Internet reputation has become an important factor in influencing customer perception. User generated feedback, such as online business reviews, can jeopardize a business' ability to earn customers from the Internet. The ability to control corporate or individual online reputations is now largely a matter of learning effective search engine optimization. The ability to push favorable articles, blog posts and message board threads higher in the search results and thereby pushing the unwanted links further down is the most efficient way of controlling what users see. In other words, whoever is better at search engine optimization will win the battle of online reputation management.
Although there’s recently been a heavy emphasis on making corporate websites search engine friendly, most company websites still don’t do a terrific job and therein lies the rub.
With the growing popularity of social media, free blogging web sites, and consumer review sites, it has become very easy for even novice internet users to publish disparaging content to the web and harm a company's hard-earned reputation. Social bookmarking and voting sites have the ability to put that content in front of hundreds of thousands of visitors within an hour or two, and search engines like Google are indexing content at a faster rate than ever. Most blog posts start showing up in the search results within 1-4 weeks of getting posted.
For more info: