Six Important Online Reputation Management Trends for 2018
2018 brings a new and perhaps unexpected challenge to your online reputation: smart speakers.
Purchase of Google Home or Amazon’s Echo (Apple and others are expected in 2018) are exploding. According to Slate, the smart home speaker market is expected to be a $25 billion industry in two years, and about 15% of households currently own a smart home speaker.
But what does this mean for your online reputation?
People will be searching for you or your business in a new way–by verbal requests.These spoken questions, such as “Who is the best accountant near me?”, or, “What is the best hedge fund?” is made via smart speakers which pull the top Google search result. If your online reputation is either negative or not optimized for this, you will be invisible.
To improve your reputation, think about additional related phrases that people might be looking for (in SEO parlance, this is “long tail”) and focus on writing content focused on this. As more speakers are sold in 2018 and the next few years, spoken search requests will greatly impact online reputation management.
Professionals Impacted by Searches
Most will be checking for a positive online reputation. A powerful reputation trend are “thought leaders,” or authors of a substantial article, white paper, or original presentation which demonstrate trust and industry expertise.
This is not limited for employers or headhunters. Business partners and new clients search online as a way to confirm their decision to close the deal. Of course, if negative links show up in search results, the prospective or current client will move on to a competitor–even if they’ve worked with you in the past or know you personally.
Speed for Mobile
With the emphasis on mobile searches, speedy sites is more important than ever.
How does this impact your online reputation? If your personal or business website is not fast, Google will not rank it highly. This means it will not show up on the top of the first page of search results, and since 95% of all clicks occur on the first page of search results, being on the second page effectively makes you invisible.
This trend will accelerate in 2018 as Google emphasizes mobile searches. To test your site, go to Google Speed Insights; if it ranks poor, optimize images and make other technical changes.
The Negative Spreads More Quickly
Bad news will spread faster in 2018.
This is not necessarily due to any technical reason–it’s just the world we live in now.
If a negative article is published, not only will it appear in Google, it will be shared on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Wikipedia in real time.
For example, I noticed an extremely harmful article appearing in the New York Times for a very notable and accomplished person. Almost immediately, it showed up as the top Google link for their name; the person’s Wikipedia article was updated mentioning the article; industry-specific blogs immediately responded; and social media quickly exploded–all within the hour. Look for things to accelerate further.
Good Content Matters More than Ever
The focus on good content is nothing new but it’s more crucial in 2018.
Long gone are the days of just creating a LinkedIn account or writing one blog. The focus now is on quality.
Infact, content on poorly regarded sites can even be detrimental to your online reputation. Quality matters in 2018, so write original, thought provoking blog articles of about one thousand words with a good image, interesting headline, and appropriate links back to reliable sources.
More Trolling by Competitors
Unfortunately, this is a troubling trend, and will only get worse in 2018.
It’s been common for ex-employees, disgruntled clients, or business partners to post negative comments, but I am seeing business competitors writing damaging and false comments to purposely damage an online reputation of another business. This can be in the form of negative reviews, fake websites, or untrue complaints. If placed on the right industry-specific site or on a highly regarded platform, this can be very damaging and hard to resolve.
These new online reputation trends for 2018 bring new challenges, making it more important than ever to repair a damaged reputation before it gets worse or build a positive web presence to be a proactive “thought leader”. Question? Feel free to reach out to me at Recover Reputation.
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