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20 Online Reputation Statistics That Every Business Owner Needs To Know

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Ryan Erskine of FORBES MAGAZINE: September 2017

Have you Googled yourself lately?  If you haven’t, you may be surprised by what you find. Nearly 50% of US adults say the results aren’t positive.

And that’s not something to be taken lightly. We live in a world where your online reputation can be your strongest asset or your biggest liability.

Employers, clients, colleges and customers are increasingly using Google as their sidekick before making important decisions. What shows up in your search results could mean the difference between a job and the unemployment line, a new customer and a lost opportunity, an investor meeting and an unanswered email.


There’s no excuse for being unaware of your online footprint. In fact, it’s downright irresponsible.

Here are 20 statistics that prove the value of online reputation management:

The Power Of Online Reviews

    1. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. (2016)
  1. Online reviews have been shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions. (2015)
  2. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. (2016)
  3. 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. (2016)
  4. Every one star increase in a Yelp rating means a 5 to 9% increase in revenue. (2016)
  5. 82% of Yelp users said they typically visit Yelp because they intend to buy a product or service. (2013)

The Power Of Search Results

  1. 91% of online adults use search engines to find information on the web. (2012)
  2. 65 percent of people see online search as the most trusted source of information about people and companies. That’s a higher level of trust than any other online or offline source. (2014)
  3. Nearly 50% of US adults who Google themselves say the results aren’t positive. (2012)
  4. 93% of searchers never go past the first page, instead using only the first 10 search results to form their impression. (2014)

Impact On Business Revenue

  1. Businesses risk losing 22% of business when potential customers find one negative article on the first page of their search results. (2015)
    • Businesses with two negatives on the first page of search results risk losing 44% of its customers.
    • If three negative articles pop up in a search query, the potential for lost customers increases to 59.2%. (2015)
    • Have four or more negative articles about your company or product appearing in Google search results? You’re likely to lose 70% of potential customers. (2015)
  2. Nearly half of U.S. adults said they have Googled someone before doing business with them. (2012)
    • 45% said they have found something in an online search that made them decide not to do business with the person.
    • 56% have found something that solidified their decision to do business with the person.

The Effect On Hiring And Firing

  1. A bad reputation costs a company at least 10% more per hire. (2016)
  2. 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates, up from 11% in 2006. (2017)
  3. Of all recruiters, 95% believe that the job market will remain or become more competitive. If you don’t stand out online, your competition will. (2015)
  4. Seventy-five percent of HR departments are required to search job applicants online. (2010)
  5. Eighty-five percent of U.S. recruiters and HR professionals say that an employee’s online reputation influences their hiring decisions at least to some extent. Nearly half say that a strong online reputation influences their decisions to a great extent. (2010)
  6. Seventy percent of U.S. recruiters and HR professionals have rejected candidates based on information they found online. (2010)
  7. 57% of employers are less likely to interview a candidate they can't find online (2017)

Ryan Erskine is a Senior Brand Strategist and Forbes Magazine Contributor.

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