Design and brand management

Online Reputation Management (ORM)

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the art of balancing out misleading search results about a business or person.

Many companies receive undesirable media coverage online, from negative reviews to misleading press content. This type of bad PR often dominates the search results on Google, and a negative impression is the first thing that meets people who search for the business online.

Your Online Reputation Manager

Sometimes negative media coverage is warranted, but just as often the negative publicity dates back many years – or is directly misleading. Journey Agency specialises in bumping out unjustified negative coverage through brand management and digital performance strategies. 

Do you need help with Online Reputation Management (ORM)? Contact us for a no-strings-attached chat.

Journey helps you or your business balance out an unfairly negative or misleading search result.

How we approach your Online Reputation Management

The goal of Online Reputation Management is to counteract unwanted search results. One of the most important things we do is to produce relevant, high-quality content. We have extensive experience with what Google likes and what it takes to rank high.

An Online Reputation Management project generally entails

  • Keyword analysis to identify online problem areas
  • Applications for to delete results and search suggestions from Google
  • Technical SEO on your website
  • Production of quality, competitive content, designed specifically for Google
  • Getting this content ranked high in Google’s search results
  • Monitoring of results and ongoing follow-up

Journey Agency is one of the few Nordic agencies with specialist expertise in Online Reputation Management (ORM). We have experience from a number of successful ORM projects. It’s entirely possible to balance out a one-sided negative search result.

Get in touch today. Together we can discover what Journey can do for you.

Read more about Online Reputation Management

Read on to learn more about Online Reputation Management. We’ll go through what a bad reputation online is, how it can affect business and why it is often difficult to get rid of. You’ll also get some tips for action you can take to regain control of your online reputation.

Bad online reputation

No one wants a bad first impression. If negative reviews dominate the search results, this is the first thing searchers see. Sometimes a bad reputation online is deserved, other times not. A bad reputation is hard to get rid of – whether it is deserved or not.

Poor online reputation can lead to huge losses

Even if the company in question changes course and puts the past behind it, negative news articles can remain on the front page of Google for years. Negative results can also contain irrelevant, unbalanced or directly misleading information. The internet is the most important reputation platform and negative search results can cost your business millions in lost revenue every year.

Online Reputation Management can fix a bad reputation online

Steadily more Nordic companies are therefore seeking professional help to carry out online reputation control. In the industry, this is often called Online Reputation Management Services (ORM). Journey is one of the few companies in the Nordics that specialises in this field.

Did you already try everything?

We tend to see that companies come to us after trying “everything else”: they may have hired lawyers, writers and PR agencies – or other digital agencies that claim to be able to delete things from Google. What all our clients in this area have in common is that negative search results have cost them millions per year and that nothing has worked so far.

The right to be forgotten – a right for individuals

Legal rights for private individuals are significantly better for individuals than companies. On 13 May 2014, the European Court of Justice introduced the so-called “right to be forgotten” concept. The law applies to citizens in the EU countries, as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. 

Right to de-index

These citizens have the right to have search results in their names de-indexed if they are inaccurate or irrelevant. The lawsuit came after Mario Costeja González and the Spanish Data Protection Authority won a case against Google, in which González demanded that search results be deleted, which dealt with a debt dispute over social benefits. The case has been appealed and has gone all the way to the top of the EU system.

Norwegians can send de-indexing applications

Following this case, Norwegian citizens have a defined right to be forgotten in Google and other search engines. In practice, you can submit a written application to Google to de-index specified content – represented by a list of URLs – which Google is then required to process. 

If the content is inaccurate or irrelevant, the content should, as a general rule, no longer be displayed when searching for the relevant name. If Google does not comply with the deletion application, you can appeal the refusal to the Norwegian Data Protection Authority.

Example of a negative Google Autocomplete: Company name + scam.

Negative Google Autocomplete

However, the right to be forgotten does not apply to companies, which has resulted in a number of litigation and inconveniences for business owners over the years. Negative search results can also appear in a number of places online; in the Google search box (“Google Autocomplete” or “Search Suggestions”), in the search result itself and in the “Related search” box at the bottom of the search result.

Example of negative Google Related Searches.

In addition, online reputation management is also about dealing with other search engines, such as Bing and other websites and social media.

Social Media Management

Social Media management is another key strategy businesses can use to sustain growth and business continuity. Controlling your reputation on social media is crucial because the first interaction with your customers is often on these platforms. 

Reviews on social media

At the start of their customer journey, the first thing many customers do is read reviews on social media and Google. Online reviews can positively or negatively influence a company’s online reputation, the same way word of mouth has a huge impact on a business’ reputation. 

