Google has sued a man in California Federal Court for creating fake business profiles and reviews. Ethan Hu of Los Angeles was the mastermind behind this scam, according to the lawsuit filed by Google on Friday.
The main motive behind these illegal business listings and fake reviews are to manipulate Google search results and mislead customers. According to Google, the person created over 350 illegitimate business listings with more than 14,000 fake reviews.
The incident is a good example of how much bad online reputation management costs you. Here in this article, we’ll explore the significance of Online Reputation Management (ORM), discussing how Google can sue a business for creating fake business profiles and reviews.
Online Reputation Management, what is it?
Online Reputation Management (ORM) refers to the process of monitoring, influencing, and maintaining an individual’s or organization’s online reputation. It involves managing online conversations and perceptions about a person, brand, or business to ensure a positive online image. Most digital marketing agencies in Florida offer ORM services.
Businesses, when investing in ORM, increase sales by 25%. Hence it is very important for the business to protect brand image, which can be done with the right ORM platform.
Why Does Online Reputation Matter?
Online reputation management plays a significant role in optimizing business growth. A positive online reputation enhances the credibility of the business and establishes trust among potential clients, employers, and partners. People often research individuals or businesses before making decisions, such as purchasing a product, hiring services, or entering into partnerships. Good online reputation management will help you build a positive brand image that assures people to do business with you. Besides, online reputation management helps protect your brand from negative reviews, false information, and damaging content that could harm your image and business.
Difference between Online Reputation Management (OR) and Public Relation (PR)
Online Reputation Management (ORM) and Public Relations (PR) are two distinct but interconnected disciplines that play a crucial role in managing a company’s image and reputation. While both ORM and PR focus on shaping public perception, they differ in their approaches and the channels through which they operate. Digital marketing agencies often offer both ORM and PR services to accelerate overall business growth. Let’s explore the key differences between online reputation management and PR.
Focus and Scope:
● ORM: Online Reputation Management primarily deals with monitoring, influencing, and managing an organization’s reputation in the digital realm. It involves activities such as monitoring online mentions, addressing negative reviews and comments, managing social media presence, and optimizing search engine results.
● PR: Public Relations, on the other hand, has a broader focus that encompasses both online and offline channels. PR professionals work on building and maintaining relationships with various stakeholders, including the media, investors, customers, employees, and the public. They craft messaging, engage with journalists, organize events, and manage crises to shape public perception.
Channels and Mediums:
● ORM: Online Reputation Management is predominantly concerned with digital platforms and channels. It involves monitoring and engaging with social media platforms, online review sites, forums, blogs, and other online communities. ORM professionals use techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO), content creation, social media management, and online review management to influence online conversations.
● PR: Public Relations operates across various mediums, including traditional media, digital media, events, press releases, interviews, speeches, and more. PR professionals leverage these channels to disseminate information, build brand awareness, foster positive relationships with the media, and manage crisis situations effectively.
Audience and Reach:
● ORM: The primary audience for ORM efforts is the online community, including customers, potential customers, and online influencers. Digital marketing agencies offer ORM services focusing on online platforms, where information and opinions can spread rapidly and widely.
● PR: Public Relations aims to reach a broader audience, including customers, investors, employees, journalists, opinion leaders, and the general public. PR campaigns are designed to generate positive media coverage, shape public opinion, and enhance the organization’s reputation both online and offline.
Proactive vs. Reactive Approach:
● ORM: Online Reputation Management is often a reactive approach, focusing on monitoring and mitigating negative online content or reviews. ORM professionals actively monitor online conversations and respond promptly to any negative feedback or comments to protect the organization’s reputation.
● PR: Public Relations takes a proactive approach by actively creating and disseminating positive news and stories about the organization. PR professionals develop strategic communication plans, pitch stories to the media, organize events, and engage in thought leadership initiatives to shape public perception positively.
Objectives and aim:
● ORM: The primary objective of Online Reputation Management is to maintain a positive online presence, build trust, and manage any potential reputation threats in the digital space. ORM efforts aim to influence search results, minimize the impact of negative content, and promote positive online sentiment.
● PR: Public Relations focuses on establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships between the organization and its stakeholders. PR campaigns strive to enhance brand reputation, generate positive media coverage, increase brand visibility, and manage any crisis situations effectively.
Dealing with Negative Content
A good online reputation management service also helps to deal with negative content effectively. With the help of ORM, you can respond promptly and professionally to negative comments or reviews. Address concerns, apologize if necessary, and offer solutions or resolutions publicly. Take the conversation offline if appropriate.
For instance, in the news mentioned above, if the person would have taken help from a reliable online reputation management service provider and not used the wrong tactics to manipulate the search results, Google might not have to sue him for anything wrong. Therefore, always choose a reliable digital marketing agency like Markethix for your online reputation management concerns.
In the digital era, managing your online reputation is essential for personal as well as professional success. A positive online image can open doors to new opportunities, while a negative one can be detrimental to your objectives. Leverage Online Reputation Management with Markethix, your one-stop digital marketing solution.