Reputation Defender Review

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Update: December 10, 2016

We’re still looking for more info about Reputation Defender and more Reputation Defender reviews every day! If you have any information or experience with the company please share it with us on the Contact page. 

Fast Take

Reputation Defender has potential, but reviews of their work point out overwhelmingly that they fail to live up to it. They’ve done a good job of growing the industry with an abundance of marketing materials and Youtube videos, but their work is simply not up to par with the other rising stars in the ORM industry. If you’re dealing with a very minor issue or you want to expand your online presence, perhaps Reputation Defender is a decent solution. If you’re dealing with a major online reputation crisis, we recommend looking elsewhere.

Reputation Defender bills itself as a company that can help its clients fight against negative search content. Although it’s just one of many online reputation management services available to modern tech users, it stands out for a few interesting reasons. Here’s everything you might want to know.

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What Is Reputation Defender?

ReputationDefender is designed to help people improve search results related to their names or brands. It claims to be able to hide content like:

  • Press releases, news items and media articles
  • Blog posts
  • Images, videos and other media
  • Regulatory briefs and legal filings
  • Attacks and negative publicity released by competitors

Reputation Defender is a Silicon Valley firm that also operates out of the UK and Arizona. According to its own website, it relies on the combined efforts of engineers, tech researchers and customer-support personnel to help users protect their privacy and reputations. In addition to catering to private individuals, the company says its techniques have proven effective for healthcare, legal and business entities.

Unlike some similar alternatives, Reputation Defender actually seems to employ exclusive methods to preserve its clients’ online reputations. In total, it has at least 20 different patents related to diverse technologies and tools. As of summer 2015, Reputation Defender’s parent company, Reputation.com, also maintained pending applications on around 25 patents. It also enjoyed financial backing from major venture firms and capital companies, including some of those responsible for funding established tech giants, like Symantec, Seagate and Skype. From our research these patents don’t seem to impact their ability to hide content either positively or negatively.

Company History

According to the Wall Street Journal, Reputation Defender got its start in 2006 when it was founded by a Harvard-graduate lawyer. While its original niche mission was solely to help parents control their families’ online reputations, it proved popular among professionals, and it grew to a $2 million company within just a year.

Reputation Defender eventually expanded into Europe and acquired other companies, like MySocialCloud.com, Ziggs and PaperKarma. By 2015, the company possessed more than $67 million in equity funding and employed some 250 or so employees in offices around the world, including its Redwood, CA, home base.

By its own estimates, Reputation Defender has millions of users based in more than 100 countries. Its work also got it featured by publications like the Wall Street Journal, Economist and the New York Times. Reputation Defender is not a premium service like Five Blocks or Status Labs; they aim to serve the masses and construct their products in a far less personalized way.

Have an ORM problem? Contact one of our Online Reputation Management Professionals for a Custom Recommendation on Which Company You Should Choose. Free Initial Consultation! 

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How Does It Work?

Of course, short of pursuing legal action, such as court-ordered notices, it’s impossible to remove content from the internet for good unless you own the servers it’s stored on. What Reputation Defender does, however, is force positive content to the top of search rankings so that it takes much more effort to find the negative results you wanted to hide.

This company employs a six-step management process. It starts by consulting with a client to learn more about their goals and develop a relevant strategy. From there, editors create positive content with a self-proclaimed focus on remaining truthful. After the content is reviewed and approved by the client, it’s published and “strategically positioned” to rise to the top of search rankings. Unfortunately, “strategically positioning” content to rise to the top of search rankings is far easier said than done – if it was easy anyone could do it! Of the companies we’ve reviewed Reputation Defender seems to have the lowest success rate in getting articles to the front page.

Finally, the firm’s management of the new content promotes the search results the client in question would prefer people to see first. If all goes as planned, negative results sink lower in the process. While on the surface it seems a nice feature to allow the client to choose content, we question whether or not this is something done with the client’s best interests in mind.

How Does the Company Position Itself?

Reputation Defender says it’s fulfilling a vital social role. It notes that reputation damage is a major risk. The company also cites statistics showing that modern adults and professionals commonly use the internet to perform impromptu background checks on those they do business or interact with. This is common messaging across the industry, as you’ll see across ORM company home pages across the internet.

A look at some of Reputation.com’s past corporate clients include firms like AAA, Ford, BMW, VCA and Boston Market. Those worried that their own concerns might not receive as much attention as a multinational enterprise may take some confidence from the fact that Reputation Defender.com keeps its accounts separate. Separate accounts likely also means separate account management, which may actually be a good thing considering our review of Reputation.com’s services.

The company also establishes itself as a leading authority on reputation and privacy management topics. Its focus seems to be diverse yet well organized, with separate patents applying to products like its local business, personal and enterprise reputation management services. The company has done a nice job of creating marketing materials that emphasize the importance of a service like online reputation management, something that’s likely caused all boats to rise with the proverbial tide.

Of particular interest is the company’s YouTube channel. Self-published videos found here provide regular insights into topics like keyword analysis, taking control of search results and how website structure impacts reputation management.

What Services Does It Provide?

The Reputation Defender product menu includes some features with every service package by default. The fact that we’re discussing “packages” clearly shows that Reputation Defender is aimed at serving every day people, not the more elite individuals or bigger companies. These incorporate perks like:

  • Routine status updates on a periodic schedule
  • Case-appropriate content publication planning
  • A dedicated team of Reputation Advisors

In addition, the company provides content products that include:

  • Professionally-created articles and blogs,
  • Direct websites specifically built for the client, and
  • Personalized web portals.

Much of what you see above is industry standard. Historically, Reputation Defender has also facilitated tracking of online customer reviews and brand feedback. It uses a proprietary scoring rubric to help clients get a better idea of whether their reputations are beneficial or detrimental. One can only assume that this rubric slants pretty far negative in an attempt to get more customers, but we can’t really blame Reputation Defender for that. Users with extreme problems can hire the site to draft and send legal take-down notices that ask website owners to remove certain information. The success rate of these kinds of tactics is generally very small.

How Much Does It Cost?

Reputation Defender offers its services in a tiered pricing structure. There are a total of five differently priced options ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 annually. This represents the lower end of the market, but isn’t as cheap as something like BrandYourself. Smaller clients may be able to pay less depending on how much work their cases involve or whether they participate in deals and discount programs.

With the lowest level, clients receive 18 personalized websites, a unique direct site and 12 pieces of professional content. Generally the types of sites they create can be created quickly and easily by users themselves, but sometimes having someone else create them is worth it for the end user. The number of each kind of reputation-building items increases with successive tiers. At the highest level, for instance, you’d get 38 personal websites, two unique direct sites and 65 professionally-created content pieces. Based on our knowledge of website and content creation, Reputation Defender is pulling in some good margins on their customers.

Users can also expand their packages by purchasing extra Reputation Defender products and services, like Boutique Solutions. These custom setups may be associated with unique pricing or discounts as well. Reputation Defender is one of the only companies that actually offers packages, and similarly discounts, for their services.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Reputation Defender consultations are free of charge. Users can call on weekdays or between limited daytime hours during the weekends. The site also maintains multiple points of contact via various social media platforms and email. Free consultations have also become rather common throughout the online reputation management industry.

Is Reputation Defender Worth It?

Reputation Defender has won accolades from numerous organizations, including the American Business Awards and the World Economic Forum. Of course, awards are one thing, but what actual users say is often different.

Reputation.com has received some media criticism for potentially making it harder for people to find information that may be negative. The site’s founder maintains, however, that the company respects the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment rights to free speech and doesn’t try to get rid of things that are newsworthy. As advocates for online reputation management, it’s tough for us to criticize them for doing the standard work required in the industry.

Early in its history, it gained some praise for attempting to help a family remove hundreds of controversial police photos of a young girl who had perished in a car crash. Even though the company admitted that there was no way to remove all the photos, it made an honest effort.

Of course we at Online Reputation Reviews care more about the quality of the work and how reliable Reputation Defender’s services are. When searching for reviews about the work, one initial concern jumps up right off the bat; in Google’s suggested search, “Reputation defender scam” is one of the top 3 suggested searches. That’s not a good sign! There are quite a few personal blog postings and reviews that describe their services aScreen Shot 2016-05-19 at 3.34.33 PMs less than acceptable. Many people claim to be in worse situations now than when they agreed to start working with the company. That’s a bad sign.

 

One possible good sign is that according to the Better Business Bureau the company maintains an A+ rating. This means that although it has received some customer complaints, it has taken steps to resolve them successfully. Of course a good rating with the BBB and a positive experience for people looking to recover their online reputation are two entirely different things.

Is Reputation Defender Right for Me?

Reputation Defender has potential, but reviews of their work point out overwhelmingly that they fail to live up to it. They’ve done a good job of growing the industry with an abundance of marketing materials and Youtube videos, but their work is simply not up to par with the other rising stars in the ORM industry. If you’re dealing with a very minor issue or you want to expand your online presence, perhaps Reputation Defender is a decent solution. If you’re dealing with a major online reputation crisis, we recommend looking elsewhere.

OVERALL RATING: 

Have an ORM problem? Contact one of our Online Reputation Management Professionals for a Custom Recommendation on Which Company You Should Choose. Free Initial Consultation! 

5 Comments

  • My own experience May 31, 2016 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    ReputationDefender did okay. I tried it early in 2015 cuz some pics of me from college were coming up in searches and it wasn’t helping my job search. Overall….meh. It got rid of one of them, but the other 3 still remained. Eventually I couldn’t afford to keep going for limited results. Oh well. Maybe you’ll have better luck…

  • Your Friend's Cousin's Pal June 3, 2016 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    If you had told me 10 years ago that this kind of service would become necessary, I would have scoffed, but online reputation is crucial these days for job hunters alone. I’ve had a few recent employers who spent a lot of time vetting me by conducting deep Google searches.

  • Anonymous June 6, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    This is intriguing and I imagine that most large companies already have campaigns like this in place. As for the detractors who complained about certain things not being removed from search engines, in some cases that is next to impossible. The key would be to bury those negative results, right?

  • Joey B December 12, 2016 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Do not invest in this company. I have invested nearly 30,000 dollars for them to improve my social image. After 2 years, the negative content that I specifically wanted to be buried still remains on the first page of google. In fact, they made it only worse. Reputation Denfender is all about quantity and not about quality. Instead of googling my name and hometown, i now just have to google my name for this negative article to pull up. How does this work? Simple, they merely just add content to your name rather than improving it. Thus, it’/ much easier to find you and likewise any negative images

    • Online Reputation Reviews December 25, 2016 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Joey, sorry to hear that. We’d be interested to hear more details about your experience if you’d like to contact us through our website form. We may also be able to help guide you in the right direction depending on how complicated your search results are.

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