HopLite Online Reputation Management

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Find the Answers to Common Questions...

When it comes to dealing with ORM, everyone always has questions; usually very good ones -- we have answers. That's why we've created a list of the most common things people ask about and made it available here. So you may be surprised you might find out what you're looking for without having to go very far. Feel free to browse below. These are just a small number of the ways we can help at HopLite when ORM problems strike.

Is it True that Some People Are Less Vulnerable to ORM Problems than Others Because Of Their Names?

Yes, that is in fact true, and we’ve confirmed it is in fact the case here at HopLite on our test systems. If someone has a common name; say, “John English” and unflattering articles about that person exist on the internet, for example if people posted negative comments about him, or he was involved in a minor disturbance of the peace many years ago and a newspaper wrote an article about the event, it is very unlikely that they will show up on Google or any search engine at all; but if a person has a more uncommon name, say “Stefanie McGalvin” (for example) then it is extremely likely that any negative publicity of any kind will show up under her name, but not his. Why?

Notice with the first person, “John English,” it is not simply that his name as a whole is very common that causes the above to happen per se; take a look at his last name: “English.” When Google sees this, it tends to interpret that word literally, and along with articles about all the people named “John English,” it literally filters in articles about “England” and the history of “English.” For example, Google may put content about “Middle English” (the version of the language in use between about 1100 to 1530 A.D.) and articles about the history of “English” (the language itself) in general along with a search for anyone who happens to have the name “John English.” We can literally confirm through our testing that Google does this and it actually happens (since we tested other search terms like it), it isn’t just a rumor floating around. This provides a great deal of protection for people with those types of names from any Online Reputation problems. Not to mention if you have a young college student named say, “Henry Elliot,” and someone searches for that name. There are so many other people with that moniker, including famous historical figures, and it's so common, that articles about hundreds of different people with that name come up in a Google search, and this also in many cases provides a level of protection since anyone trying to find “dirt” about a specific young person named “Henry Elliot” (for example a college student), may find articles about so many different people, including historical persons with that name, that the person doing the search realizes there’s no way they will find any articles about any specific “Henry Elliot” that they want, and give up.

By contrast, consider the name “Stefanie McGalvin” (for example) as we mentioned above; notice she has a less common last name, as well as a distinct spelling of her first name (spelled with a “f” in the first part instead of a “ph” which would be a more common spelling). People with names like this tend to be extremely vulnerable to Online Reputation Management problems as everything ever posted or written about her, and only her, since she might be the only person with that name -- good or bad, positive or negative, tends to come up in a search result, and she is not “buffered” from negative postings. A person named “Stefanie McGalvin” is the most likely of all the names seen here to have a Reputation Management problem.

On the other hand, there are in fact cases where having a somewhat common name can be detrimental as well. Imagine a person with the name “Thomas Appleton,” and, another person with that exact name committed a crime, but the specific hypothetical person we’re talking about here in this example had nothing to do with it. There are literally many cases in the real world where articles come up about a crime on Google that prevent one “Thomas Appleton” from getting a job, when it was another person who committed the crime, and the two don’t even know each other and are not related, they just happen to have the same name. However, this NEVER happens with a search term like “John English,” where postings about the history of the English language or England in general literally get filtered into the search, and prevent almost any bad information of any kind from showing up in the first few pages of a Google search -- so no one sees it.

We can see that Online Reputation Management can be a tricky subject, you have to stay on your toes; but no matter what your name is, if you have a problem with what shows up when people search for you on Google, don’t despair -- give HopLite a call. We have software and technology to deal with it, and suppress those negative search results, so they cause no more problems, no matter how common or uncommon you are or want to be, and whatever your last name is.

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