Online Reputation Management - Glossary of Terms


Accessibility is the process of adding features and functionality to your website and web properties to make the sites usable by as many people as possible, including those with physical and educational disabilities as well as visitors with different computing devices or slow internet connections. 


Apple Business Connect

Apple Business Connect (ABC) is a new platform for securing business listings on Apple Maps and other apps in the Apple ecosystem.



A brand is an intangible concept or set of concepts that help others identify a particular individual, product, or company. This concept can include recognizable logos, trade dress, digital properties, and identities. Your personal brand or business brand represents one of the most valuable assets in your possession. 



Branding is the process of establishing, growing, and protecting a personal or business brand. The purpose of branding is to increase awareness within a target audience, adding value to a person’s or company’s digital footprint. 


Brand Management

Brand management combines reputation management with online promotion strategies to both improve brand awareness and protect the brand from emerging reputational threats. By managing your brand, you expand your digital footprint, allowing others to easily find out who you are and what you represent. 


Content Gap Analysis

Used by SEO and content development professionals, content gap analysis identifies missing content pieces in your web properties. By filling these “holes”, search algorithms are better able to understand and categorize your content in relevant search results for given user queries. This SEO approach can provide significant competitive advantages, helping people find answers to their questions more easily. 


Content Marketing

Content marketing is the strategy of creating and distributing relevant, informative, and engaging web content to target audiences. This marketing strategy may use a variety of promotional channels, including earned, paid, and owned promotions. 


Content Removal

Content removal is the practice of removing negative content, negative news articles, and negative reviews from search results. A wide range of strategies can be used, including legal takedown requests, violations of Terms of Service, copyright violation notices, and more.


Content Suppression

When content removal is not possible, content suppression takes over. This effective strategy floods the web with fresh content where search engines can categorize it. The goal of content suppression is to push negative items off the first page of search results. 


Corporate Responsibility

As a form of private business self-regulation, corporate responsibility is the set of practices or standards that support ethical, philanthropic, and environmental goals. 


Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the set of practices that support and enhance ethical business goals. CSR may include philanthropic and volunteer initiatives, social justice campaigns, environmental stewardship, and corporate governance. 


Crisis Management

When a natural or industrial incident occurs, crisis management steps in to identify current and potential threats, manage communication during and after the crisis, and streamline recovery efforts. 


Crisis Management Plan

Developed to help organizations respond to current and future crises, the crisis management plan is designed to prepare for risks, assign key management roles during and after a crisis occurs, and facilitate communication between stakeholders. 


Data Broker

Data broker refers to any entity that collects publicly-available information, then shares or sells that data on a third-party website. There are many different types of data brokers, including some for legitimate purposes as well as for entertainment, shock value, or embarrassment of others. 


Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Signed into U.S. law in 1998, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) strengthens copyright laws on the internet. Specifically, it criminalizes the production and sharing of products, services, and technologies designed to circumvent copyright protections such as Digital Rights Management (DRM). 


Digital Services Act

Proposed by the European Union (EU) and awaiting passage by member nations, the Digital Services Act (DSA) targets the dissemination of illegal information over the internet. Eventually, it will spur member nation and EU legislation that regulates illegal content sharing, improve transparency in advertising, and reduce the spread of disinformation. 



Doxing, sometimes spelled as “Doxxing”,  is the practice of leaking or sharing private information, usually via the Web. Doxing is often used to blackmail, shame, or extort someone else. Private personal information obtained in doxing schemes can negatively affect the victim’s online reputation and may put their personal safety at risk. 


Earned Promotion

Earned promotion is a form of content promotion where platforms like social media are used to share web content. When used correctly, earned promotion improves engagement and generates organic feedback in the form of likes, comments, and shares on social channels. 


Entity SEO

Like traditional SEO, entity SEO helps users find information by optimizing web pages for search discovery. Entity goes beyond simple keywords and phrases, instead focusing on context clues and search intent to improve relevance in search results. 



ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. ESG – an extension of corporate social responsibility – is based on ethical business practices that many socially-conscious investors use to screen potential companies to fund. Operations with a low environmental impact, socially responsible hiring and leadership practices, and transparency in shareholder rights and internal business controls are the hallmarks of the ESG ecosystem. 



