Choosing a reputable online reputation management firm is more important than ever since so many new firms popping up every day. While most firms use ethical methods to enhance their client’s reputation, such as creating positive content that pushes down the unflattering references to their client, at least one firm, according to boingboing, is filing bogus defamation suits designed to frighten web hosts in to removing content.
Everything about the defamation lawsuits appear bogus, even the person who allegedly filed the lawsuit claimed he only signed a contract to have his reputation defended; he knew nothing about a lawsuit. Than man was a dentist who received a bad review; his reputation management company should have helped him craft an appropriate response, not file a lawsuit. While there are rare instances where a lawsuit is necessary, this certainly was not one of those times. An ethical online reputation management firm will coach clients, if necessary, on how to respond to reviews professionally, without starting an argument or threatening to sue the reviewer.
When signing a contract with an online reputation management firm, individuals should understand what methods the firm uses. If the firm promises to permanently remove negative content, beware. It usually isn’t possible to remove bad reviews since the review is a person’s opinion. Google isn’t in the habit of taking down pages either, unless the content is obviously defamatory. Negative content that hurts a person or a company’s online standing is usually a bad review, news articles about a company or one of their executives caught in an illegal act or mentions in forums, none of which is possible, nor even necessary, to remove permanently. It’s more important to get the negative content off the first page of search results.