High Tech Extortion

Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Thursday 25 February 2010 11:39 pm

The popular business-review site called Yelp! is apparently facing a hailstorm of criticism, as well as a class-action lawsuit, because of their dubious ethics in businesses practices. A scathing expose showed last year that Yelp! was created negative reviews on their website in order to extort money out of the businesses in contention. This practice has resulted in a class-action lawsuit against the company.

In an in-depth article that appeared in East Bay Express last year, business owners said that Yelp sales agents would contact them whenever negative reviews appeared for their business. Representatives allegedly would offer to remove or hide the reviews in exchange for agreeing to buy an advertising contract with the site.

The whole issue smacks of corporate extortion and I hope Yelp! gets prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for conjuring up negative reviews on their own site. However, it is important to remember that there is a legitimate need for online reputation management services–because online libel really does occur, both on sites like Yelp! and on blogs, forums, and through the creation of independent websites.


Cleaning up your search results is possible through firms that specialize in Internet Reputation Management. Reputation Hawk has offered this service since early 2007 when the industry first began.

Customer Reviews And Their Increasing Importance

Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Monday 22 February 2010 11:11 pm

This guest column at AuctionBytes ought to be turned into regular column. The author, Pehr Luedtke, describes why online customer reviews are so important in a day and age when your internet reputation matters so much. This is true both of multinational corporations and small businesses.

Product reviews are a critical step in the decision-making process of the savvy consumer, both online and offline, as shoppers have come to expect online reviews on retailers’ sites. The latest Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey revealed that 90% of respondents say that they trust recommendations from people they know, while 70% admit to trusting consumer opinions found online.

There is a lot more meat in the article that is worth digesting. Small and medium sized businesses, especially, could benefit from the strategies and information imparted in the article.


Online Reputation Management Services have been provided by Reputation Hawk since early 2007.

Incalculable Costs

Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Monday 15 February 2010 11:58 pm

Toyota’s debacle has become a never-ending source of reputation risk management lessons. They have always had a reputation as the best quality car company in the world–and certainly that is still true. However, that sterling image has taken a significant hit in the wake of multiple recalls.

But what has not been aptly estimated is the loss due to the reputation-at-risk. It is so huge, you don’t want to imagine.

Companies struggle to classify, let alone measure—reputational risk.

Risk managers are usually divided on whether reputational risk is an issue to be handled on its own or merely a consequence of other risks.

Where there is a culture of well-structured risk management the latter opinion is more popular.

Reputation is a very expensive and highly vulnerable corporate asset.

This article is 100% head-on. The reputational risks involved are incalculable.


Internet Reputation Management is the practice of shaping a company or person's search results. Reputation Hawk has provided this service since 2007.

Social Networking Can Be Damaging

Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Thursday 4 February 2010 10:48 pm

Microsoft today released a series of polls that were of interest to the world of online reputation management. An incredibly low number of those people polled thought that information that was placed online about them could effect their employment opportunities. In direct contrast to that idea, a large number of employers admitted in the polling that they had disqualified candidates because of inappropriate content online. This disparity in the thoughts of job applicants and the actions of their prospective employers is incredible.

Less than 15% of consumers polled in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany and France from Dec. 10-23, 2009, believe that information about them on the Internet — be it photos, videos, comments — has an impact on them getting a job.

Yet 70% of recruiters polled in a separate survey have rejected job candidates because of inappropriate photos and comments.

“There are some tangible consequences,” says Brendon Lynch, senior director of privacy strategy at Microsoft. “There’s this big disparity between what people believe what might happen to them because of their online profile, and what happens.”

A whopping 89% of U.S. recruiters polled find it ”appropriate” to consider personal online data “professional data.”

So professionals, be more careful about what you post online. And if there is something negative about you online, before you go on the job hunt you should use online reputation management services to hide or bury it.


Negative Publicity online can immediately hurt a company's profitability. Reputation Hawk specializes in suppressing unwanted publicity.