Expunction, also called Expungement, is a process ordered by courts to set aside or “forget” a person’s legal criminal history or arrest records. Records expunged may also include mugshots or booking photos. Expunction clears a person’s criminal history from public records. 



Expungement, also known as expunction,  is the court-ordered process whereby a person’s arrest report, criminal records, or mugshot images are removed from public records. In essence, expungement is a form of setting aside a criminal conviction. 


Gap Analysis

Gap analysis, sometimes referred to as content gap analysis, is the practice of identifying holes in your web content. With the information collected in gap analysis, content developers and writers can plug those holes, giving site visitors the information they need to make smart purchasing decisions. 


Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile (GBP) is the new name for Google My Business, a free business listing service that allows business owners to claim listings and appear in locally-oriented online searches and on Google Maps.


Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is the evolution of a Google business listing service first launched in 2004. Originally, it was meant as a digital version of the Yellow Pages; today it has expanded its tools to allow business owners to claim listings, add important business details, and stand out in locally-oriented Google searches.


Guest Posting

Guest posting is the act of writing web content for another person’s or company’s website. This is done to promote specific topics, individuals, or keywords on high-authority websites. Guest posting may involve the exchange of fees for the service, making it a form of paid content promotion. Guest posting may also be called guest blogging. 


Information Architecture (IA)

Information architecture (IA) is the practice of organizing, structuring, and labeling web content in an effective manner. By creating a sustainable and effective content architecture, search engines are better able to accurately categorize and index web pages or complete websites, ultimately improving search visibility while boosting the user experience.


Local Citation

A local citation is any online mentions of a business name, address and phone number, and contact details. Google recommends that business owners include “NAP”: Name, Address, and Phone number in their citations. Even a partial mention of this information qualifies as a local citation. Citations may also include details about a business like operating hours, driving directions, descriptions of products and services, and industry segment.


Local SEO

Local SEO leverages traditional SEO practices but focuses on improving visibility in searches with local intent, such as “business near me”. This strategy also helps get businesses on Google Maps


Media Relations

Media relations, sometimes referred to as public relations, is the set of strategies used to put your story in front of targeted audiences. These strategies may include earned and paid media promotion, press release distribution, and media appearances to share details of your brand and company. Media relations is also an important component of crisis management


Online Presence Management

Online presence management (OPM) is a comprehensive strategy to build brand awareness by presenting and directing traffic to your website and related web properties. OPM can include digital marketing, content and web property development, branding, and online reputation management as part of its toolkit. 


Online Reputation

Online reputation is defined as the consensus public opinion about an individual, business, or organization. A positive online reputation can help you to achieve your personal and professional goals, while a negative online reputation can hinder your opportunities for growth. 


Online Reputation Management (ORM)

Online reputation management is the set of strategies designed to establish, build, preserve, and repair your online reputation. ORM professionals provide a wide range of services to help put your best foot forward in the digital environment, helping you gain competitive advantages


Online Reviews

Online reviews on Google or on third-party review sites like TrustPilot, YellowPages, and TripAdvisor have a profound influence on a business’s online reputation. Most consumers read online reviews before making purchasing decisions. 


Owned Promotion

As a form of content promotion, owned promotion leverages tools like SEO and email lists to share web content on properties owned or controlled by you. 


Paid Promotion

Another content promotion strategy, paid promotion uses techniques like guest blog posts, paid discovery tools, and sponsored content to share your content on relevant, high-ranking web properties. 


People Search Site

People search sites, sometimes referred to as data search sites, are third-party platforms populated by records derived from public government resources. Such sites are extremely popular, helping individuals find out information – including sensitive or private information – about others with a few clicks of a mouse. 


PPC Management

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an effective way of bringing new customers to your website. With PPC management, marketing professionals analyze customer trends, develop custom strategies, and provide reporting tools to maximize your return on investment.


Public Records

Public records are any records collected and disseminated by government agencies on the local, state, and federal levels. These records may include driver’s license numbers, contact details, marriage licenses, real estate purchase documents, arrest records and mugshots. 


