Five top tips for managing your online reputation

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Accountants can damage their reputations by injudicious use of online resources. Mark Lee explains how to avoid the common traps.

For years we’ve been told of the importance of building a positive reputation and guarding it carefully. Nowadays an increasing number of people will check you out online before engaging with you, which means you also need to manage your online reputation to ensure that the impression people gain online is at least as good as what they’d see offline. This is just as important for accountants in practice as it is for those in business.

In wrote a piece last year called What does Google say about you and your firm? Since then an increasing number of UK accountants have become more active online, using sites such as Twitter, Link...

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10th Feb 2010 12:18

More points

I created my first website for my practice in 1994. It has been through several changes, and I launched my new site and business last October. Having read up on website rankings I thought I would browse through and see what the various ranking companies thought of the new site. I discovered that the two biggest had recorded information about my site that was over five years out of date.

I checked what the ranking companies thought of another commercial site which I know a lot about, and guess, what? More out of date information and stats.

So two thoughts, firstly it might be prudent to say that the so-called "leading" web ranking companies are not exactly a reliable guide to websites. Something to factor in if you are researching a business, or even thinking of buying a website, or involved in valuations. 

Secondly, if you have a business it is best to try and identify as many of the ranking sites as you can to ensure that where ever you are listed, you are listed correctly. I suppose this is all part of so-called web-optimization.

Virtual Tax know-how and support for accountants:

p.s. What tickles me when I get spammed by a web-optimization company is that when you search its details, it never comes out on top.

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By onesys
17th Feb 2010 18:24

It's Not Always Gold That Floats to the Top

There is a fine line between the old 'word of mouth' that drives a business forward and the 'gossip' that kills it.

Gossiping over the fence seemed to be a thing of the past until the internet arrived in every home and business. Now you can trace, discuss and organise most things online. It is good to see criminals being caught with the internet. (no pun intended)

We can recommend or complain and reputations can be made and lost in a tweet.

It has never been easy to separate malicious gossip from the truth but as long as you compare different sources and apply a little commonsense, you may find your version of the truth.

Or you can just ignore all the chatter, as 'by their deeds ye shall know them'. ;-)

In reply to comment by Nichola Ross Martin;

I hope you agree that the service industry still very much relies on the individual. Large companies may build up reputations and high Google rankings over time but the work is usually done by one person. If such a person feels undervalued or has the skills and courage to set up on their own, they may not have a high-ranking website, (which takes time) or a large customer base but that should not be a reflection of their abilities. They have to build on their limited reputation and may give you a better service than a complacent blue chip ever would. (as you found out)

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