While researching information with a client regarding integration of WordPress and a popular educational, proprietary software package, we were stunned at the number of bad reviews, horror stories, and frustration with using that program – let’s call it ABC.
Finding such negative information about ABC was not our goal. We were looking for technical articles and had to wade through post titles like Overcoming ABC Frustrations, If You Want Technical Support Don’t Ask ABC, Why Teachers Hate ABC, When ABC is More Trouble Than Your Students, The Battle to Convince the School Board to Not Use ABC, Why We Hate ABC, and so on.
Frustrated with using the program herself, my client was stunned by the number of public complaints and negative rants. Stepping back to reconsider, she finally said, “Let’s change our parameters. Let’s research if WordPress integrates with a similar program, one without the bad reputation.” Once she returned to her office, she would put my project to develop a proposal to stop using this very costly program for her university and transition the school to a better program.
All because of an unrelated simple keyword search, ABC would lose over a hundred thousand dollars a year from this university now convinced that this isn’t the way to go.
While this huge economic decision was influenced by search engine results, results which may not truly reflect the quality and integrity of the program, online reputations are made and broken by what people uncover through their searches. Are you paying attention to your online reputation for your blog, business, and life?