Wild West 2.0: How to Protect and Restore Your Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier

Wild West 2.0: How to Protect and Restore Your Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier


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Wild West 2.0: How to Protect and Restore Your Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier by Michael Fertik, David Thompson

The Internet is like the Old West—a frontier rich with opportunity and hope, but also a rough-and-tumble land of questionable characters, dubious legal jurisdictions, and hidden dangers. And just like the Old West, if you want to stake out your territory, you have to get there first and fend for yourself.

On the web, that means defending your good name and reputation before the attacks start. Because, despite the excellent product or service you provide, all it takes is one unhappy customer, jealous acquaintance, or unsavory competitor to start the rumors flying. Before you know it, search engines are regenerating that negative publicity every time someone researches you or your business.

Wild West 2.0 offers simple yet extraordinarily powerful ways to:

Proactively protect your online reputation
• Determine the extent of reputation damage and identify its original source
• Offset even the most savage attacks—and get the truth out there
• Control how search engines rank and display results about your business and your name
• Create positive Internet content and buzz that become “word-of-mouse” marketing

In the age of Wild West 2.0, everyone has an online reputation. Who do you want to create yours?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814415092
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 06/02/2010
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

MICHAEL FERTIK (Redwood City, CA) is the founder and CEO of ReputationDefender, the world’s first comprehensive online reputation management and privacy company with customers in over 40 countries. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Michael serves on the advisory board of The Internet Keep Safe Coalition. He has appeared on "Dr. Phil", "The Today Show", "Good Morning America", "The CBS Early Show", "20/20", and "Fox Business", and been featured in publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Investor’s Business Daily, and The Wall Street Journal.

DAVID THOMPSON (Los Angeles, CA) is General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of ReputationDefender.

Read an Excerpt

C H A P T E R 1

Welcome to the New Digital Frontier

Imagine a place where anonymous vandals can spray repugnant graffiti about you or your business without any consequence. They may call you a criminal, accuse your business of fraud, or reveal your most personal secrets. And this graffiti is viewed not only by a handful of passersby—instead, it is spread worldwide and instantly broadcast to anyone who looks for information about you. You can’t remove the smear, and copies of it are permanently saved around the world.

Sound frightening? You don’t have to imagine this scenario. It happens every day on the Internet. The victims are innocent people—

parents, teachers, students, managers, workers, craftsmen, business owners, and more. Real personal reputations are being trashed with just a few mouse clicks, real businesses are losing thousands of customers due to false reports online, and real relationships are being destroyed by anonymous gossip.

Welcome to the New Digital Frontier

The Internet has changed the rules for reputation. Once, reputation was hard-earned and carefully guarded. Today, your reputation can be created or destroyed in just a few clicks. And there are plenty of people who seek to destroy your reputation: bullies, people jealous of your success, competitors for jobs or customers (or even loves), and gangs of disaffected teenagers. The Internet gives them the power to permanently scar your reputation. They harness the power of Google™ and the Web to broadcast false and distorted information about you and your business to your closest friends and most distant customers. They can manipulate your photos, steal your secrets, and ruin your credit. If you are prepared, you can defend yourself from these attacks. But if you aren’t careful, you can just make matters worse by fanning the flames.

Don’t even think of ignoring the Internet’s impact on your reputation.

The Internet is not some passing fad; it is here to stay. It is the primary source of information about people, products, services, and companies. Even if you don’t use the Internet, your boss, your customers a your neighbors, your friends, and your family do. What they find online will shape how they think about you, for better or worse:

they could find slanderous allegations or shocking photos posted by a digital Peeping Tom; your business might be the subject of an online boycott or an urban legend about your business might spread through social discussion sites; or your relationships might be poisoned by false gossip. The worst part is that once false information about you is spread online, it can start a self-sustaining cycle that spreads it further and faster than you thought possible.

Luckily, the well prepared can still prosper on this new digital frontier. The Internet is not something to be afraid of; instead, it is a tremendous opportunity to shape the way that people see you or your business. Careful monitoring of your online reputation (or that of your business) combined with delicate intervention can help you make sure that your online image is a true reflection of reality. Often a by acting quickly you can stop online attacks and set the record straight. And careful seeding of positive truthful content will help you improve your social standing, get more clients, or grow your business. Thanks to the Internet, you have the chance to take direct control of the way people see you.

This book will teach you what you need to know to prosper in the new Wild West of online reputation. It will explain the rules of the new digital frontier, teach you to measure and analyze your reputation a and then give you the tools you need to defend yourself from online reputation attack. It will also explain special considerations and tactics for small businesses and professionals. In short a not all hope is lost: by learning the tricks of online reputation, you can defend—or even improve—your online image.

Table of Contents


C H A P T E R 1 :

Welcome to the New Digital Frontier 1

C H A P T E R 2 :

Your Online Reputation Is Your Reputation 16

C H A P T E R 3 :

The Internet Is the New Wild West 30

C H A P T E R 4 :

The Forces Driving Online Reputation 44

C H A P T E R 5 :

Anonymous Cowards 61

C H A P T E R 6 :

Google Gone Wild: The Digital Threat to Reputation 82

C H A P T E R 7 :

Why People Attack Each Other Online 100

C H A P T E R 8 :

Types of Internet Attacks 123

C H A P T E R 9 :

How to Measure Damage to Your Internet Reputation Damage 150

C H A P T E R 1 0 :

Your Reputation Road Map and Online Reputation Audit 162

C H A P T E R 1 1 :

Getting Proactive: The Best Defense Is a Good Offense 188

C H A P T E R 1 2 :

Recovering from Online Smears: Restoring Your Reputation

After the Damage Has Been Done 207

C H A P T E R 1 3 :

Protect Your Small Business and Your Professional Reputation 234

C H A P T E R 1 4 :

Conclusion: Embrace the Internet 249

Glossary 251

Index 255

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