Jordan Reid, founder and host of lifestyle site ‘Ramshackle Glam’, was recently forced to claw back her own website after it had been hijacked and put up for auction online.
This raises significant points about the need to safeguard your privacy to protect your online reputation. Whether you are an individual or a company, your own website is a lynch pin of any effective online reputation management strategy. It is your direct voice and more to the point, it is often your strongest link on the Google rankings for your search term.
That is because your website is framed around your search term. Google likes natural SEO. The search engine only ranks content these days that is relevant to users. Embedding keywords into copy in a relevant way is the best way to determine what content is appropriate for a particular search term.
A Case of Stolen Identity
Jordan Reid was the victim of cyber hacking and didn’t even know that her website had been stolen. When she did find out, it was because she had received an email she first thought of as spam, that suggested that there was a buyer for her ‘web-blog’.
It turned out her site had been stolen and was being auctioned off on Flippa.com. That wasn’t the only thing being auctioned off. The ad also promised the site’s traffic, files, data, and the continuing writing services – complete with SEO – of Reid herself.
The site was advertised for $30,000 and she only got it back after engaging in a sting operation involving the FBI. It’s not hard to see why she went to such lengths to regain control of her domain name.
Anybody could have bought that site and if they did, who knows what they could have posted on it. They could easily (maybe even intentionally) have posted something that damaged Reid’s online reputation.
The case highlights a broader concern in online reputation management. It’s surprisingly easy for hackers to steal your online identity and once they do, they can wreak untold havoc in numerous ways on your online reputation. Online identity theft is illegal and if it happens to you, take action immediately so that it has no chance of damaging your online reputation.