Matt Earle, President, Reputation.ca, was quoted in a nice story by Katie Daubs in the Toronto Star regarding Chris Spence, formerly of the TDSB, and the damage his plagiarism has caused to his online reputation.
Read the full article here.
As so much of human life migrates online, so do first impressions and reputations: Google is one of the first places people go to find details about job applicants, potential business partners, and love interests. Even if a client has one negative entry on the first page of search results, it’s a serious problem, say Toronto-based reputation management strategist Matt Earle, who founded Reputation.ca.
Earle has an engineering background and a deep knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO). A few years ago, he was recruited to do internet marketing for an offshore bank in Bermuda. While there, he was approached by financiers keen to manage their online reputations — which he did by diluting their search results about messy divorces and other “reputation issues.”
With a price tag in the thousands, many of his Toronto clients are Bay Streeters and “misunderstood” corporations looking to emphasize positive Google results.
“If you looked at 1-20 (of the results), some insane blogger slandering them might be number 5, below that is Star, or a Globe article, a profile on some company they own — what you really want is the stuff below it that’s already real to be above it, that’s just SEO,” he said.
Earle created proprietary software that manipulates search results by simulating popularity. This is done, on a large scale, by creating more references and citations to positive articles, he explained.
He thinks Spence could combat some of the negative results with his own website and Twitter account. That’s where the softer, less technical side of reputation management comes in — creating a new image that acknowledges the mistakes of the past. From Spence’s initial apology and pledge to enrol in an Ethics and Law in Journalism course at Ryerson University, this appears to be a tactic.