Use social media to your advantage

Social media provides dynamic platforms that many businesses have used to increase visibility, spread awareness, and generate additional revenue. Used correctly, social media platforms are one of your most powerful marketing tools. 

Businesses can maintain customer relationships and target potential customers by engaging with their audience on these platforms. Someone representing your business should always be present on social media, ready to answer comments, questions, and reviews.

Here’s how to take control of your online reputation

So, what can Nordic companies do in an attempt to clean up their online reputation? Here are four tips to help you get started. You can try this before seeking out help with Online Reputation Management. These tactics can also be done before or during an Online Reputation Management project to ensure the best possible result.

Tip #1: Change your behaviour

The first advice is perhaps the banalest: Stop doing what gave you negative press coverage. Are your sales personnel being too aggressive? Ask them to stop.

Have you not followed regulations? Start doing so. Have you mistreated customers? Start treating them well.

If you do not change the behaviour that got you in trouble, you always risk new, negative posts. This could make an Online Reputation Management project much more extensive than it needs to be. As Albert Einstein once said:

«Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.»

Tip #2: Understand how Google works

After adjusting your behaviour, the next step is to understand how Google works – and how Google users behave. This is important for the success of Online Reputation Management.

Only 1% of all people click past the first page of Google. This means that if you succeed in pushing negative content down to the second page of Google, then you have solved most of the problem. There will always be those who click two or three pages deeper in Google, but if you manage to fill the first page of Google with quality, interesting and balanced content about your company, then experience has shown that very few will find the negative content – in fact less than one out of a hundred.

Tip #3: Produce quality, competitive content

When you know that the main goal is to suppress negative content, the next question is how to practically achieve this.

It’s important to know that Google loves content. Google strives to satisfy its users and is always looking for good and relevant content. For example, if your business is struggling with old, negative press releases, then the best thing you can do is supply Google with new, positive news articles.

What is positive news?

Maybe you have positive sales figures to share with industry websites? Or a new product that recently hit the market? Or maybe you contribute positively to the local community and can get local newspapers to mention this on their sites? Google loves content and will always prioritize this type of content high on the search results.

At the same time, the first page in Google only has room for ten results – one of which will always be your website. This means that you “only” need to fill nine other positions with positive content to suppress the negative.

A good Online Reputation Management project is based on this simple concept: produce high-quality, relevant content that Google loves – and make this content rank high in Google over time. The result is that you balance the one-sided negative search result and regain control of your online reputation.

Tip #4: Apply for removal from Google

It is also worth noting that you can go a long way by simply requesting that Google de-indexes particular results, even as a company.

If Google’s search results demonstrably result in financial loss for your business, then Google may be held liable for this in accordance with some laws. Of course, Google does not want that. This tip applies in particular to the Google Autocomplete / Search Suggestions, as well as the results that appear in the Related Search box at the bottom of the search results.

However, claims must be submitted correctly and to the appropriate authority at Google. We at Journey have experience with just this, and can help you with the application for removal.

Journey Agency

Does Journey take on any ORM project?

No. We do an analysis of all companies that would like to use our Online Reputation Management services. If the company in question has a clearly inappropriate business practice, including not following laws and regulations, misleading its customers or doing other things that we consider unethical, we do not take on the project.

Do we decline a project?

As an example, we can mention a construction company that contacted us. They wanted help in removing Google’s Autocomplete / Search Suggestion “Company name fraud” and “Company name bankruptcy”, as well as the general search result.

Upon closer inspection, it turned out that the construction company had sold 100 unfinished apartments, declared the company bankrupt and started up again. Now they were out in the market with almost the same company name and tried to sell 100 new apartments – but Google’s search results made the sale difficult. On this basis, we rejected the project. Shortly afterwards, the company went bankrupt again.

Caroline Hansson, Product Lead SEO

Is your business struggling with undeserved negative search results?

Then you can contact Journey via our contact form below. We set up a non-committal chat or a meeting, and discuss how we can together try to clean up your online reputation.

Journey has helped several Norwegian companies with their reputation online. We are one of the few Nordic agencies with specialist expertise in Online Reputation Management. 

We also offer services in other fields within digital marketing. Our skilled content producers can help you with SEO, our Google Ads Advisors can help you with advertising on Google and our developers help with your site. You will find our offices in central Oslo and downtown Stockholm.

Is your business struggling with undeserved negative search results? Let Journey help you with Online Reputation Management.

Get in touch with us today