it can make you feel vulnerable, angry, even defenseless against the false claims. But there is a defense – a methodology that can work to repair your online reputation.
The approach varies depending on the severity of the damage, the type and number of perpetrators, and the locations of the offending content. It involves contacting the sites with the offending content to get it removed; countering negative posts in forums and blogs. And in cases where problem sites refuse to remove the content, it requires optimizing existing pages and/or creating new optimized pages that rank well and “push” the bad pages further down and off the top search results.
If you’ve been a victim of reputation damage, contact me to discuss how it can be fixed.