Public Relations

Public relations (PR) allows companies to create engagement with target audiences. PR campaigns may include media briefings, press release publication and distribution, community outreach events, and media strategies using paid and earned media promotion. 


Reputation Analysis

The foundation of any online reputation management campaign is reputation analysis, where ORM professionals explore your existing digital footprint to identify top keywords, positive and negative search results, and existing or potential reputational threats. Armed with this information, a robust reputation management strategy can be developed to establish, build, or repair your online reputation. 


Reputation Monitoring

Reputation monitoring is an analytic process where automated tools scour the web in search of your name or company name as well as negative news articles or unfavorable reviews. This process helps to identity emerging reputational threats before they can cause damage. 


Reputation Repair

Reputation repair is the practice of identifying negative search results, then using a range of strategies to suppress these unwanted results to restore and protect your critical online reputation. Strategies may include content removal, reverse SEO, and legal takedown methods. 


Reverse SEO

Reverse SEO refers to the practice of optimizing high-value websites or web pages for a specific target keyword in order to push down search rankings for unwanted or unflattering web pages appearing in Google searches. 


Review Gating

Review gating is the practice of displaying only positive customer feedback on review profiles by cherry-picking feedback or selectively soliciting positive reviews from customers. Businesses engaged in this practice may collect private feedback before it can become a publicly-displayed review. All forms of review gating are considered review fraud by Google and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).


Review Generation

Review generation is the set of strategies used to collect consumer feedback on Google and third-party review sites. By encouraging customers to leave reviews, a business owner can improve brand awareness and market penetration. 


Review Management

Review management is the practice of monitoring your online review profile, responding to reviews posted to Google and to third-party sites, and removing negative reviews to protect your online reputation. 


Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is a form of digital marketing where websites are promoted to improve visibility in search results using paid advertising and other paid promotion strategies. 


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the set of principles and practices that optimize pages for maximum visibility in online searches. These can include on-page factors as well as off-page strategies to help a web property stand out in search. 


Semantic SEO

Semantic SEO is the process of optimizing websites and web content to build more meaning and topical depth. By using semantic SEO, search algorithms gain a better understanding of your content, allowing it to be indexed and categorized more accurately. Ultimately, semantic SEO helps your content to rank at the top of search results for a given topic.



SERP stands for “search engine results page”, or the list of results Google provides to users based on a specific search query. SERPs may include URLs to relevant resources as well as images, video links, Google Business Profiles, and “People Also Ask” entries. 


Site Architecture

Site architecture refers to the structure of a website based on the arrangement and navigation of the functional and visual components of the site. Sites can be structured in sequences, webs, or hierarchies – each contributing to a positive user experience.


Social Media Management

Social media management is a service that helps individuals and businesses get the most from their social media profiles. Managing social media may include post development and promotion, responses to comments, performance analytics, and social media ad campaigns. 


Social Media Monitoring

Monitoring your social media for activity is one of the core components of social media management. By monitoring likes, comments, and mentions of your brand, you gain valuable insights into follower preferences, allowing you to tailor your approach to build engagement. This social media monitoring also helps to reveal emerging reputational threats before they can cause damage to your digital reputation.


Streisand Effect

The phenomenon that occurs when an attempt to suppress negative information through hiding, removal, or censorship backfires, often increasing the awareness of that information in the digital environment.



“Ungoogle” refers to the practice of removing negative information from Google search results.  


User Experience (UX)

User experience is a measure of how a person interacts with a website, brand, or service and the impression they get from that interaction. A positive user experience is the goal, encouraging people to get a favorable impression of your digital presence. 


User Interface (UI)

User interface refers to the organizational and navigational structures of your web presence and how they are interacted with by a site visitor. The user interface is directly related to user experience – a positive experience is a combination of site features and functionality that helps to satisfy visitor needs. 


Web Property Development

Web property development refers to the creation and launch of websites, blogs, video profiles, business directory listings, social media profiles, and Wikipedia pages to expand an individual’s or business’s digital footprint.