How To Protect Your Reputation Online Without Going Nuts

When you meet someone, don’t you Google them to see what the Internet has to say? Doesn’t everyone do that to you too?

In this program, Andy Beal talks about how to protect your reputation online.

Andy Beal

Andy Beal


Andy is the publisher of Marketing Pilgrim, the founder of Trackur, and the author of Radically Transparent.

In this edited excerpt, he shows how you don’t have to keep track of everything.

Andrew Warner: Can we protect our reputation everywhere? What about message boards, the dark, hidden corners of the internet?

Andy Beal: You really only have to worry about finding the influential message boards.

Back in the days when I was part of the executive team for Web Sourced, we were one of the world’s largest search marketing firms. We had 2,000 clients. Inevitably there were going to be one or two who weren’t going to be happy.

We knew we didn’t have to scour every message board to hear what they had to say about us. We knew there were 2 or 3 boards where most people would congregate, and we basically made sure we had a presence there. We made sure we connected with the moderators. If there was a complaint, we’d see it, or someone in the message board would see it and alert us.

You need to Focus in on monitoring just the ones that are influential. Because message boards are complex and deep in the web, chances are the others aren’t not going to bubble up outside of that web community.

The moment something does, it’s almost like when a virus jumps from an animal to a human. We don’t care as much all the while it’s confined to a bird or pig. It’s when it first occurs in a human that we act.

All the while that negative sentiment is bubbling in a small forum, we don’t care. The moment someone takes that and puts it on a blog or mentions it on Twitter or puts it on their MySpace page, that’s when it’s got a potential to hurt us. That’s when we take action.

[Thanks Jonathan Nelson of TwitterMass for caring enough of about Mixergy to introduce me to Andy Beal!]

  • Andrew:

    I agree you've got to monitor your brand. It doesn't seem that difficult to me.

    I've got custom google search alerts set up for Bscopes,, and for my name. Each of those is registered as an RSS feed and added to my google reader. I've done the same with a twitter search for Bscopes and added that to google reader. Finally, I've also set up a smaller number of terms registered with Those go directly to my cell phone for something I might need to know about on a real-time basis.

    The worst part about this, as a newer startup, is the lack of these alerts. It doesn't do much good for the ego to have brand searches that don't get tripped often enough :-)


  • Here's a test. Will this comment show up in your alert?

    Let me know.

  • I doubt it. It doesn't have the keywords like Bscopes in it. And it's not a blog post, it's a comment.

    As far as I can tell, neither Technorati nor Google's Blog search index comments.

    I did just register for a new site I found called BackType. That showed my comment to you in my feed of comments but not yours back to me.

    Any ideas on what else to follow?

    Or you could just write a blog post on an ambitious startup like Bscopes… That'll get my attention for sure.

  • Yeah, BackType is my recommendation.

    I don't get many alerts on it, but the ones I do are very valuable.

  • Scott

    I use the tools that Brad Balfour described and I take it a step further. Before I enter a new market, I always register to all message boards, forums, communities, social media sites etc, with my brand name just to make sure no one uses my name and starts causing trouble. I learned this the hard way, and it is worth the 10 – 15 minutes it takes to register all those sites to protect what is rightfully yours.

    You will be surprised (niche depending) on how many people will sign up with your name and start trolling the forum and giving you a bad reputation (especially with webmaster forums). It is important to monitor this at all times, and that is where bscopes,, google alerts and Yahoo Alerts, blogpulse, Serph, Keotag, Particles (beta), board reader, Twig, YackTrack and Yuku find come in handy. I use a number of these but not all of them at the same time for different niches. Others I have heard of but never used are Backtype, coComment.

  • Alex H.

    Building a strong presence on the web, using social networks and blogs, can give you some leverage to fix things up. The trick is to create a warm and seemingly open relation with your clients, I think.

    Nice interview.

  • Great point Scott!

    I wish there was one service we could use that would create accounts for us
    on all the services.

  • Yeah. I learned from Neil Patel to respond publicly to every single comment.
    That guy's super-sharp.

  • alexhoule


  • Awesome interview as usual Andrew. I love Andy's take on just keeping it simple by the way.

    I use my own application TwitterMass to spark conversation with people that are talking about me or my product on Twitter. I feel that Twitter truly gives me a 360 degree picture of who, what, and why people are talking about me or my brand.

  • I'm a big supporter Jonathan!

  • Thanks again for inviting me on to Mixergy. I would have commented sooner, but went on vacation on April 7 and have only just returned. Even reputation monitoring execs need a break from monitoring! ;-)

  • So Andy, who do we give the 2 book to?

  • Tom

    Great Video. I am a fan of Trackur and its ability to assist in online reputation management. Finding the influential messages is a great starting point, you never want to get too stretched. Focusing on a couple and becoming stars in those influential spots will have a bigger impact than being a bit contributor to many sites.

  • Thanks.

    Yeah, I want to stay engaged, but I don't want to spend all day doing it. I
    have other work to do.

  • Andrew- FYI, this audio is not complete. It gets cut-off at 50:39m.

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