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What are black hat online reputation management tactics?
Insights From Mettl Company Insights

The black hat online reputation management tactics is any practice deployed to get an unfair advantage on the internet by posting paid positive feedback which can range from paying people to write reviews on Google and social media platforms about your brand and positive recommendations on online third-party review sites like Capterra, GetApp, and SoftwareAdvice for your products and services.

  • Why should black hat tactics be avoided?

The primary reason is black hat tactics must be avoided is because it’s unethical. It gives you an unfair advantage while depriving your competition to play on par with you and it might fall under the definition of illegal under some jurisdictions.

  • What are the consequences a company could face if black hat ORM tactics are used on its behalf?

The truth of the matter is blackhat techniques never work. The modern AI-based market intelligence, machine learning algorithms, and technological advancements are way too smart in detecting illegal practices employed to get an unfair advantage over various platforms.

Such techniques expose your business to more risks than rewards. If such techniques are found out to be being leveraged by brands to build their positive reputation online, they are immediately blacklisted harming the business bottom-line and RoI of marketing initiatives and campaigns. One day you might be reigning on top of the SERP rankings on the internet, and if something suspicious is detected about reviews on different platforms, you might end up being nearly invisible in your online presence.

  • What are the best ways to vet an ORM company before hiring them to ensure they don't employ black hat tactics?
    1. Check what claims an ORM agency is making

If your ORM agency makes over the top claims like winning first page SERP rankings overnight or within a short span of time via a lot of positive reviews on various platforms and third-party review sites, it’s a totally fraudulent claim. The Google algorithms are way smarter and complex than we give it credit for and give weight to multiple factors before you can start to rank. Not just search engines, the social media platforms and third-party review sites have their own set of insightful and data driven models and systems to predict fake and paid positive reviews. Check all ORM agencies for their claims and their strategies before you shake hands with them.

       2. Delve into the strategies

A lot of shady ORM agencies can indulge in various black hat ORM strategies to trick Google and then, end up inviting different penalties that do more harm to your brand's reputation than good. Hire an agency which leverages only ethical and white hat ORM strategies which search engines like Google approves of and which wouldn't in any way attract any penalties.

       3. Vet their client list

If your ORM agency has worked with similar clients or companies as you in the past, you can be pretty sure of your ORM fairness and success. If the ORM agency you are planning to hire has worked with multiple reputable clientele, it makes easy the judgment of the agency in terms of authenticity and validity of their claims. It doesn’t in the least mean those agencies which don’t have big brand names as their clients won't be ethical and successful in their dealings but having them adds an extra layer to their fairness and ethics in execution and processes.

Topics: Marketing

Originally published January 28 2019,updated November 18 2019

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