A new survey by Igniyte reveals that three quarters of businesses believe, that when it comes to online presence, negative content is now their number one business worry.

The Reputation Report – a study of 500 business owners and higher decision makers representing UK businesses commissioned by Igniyte, reveals that, when it comes to online presence, three quarters of companies believe negative content online is now their number one business worry.

The report also discovered that one in five business leaders are unhappy with the way they are portrayed in their Google page one. While only a third of bosses felt they had all the skills they needed to keep their company’s online reputation up to scratch.

“Companies are realising that online reputation is an important asset worth protecting, but dealing with negative content is still a tricky issue,” says Simon Wadsworth, Managing Director and Founder of Igniyte.

Over half of the respondents from the survey said their businesses had been adversely affected by negative content online. Content posted by competitors was identified as the most common cause for concern, followed by malicious postings from disgruntled former employees. Bad reviews, unhappy employees and negative media coverage were also found to be commonplace issues faced by businesses today.

“Negative media coverage is an issue for a relatively large percentage of UK businesses,” continues Wadsworth, “the survey suggests that one in ten have been affected by social media posts.”

According to the survey, a lot of businesses are choosing to outsource managing their digital profile as they simply do not know how to keep on top of it. And for many, dealing with damaging content has become the focus of their entire online strategy.

Although an overwhelming 88% of respondents believe that having a positive web presence is important to the people who use their services, a staggering 45% of respondents said they had failed to remove damaging posts. For some tackling negative posts, reviews and comments is now more important, than winning new sales, gaining followers and even raising brand awareness.

And it is not just reputational damage that is affecting businesses. There is a very real financial impact too, with companies reporting an average loss of £46,815 as a result of damaging online content. Almost one in ten say they have lost between £50k and £100k, while close to a quarter are £10k out of pocket. Another one in five says poor online reputation has cost them closer to £50k.

Read The Reputation Report here.

Previous Article Update: Google Flooded by ‘Right to be Forgotten' Requests May 23, 2014 Next Article How to Promote Your Company Reputation Online June 10, 2014