Reputation management refers to the influencing and controlling or concealing of an individual's or group's reputation. Originally a public relations term, the growth of the internet and social media, along with reputation management companies, have made search results a core part of an individual's or group's reputation. Online reputation management, sometimes abbreviated as ORM, focuses on the management of product and service search website results. Ethical grey areas include mug shot removal sites, astroturfing customer review sites, censoring negative complaints, and using search engine optimization tactics to influence results.
With extensive developments in this field of public relations, in-sync with the growth of the internet and social media, along with the advent of reputation management companies, the overall outlook of search results has become an integral part of what defines "reputation" and subsequent to all these developments, reputation management now exists under two spheres: online and offline reputation management. Online reputation management focuses on the management of product and service search results within the digital space, that is why it is common to see the same suggested links in the first page of a Google search. A variety of electronic markets and online communities like e-Bay, Amazon and Alibaba have ORM systems built in, and using effective control nodes these can minimize the threat and protect systems from possible misuses and abuses by malicious nodes in decentralized overlay networks.