How Long Does Reputation Management Really Take?

By Kent Campbell

One of the first questions we get from most of our reputation management clients is “How long will reputation management take?”. (The next question is “how much does ORM cost” of course.) Their anxiety is understandable considering that more than 80% of consumers now search Google before doing business with a company. What Google’s first page says about your business practically determines how potential clients and partners see you. And this is why determining just how long it will take to conquer that first page and secure your brands online reputation is not as simple as you might think.

At Reputation X, on average, an online reputation management project takes about ten months. But…

But that is a wildly misleading number because every campaign is different and there are many factors to consider. Some reputation campaigns can never be considered “done”, only improved. Here’s why.

Reputation Management Timelines, Key Factors To Consider

There are several factors that determine the length of an online reputation management (ORM) campaign. Until you understand them, you’ll most likely underestimate the work that goes into improving online sentiment. Let’s quickly analyze some of the key factors:

The Existing Online Reputation of a Brand

The existing reputation of a brand has a huge impact on its overall ORM strategy. If a brand already has a positive presence on the first page of search results for its main keywords, it’s relatively easier to secure the remaining spots. This is because those results are already “authoritative”. It means less work will need to go into boosting and securing them.

However, if your target keywords are already showing negative articles, forum threads or social media posts in the top results, quite a bit of work will be needed to to either remove them, or push them back out of sight. This is why having no presence on the web at all is sometimes better than having a negative online reputation.

Here is an approximate timeline illustrating how long an ORM campaign may take based on how much work needs to be done:

Existing Reputation Approx. Time
Terrible 12+ months
Bad ~12 months
Fair ~9 months

~6 months


Building a positive reputation from scratch takes time, but it’s still easier than countering negative content that’s ranking high.

The Strength of the Competition is a Factor Too

This is probably the biggest factor that determines the complexity and length of an ORM campaign. If there’s a lot of competition for your target keywords and other companies are heavily investing in SEO, SEM, link building and social media, then your job becomes harder.

Google’s priority is to display the most relevant and high quality search results for every keyword. It uses more than 200 ranking factors to determine the quality and the relevance of every search result.

When the competition for a particular keyword is high, you need to outperform your competitors on as many of those 200 factors as possible.

Below is a chart that shows Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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