Repairing one's Internet reputation

Google Yourself—And Enjoy It


Clearly, you no longer have to be a paparazzi-plagued star to be misrepresented on a worldwide stage. Anyone can say anything online (it's estimated that 1.6 million blog posts are created daily), and dozens of new gadgets, as well as more-powerful search engines, give us easy access to all those indiscriminate bits of information. This convenient yet terrifying reality has created a whole new brand of damage control: Internet reputation repair. ReputationHawk out of Baton Rouge, La.; Washington, D.C.'s International Reputation Management; ReputationDefender in northern California, and Los Angeles's Done! SEO specialize in managing your online legacy, and business is booming. "Anyone can have their image tarnished on the Internet, no matter how good a person they are," says Jeff Henderson of Done! SEO, a search-engine optimization company that claims business increased tenfold when it introduced reputation-management services in 2006. "We're the next generation of public relations. From here on out, you need to own your first few Google pages."

For those of us who still don't know the difference between megabytes and RAM, "owning" online search results seems as elusive as harnessing vapor. But these rep agents for hire can push offending material down off the first couple of pages—which is a page beyond where most users venture. They do it by creating hundreds, even thousands, of links between third-party Web sites and positive content about you or your business. The labor-intensive service runs anywhere from $4,000 to $30,000, and it takes about six months to see all those negative hits clear off the first page. There are no guarantees, but according to John, who went with Done! SEO in November, "things are already moving in a better direction."

ReputationDefender of Menlo Park, Calif., offers a less-expensive and less-complicated service: it hunts down the host of the offending material and asks that the information be removed.

Comment: Why I am not concerned: I died in 1859! Compare Colossians 3:3, "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God".


  1. I am a seo who has begun offering this type of service, mostly because I saw the need for it to combat the negative comments that anyone can post about anyone else on the internet, without accountability. I support freedom of speech, but negative comments can be quite destructive.
    Internet Reputation Repair


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