Reputation is the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something. Online reputation is the reputation of a person, company, brand, product or service on the Internet. Essentially, it is the result of what people think or perceive about the person, company, brand, product or service once they see what is being said about it online.
When you search for someone or something online in a search engine such as Google or Bing, you’ll see a list of links related to that search. The links may include both information the person or company have publicly distributed themselves, including their own websites, social media profiles, comments, news or press releases, and also information from 3rd parties e.g. reviews, forum discussions and comments, independent news articles, employee profiles, comment and any other information, activity or conversations. Online reputation is impacted by all these elements.
A positive online reputation is particularly important for businesses, brands, executives and individuals, as it can affect their credibility, visibility, performance and success both personally and financially. While any negative elements, from reviews, press articles or forum discussions, can do a lot of damage – putting off customers, stakeholders, employees and the wider public.