Protecting Your Internet Reputation

The growing threat that your good name will be unfairly besmirched online has given rise to a new industry: Internet reputation repair. Companies like ReputationHawk and Reputation Defender aim to push offending material down a few search pages, where most users won't see it. They do it by creating multiple links to positive data about you, crowding out the negative, for $4,000 to $30,000. For clients not yet tarnished, they recommend creating a "preemptive wall" of positive online content, to ward off future attacks. Jeff Henderson of DONE! SEO calls this "the next generation of public relations." Of course, the same trick could work for bad guys, but the services say they refuse clients who might do harm to others.

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