NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 04/08/13 -- The most recent data from Google Trends reveals that search engine queries for "reputation management" have skyrocketed in the past month, with interest in the subject currently hovering at an all-time high -- a trend that, according to pioneering firm ReputationChanger.com, shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The company notes that the online reputation management industry anticipated growth of some $3.4 billion in 2013 alone -- all of it fueled by explosive demand. In a new statement to the press, ReputationChanger.com President Michael Zammuto reveals the factors informing ORM's unprecedented growth.
"Why is online reputation management, as an industry, growing at such an exponential rate? Why does Google Trends reveal that search engine interest in online reputation management has seen a steep, meteoric rise in the past few months? The answer is simple: Everyone from individuals and businesses to universities and governments need what reputation management firms have to offer, and more and more of them are beginning to realize it," Zammuto says.
He goes on to explain that 2012 marked a tipping point for online reputation management -- and for the ORM industry. "To understand why ORM companies are experiencing such unparalleled demand, you first have to understand the nature of online reputation management up until 2012," Zammuto explains. "There was a time -- prior to 2012's Google Panda and Penguin algorithmic updates -- when companies could manage their own online reputations, and they could do so fairly easily and inexpensively."
Indeed, for many years, do-it-yourself online reputation management was widely practiced. "Companies and even individuals, wishing to puff themselves up and enhance their public image, could do so fairly straightforwardly, by self-publishing promotional articles to online article directories like Ezine.com, ArticleBase.com, and HubPages.com," remarks Zammuto. "The standards of quality at these sites were often fairly lax, and as such, it was easy and cost-effective to essentially spam Google." Zammuto notes that, for a long time, the search engine's algorithms did nothing to penalize black hat SEO methodologies -- that is, tactics based on spammy, low-quality content and blatant, dishonest manipulation of the search engines themselves.
"Then came 2012, and Google's seismic algorithmic updates, including the Panda algorithmic update and the Penguin algorithmic update," notes Zammuto. "These massive overhauls to the search engine algorithms essentially rendered these article database sites irrelevant. As such, the tried-and-true methods for online reputation management began to fall by the wayside; Google now penalizes spam aggressively, meaning that those companies that once relied on corner-cutting ORM techniques have found all of their hard work evaporating, and unwanted search listings once again appearing on the first list of Google search results."
In other words, Zammuto explains, small SEO firms and online marketing professionals began to realize that the online reputation management strategies once thought to be so effective were no longer working -- that they are, in fact, counterproductive. As the conventional methods for online reputation management began to show diminishing returns, more and more companies began to seek out the assistance of specialized firms, like ReputationChanger.com.
"ReputationChanger.com has always believed that the only way to boost an online reputation is to create and publish genuinely helpful and engaging content -- content that adds value to the reader experience, and thus to Google itself," Zammuto affirms. "For businesses seeking to enhance their online image, the best and only strategy is to produce actual news stories that deliver high quality and substantive information to readers."
In this regard, ReputationChanger.com has put its money where its mouth is, investing in the acquisition of numerous reputable online news services and developing strong working relationships with various members of the media. "We have the kinds of resources necessary to seriously boost an online reputation, and to do so without cutting corners or taking the kinds of shortcuts that once characterized online reputation management," offers Zammuto.
Indeed, ReputationChanger.com works closely with several Quantcast Top 100 Google Authors -- content creators whose work is favored by the search engine algorithms -- as well as world-class writers from across the country. "Their emphasis is on creating compelling, engaging, and informative content that is useful to search engine users and to the search engines themselves, and therefore useful for online reputation defense," says Zammuto. "We can then distribute and disseminate that content through our network of authoritative blogs and reputable, influential news outlets."
Social media also remains a major focus at ReputationChanger.com. "Again, the important thing is to focus on quality," opines Zammuto. "Our social media team is able to produce genuinely useful and engaging social media content on behalf of our clients." ReputationChanger.com helps its clients to implement robust social media activity through Google+, Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter, Pinterest, and Completed.com.
What all of this suggests is that the ORM landscape has changed dramatically in the past year, thanks in no small degree to last year's algorithmic changes at Google -- hence, the exponentially increased interest in the field. "Companies and individuals are realizing that ORM is no longer an easy, do-it-yourself matter," says Zammuto. "They are turning to specialized firms like ReputationChanger.com, and they are using Google to find us.
Concludes the ReputationChanger.com President, "ORM, as an industry, is experiencing massive growth, and every bit of it is driven by growing consumer demand."
ReputationChanger.com was launched in 2009 by a group of veteran direct response marketing pros, who shared a passion for providing companies and people with greater control over their online reputations. Now, the agency is widely celebrated as the leading reputation defense firm in existence; indeed, TopSEOs rated it the #1 online reputation management company in the world. Reputation Changer's team includes social media and SEO experts, Web developers and domestic journalists. The company's client base encompasses Fortune 500 brands and small companies; public figures and private citizens; doctors, dentists, lawyers, financial planners, celebrities, and beyond.
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