Online reputation: the legal route
THE LEGAL ASPECTS
Almost all French online reputation operators (our competitors) come from the small microcosm of Internet referencing (Search Engine Optimization / SEO) which consists of positioning search engine results. Faced with growing demand from clients who, on the contrary, wanted certain Internet results to disappear, they naturally switched to being online reputation agencies, expanding their services to offer what they call “Google dereferencing”. But you can’t just turn into an online reputation specialist on the spur of the moment, and we will explain why.
TECHNICAL ABILITY: IMPORTANT BUT NOT ENOUGH
THE LEGAL ROUTE: THE HOLY GRAIL OF ONLINE REPUTATION
Technically, you have to do three things:
- Delete the negatives: also called dereferencing, or cleaning, eradication, suppression, burying, fortressing, shielding, etc… this consists of deleting a Google link or making it move down the rankings sufficiently far that people tend not to see it.
- Highlight the positives: also called content multiplication, referencing, recommendations, construction, (pro)active communication, etc… this consists of creating positive content that will counterbalance the negative image that you want to wipe out and support everything you want to keep about yourself, your business or your brand.
- Monitor over the long term: also called vigilance, intelligence, analysis, etc… this consists of ensuring that dregs don’t resurface and that new onslaughts don’t destroy what you’ve built.
Unfortunately, all these techniques are an inexact science and some information can have a tough life. Which is why at Net’Wash we work closely with a legal firm (although we can work with any lawyer, including your own if you prefer) to ensure that, in addition to the technical resources that we put into play, a legal victory could short-circuit any further action by you or your detractors and shut the door definitively on any comeback or attempted comeback.
Although the Internet seems to be an extremely free space, and relatively complicated to manage, where the legal systems that govern us seem not to apply, all information has a physical footprint that can be traced and the perpetrators of that information can be forced to make it disappear.
Once we understand that, we realize that everything is possible when it comes to defending a web reputation, even though “possible” is not synonymous with easy or fast. The legal route opens the door when all else has failed, but it can also be a faster way for prevention or quick resolution to avoid having to implement complex and costly technical solutions.
Whether it requires a letter from a lawyer, a formal notice, bailiff’s report, or court ruling, our Net’Wash agency and your legal firm offer us a full legal arsenal to counter in an intelligent and measured way the situation that you’re facing.
Here at Net’Wash, 95% of our legal actions (without necessarily going to trial) have satisfied our clients.