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Aug 31, 2013
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Discussions about online reputation management (ORM) on Black Hat World tend to be on reactive ORM as opposed to proactive. What's the difference, you ask? Well, proactive ORM campaigns are focused on building a positive image for you and your company whereas reactive ORM campaigns are focused on cleaning up and managing poor reviews. However, what you may not know about proactive ORM is that it's not only cheaper to do, but it can make your life a hell of a lot easier.

How Proactive ORM Can Benefit You
Here's an example: as I mostly work based on word-of-mouth referrals, my business only has a single review on Google. However, that single, lengthy review captured my work ethic and just how far I'm willing to go to help my clients in a way that no other business can. This has led to owners of small and medium-sized businesses reaching out to me on my website and Facebook saying how impressed they were with that review and that they've been searching for someone who would take the time to understand their business. Mind you, this was one review on my business that did this.

But it's not just your business life it can benefit, because your personal life can benefit from it as well. So if you have family members questioning the legitimacy of your business, tell them to search your name in Google and watch their jaws drops as they scroll through pages upon pages of awesome reviews and certifications.

But wait, there's more! Let's say you're tired of working for yourself and you've decided that you want to get a job. Think your ORM efforts won't benefit you? Think again, because hiring managers can and often do search for their applicants using Google. Unless you live in a nepotistic state like I do, hiring managers are far more likely to hire someone with a proven work ethic over the 26 year old community college dropout posting pictures of themselves flashing $1 bills sandwiched between $5 bills whilst brandishing a BB gun painted to look like a 9mm in the backseat of his friend's 2013 Chevrolet Camaro.

How To Get Started With Proactive ORM
So after reading about how being proactive with your online reputation can benefit you, you're probably wondering how you can get started. Well, it's far easier than you think.

Parasite Pages
Parasite pages are authoritative websites such as Facebook and YouTube that have a tendency to rank highly for keywords. For those of you who have read @t0mmy's thread titled, "Parasites PWN! - Leeching From Authority Sites = $$$$", you know that these pages can be used to link back to money sites and landing pages. However, you can also rank these pages in Google for ORM purposes. The great thing about parasite pages is that if your name or business' name is unique, creating pages on these popular websites is often all you need to do to get them to rank for a name.

Below I've included a list of websites you can use to get started.
Huffinton Post
Create Your Own Websites
If you don't have a website already, make one. But don't just make one for your business, make one for yourself as well. Although, before you create a personal website, consider what kind of image you want to create for yourself. For instance, if you want to create a corporate image for yourself, your personal website should be used to display professional achievements. Personally, I prefer going to corporate route in this day and age of brittle spirits due to its neutral tone.

If you don't know how to create a website, visit @LukaB's thread titled, "The Complete Guide to Starting a Website [2016 updated]".

Get Involved
Find blogs on subjects you're interested in and post a comment either under your name or your company's name. However, don't just post short comments on other people's blogs, but rather make an effort to express your opinion or demonstrate your knowledge on a subject. Not only will the blog owners and writers appreciate this, but it'll look great should some would-be stalker Google your name and come across your comment.

Get Certified

Certifications look good, especially when they come from illustrious companies such as Google and Microsoft. Now, I used to recommend using the Google Partners program for this as their certifications are easy to procure (there are even services here that you can use to complete them), although they recently made Partner profile pages private and moved the certifications to a new platform.

But fret not, for the Bing Ads Accredited Professional member profiles are still indexed in Google. This is an excellent two-for-one deal since they rank for both your name and your business' name. The best part? They're easy to do, and even if you don't understand PPC, you can either Google the answers or pay someone to do it for you.

Donate to GoFundMe Users
This is something I discovered by accident. You see, a couple of years ago I donated about $15 to a religious zealot friend of mine. He thanked me for it and I didn't think much of it after the fact. But then one day when I was searching my name in Google as part of my initial proactive ORM campaign, I noticed his donation page was ranking on the second page for my name as my donation was still one of the recent ones (yeah, I was the fourth and last person to donate to him). Now, I wouldn't recommend going around making $5 donations, but if you can find some older GoFundMe pages for friends and family and donate to them, this could be a decent way to get a few pages ranking for your name that make you look charitable.

Donate To Fundraising Websites
A while back, I stumbled upon a website that would list out every person who donated to their cause, even if the donation was less than $1. I don't recall what the cause was exactly (something about books and a space monster; it looked a bit like Heaven's Gate), but it gave me an idea back then to find more websites like that and compile them into a list. Unfortunately, I never got around to doing it, so I'm sharing the idea here for anyone who's interested.

Deleted member 877043


After almost three months of me ruining my rep on BHW, now you decide to share this info?

If I set up a website about how great I really am, and link back to it from BHW, will that be considered as “promoting your own service”, thus result in a ban?

Thanks @Zwielicht, for this great post!


Regular Member
Feb 29, 2016
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Awesome list. Looking to enter into the ORM market and your post guided me in the perfect direction. I have a client looking for the reactive approach. I will pitch the proactive approach to some clients as well, might bring in fresh business.


Mar 26, 2016
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Great tips!

Also, you could use Slideshare.
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