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Understanding the Industry and Pricing

The Guide

Reputation HAWK was one of the first companies to offer internet reputation management services when it was founded nearly three years ago. Since that time numerous other companies have become involved in this industry.

This quick guide will help you to better understand the reputation management industry, pricing, and the pitfalls you will want to avoid.

Pricing

Guaranteed Results 
You might see a prospective company offer guaranteed results for a one time flat fee ranging from $950 to $20,000. You might assume that this means you can pay a specified sum of money and your problem is guaranteed to be solved. Unfortuantely that sort of flat-rate guarantee is a pipedream, it does not exist. It will only be possible on the day that Google starts offering their own Internet Reputation Management products, at which point I will edit the statement above.

Here is how the guarantee works... Someone guarantees you that the negative article/s will be pushed off of the front page of your Google results. So, three or four months go by and you send them an email because the negative article is still there. "What about the guarantee?" you say. "We're still working on it," they'll inevitably reply. That could go on for twenty years. If you already paid them their fee you will likely receive a one time content blast and hope for the upcoming months/years.

(update 4/27/10 - There are now a few providers offering guaranteed results within specific time frames. This is a simple technique designed to sell the service and the guarantee is evidently meaningless. I have been contacted by and come across numerous company's that hired one of these firms and did not have their search results fixed within the given time frame. They emailed and called about the guarantee and never received a response or refund.)

High Monthly Rates 
Fees that exceed $1,500/Month are too high in 95% of cases. If you are asked to pay that much, make sure you know what you are getting for your money.

Low Monthly Rates 
$10, $20, $100/month etc and you are not likely to receive anything truly helpful. Mediocre content, at best, is blasted across multiple free profiling sites like squidoo, zoom etc... The result is that you will now have a confusing mixture of positive and negative sites in your top 20. This sort of service will rarely bump negative web sites, it just ads some semi-positive fluff to your search results.

One time fees 
We have multiple clients who have come to us after paying an SEO firm a one-time fee to fix their negative search results. I have yet to hear of a single case where it has worked. When looking at the search results I can hardly tell what the firm did, if anyting. When you pay this one-time fee, you are likely going to get content blasted out in the beginning and that is all. It is important to procede carefully here.

Pay after Negative Publicity has been supressed
There are a few providers that use this pricing model. It's basically designed to attract mass leads. It seems as though there is no risk, but that is not the case. Your risk is time. You usually get locked into a six month contract. They do some social bookmarking, blog blasts after a few weeks and are for the most part unresponsive. Since technically they are not charging you anything they are going to be very careful about how much they risk (work). In other cases they are simply false advertising in order to point the potential client to one of their sister companies.

Our Approach 
Affordable monthly fees backed by experience, mass market influence, an ever growing network of web sites, professionally written content, and incredibly fast response time.

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