If you own or manage a website, you need to take proactive measures to protect your site’s reputation. Today, there are bloggers everywhere, and all it takes is one bad experience for them to start writing about your firm in a negative fashion. Below you will find a few online reputation management techniques that are currently being used to counteract attempts to damage a site’s standing. Technique #1 – Check and Respond to your Emails – Most people are not malicious, and simply want their concerns addressed. All websites should have a staff member who checks their emails daily and responds to them in a timely fashion. If an email happens to come in complaining about something, it is recommended that an executive write back, apologizing for the problem. The email should also offer a solution to the issue that the evaluator will find amicable. Technique #2 – Dominate the Searches for your Principle Keywords – It is very difficult for an individual that has a blog to write a negative review about a company’s products or services and have it rank high in the search engines, if your website is doing its job correctly. After all, who cares what one person’s writes, if nobody ever reads their material? Some of the things that a website can do to crush the completion and dominate the search engines are: update daily with unique content, produce and post YouTube videos, get as many high ranking backlinks as possible, create other sites, like Squidoo lens, that complement your site, or work on improving your FaceBook page. Technique #3 – Respond to Negative Reviews Sympathetically – There are websites like Yelp that allow individuals to review restaurants, and sites like TripAdvisor, where you can rate hotels or airlines. Each website should have an employee that monitors these kinds of sites that are in their industry and respond to any negative reviews compassionately. In many cases, all it takes is any apology and offer of a free meal or a free night’s stay in a hotel for the person who wrote a negative review to change their opinion, and write a positive review. Technique #4 – Avoid Online Wars – Nobody wins when they argue online, especially a business that uses the internet as a money-making tool. If your site has done all it can to appease an unhappy customer, but cannot get them to start thinking your way, it is time to cut your losses, and move on. Online reputation management is something that should be taken very seriously and addressed meaningfully, before a crisis occurs.