In February, 2014, we polled five well-known reputation management companies in order to give potential clients an objective pricing comparison. Each company was asked to present pricing on two common reputation management problems: Google Autocomplete (view sample) and Pushing Negative Content Off Page 1 of Google. The results of that research is presented in the tables below.
Cost To Fix Google Autocomplete
|Time To Fix|
Cost To Push Negative Content Off Page 1 Of Google
|Time To Fix|
About the data. Each reputation management company was asked to provide pricing and the time to fix the reputation management problems for the same sample client. When monthly prices were quoted, I figured the Cost Estimate by multiplying their monthly price by the average time to fix the problem.
For Google Autocomplete, the client had one negative suggestion appearing when you Googled his name. According to Google’s Keyword Planner, there was zero search traffic for the negative term. This makes it a low volume case typical of most cases we see.
For Pushing Negative Content Off Page 1 of Google, the client had one piece of negative content appearing in organic search results when you Googled his name – a ripoffreport.com article, which was the #1 listing.
Reputation Management Company Comparison
My phone interaction with the reputation management companies I surveyed was often challenging. Most of the firms spend a considerable amount of time explaining all the nuances of what they do and how they are different. I learned by talking to each of these firms that reputation management – much like SEO – is a confusing business. It taught me the importance of keeping things simple and easy to understand with the clients we speak with.
Here are the highlights of each of the calls.
Reputation Management Consultants. Of the companies I talked to, I actually liked these guys the best. The rep I talked to was knowledgeable and confident. The only problem is their prices are too high. I know what it costs to operate an autocomplete campaign. $2,000 per month is way too high. At those prices, I could go door to door asking people to Google positive terms. Their reputation management prices weren’t the highest, but they could get out of hand quickly if the campaign takes longer than anticipated.
Brand. They like to drip content out slowly and when I asked why you don’t blast out a lot of content right up front to try to fix the problem quicker, I was told, “Google flags it if too much content is published at one time.” In all our years of SEO and reputation management, we’ve never seen this happen. It just isn’t true. The representative also told me that Autocomplete could be fixed simply by searching, not by clicking. To our knowledge, this is also false. In fact, it’s the ‘click-through’ to the website that locks down the search and records it in Google’s algorithm. Brand’s autocomplete prices are outlandish and their reputation management prices are the most expensive of all companies surveyed.
Reputation. I opened the call telling the agent I was shopping around and before I said another word, I was given a litany about how I probably “wasn’t going to like what I heard from him – that other companies were cheaper and pitching more favorable timelines.” Then I had to listen to how they have $70 million in venture capital and blah-blah-blah. For what it’s worth, Reputation.com won’t do business with you if you’ve been convicted of a felony or have charges pending. They position themselves as the “white-hat” in the reputation game and talk a lot of corporate mumbo-jumbo. Their $8,000 flat fee to fix Google autocomplete is excessive. Surprisingly, their reputation management fee was only $10,000 with one caveat – 100% of the money is due up front. What’s their incentive for wrapping up your case quickly?
BrandYourself. BrandYourself offers three different campaign schedules, priced at $299/mo, $499/mo, and $799/mo. Each is a 12-month commitment. The sales representative I spoke to recommended the $499/mo campaign in order to fix the client’s problem we were discussing. The problem with BrandYourself’s campaign, in my opinion, is they do not create enough content. For $499/month, I was quoted 4 websites and 12 profiles. That’s a total of 16 digital assets. So, for BrandYourself to operate a successful campaign, 10 of those 16 assets need to land on page 1, in order to push down the negative content. That’s a slim margin for error and extremely risky, if you’re a client. Our difference is that we create and promote 80-100 digital assets for you and try to rank them all. Then whichever ones start ranking, those are the ones you can improve content on. At $6,000, their reputation management price is second cheapest compared to our pricing, but like I said, I don’t think they’re creating enough positive content. BrandYourself’s price on autocomplete is pretty good. A big downside to BrandYourself is it took 3 days to reach them. Each time I called in and got voicemail and had to leave a message.
Internet Reputation. First I got cut off and then I was misquoted a lower rate by a junior sales representative. When a senior representative talked to me, he apologized for the communication error. I got the real quote with the timelines you see posted above. In 2 phone calls, I talked to 3 different people. Sigh…
Internet Reputation’s autocomplete prices are ridiculous, although my representative was so confident they could fix the problem within 3 months that he said the 4th month would be free. While that implies a cap for you as a client, the total price could still run you $5,000 which is more than triple what we charge. Their reputation management prices are in line with the other big firms, coming in at an expected $10,000.
Affordable Reputation Management. Well, this is us, so I probably can’t give an objective review. Simply put, I’d recommend getting a quote from us before you move forward with any of the large firms. You’ll likely invest thousands of dollars less on your campaign, enjoy fixed pricing, and get quality results within the same time frame (or faster). And if your campaign takes a little longer than expected, at least you won’t be on the hook for monthly fees. We’ll be working hard to wrap your job up because we don’t get final payment until we do. Don’t make a decision you’ll later regret. Call 503-890-6663 for a quote.
Reputation Management Guarantee?
None of the reputation management firms we spoke with offered a guarantee. When I pressed them on their timetable to get results, I felt they all truly gave their best guess on how long it would take to fix the problem. Those “time to fix” estimates are shown verbatim in the charts above. I know from experience that one of the hardest things about any reputation management campaign is guessing how long it will take. Just because we push down a ripoffreport.com article for one client in 1 month, doesn’t mean they’ll happen that quickly. Some take less time, some take more time. We give our best guess based on experience.
Truth be told – none of us can offer a guarantee because none of us control Google, it’s suggestions, or it’s search results. But the difference with us is we quote you a flat fee and collect half of it only AFTER the job is complete. What this means is we’re on the hook to fix your problem and we don’t collect an additional dime until we do. So, not only are our prices better across the board, we don’t require you to pay monthly fees or 100% in advance like some of the firms surveyed.
While we don’t give a guarantee, we feel we’re doing the next best thing. Sometimes jobs do take longer than expected and in those cases, WE’RE the loser, not you. If your situation takes longer than we thought it would, we invest our own resources until it’s done. That doesn’t cost you any more money, unlike many of the firms above.
The common theme between all the companies is that, well, they’re companies. They’ve got lots of fixed costs that come with running a big business – employee wages, commercial leases, benefits, etc. We don’t. We hire writers, assistants, and data entry support on a job by job basis. We operate from our home offices and wherever possible, we use automation to speed through our work.
And because we also operate an SEO agency, we’re up to date with Google’s algorithm and industry news. We’re experienced problem solvers and we’re very good at what we do. We also offer the best customer service in the industry. For a quote, call 503-890-6663.