Have you ever Googled yourself? If you’ve ever taken the time to check out your search results, you may have experienced the gamut of emotions.
Perhaps you were surprised to see a disgruntled former employee had taken to blogging, disparaging your name and your company. Or someone who shares your name – but not your pristine past – is popping up above accurate information about you, sullying your good name with her questionable history. Maybe it’s an ex-boyfriend with an axe to grind.
About 50 percent of adults said they would erase all the information about them online if they could, but that’s not remotely a practical solution. It won’t work, so focus on fixing, not erasing. If you’re facing an unfavorable online reputation situation, the damage is not irreparable. Instead, read on for some easy tips to take ownership of your online search results.
Social media is your friend! You may think Twitter is a fad and Facebook isn’t worth your time. Who knows? You may be right. But you can’t deny the power that a social media profile has to instantly climb to the top of your search results. And that’s the goal here. It’s very difficult to completely erase damaging and/or incorrect information from the Internet. But it’s not as hard to push those search results down to the second page. That’s essentially as good as deleting, since nearly 70 percent of users don’t go past the first four results for any given search and almost 92 percent do not go past the first page. Even if you create a Twitter account with no intention of sharing your 140-character thoughts with the world, just going through the registration process can really help you take ownership of your search results page.
Start a blog! It doesn’t matter what you decide to blog about – it can be anything from sharing your favorite recipes to a photos-only presentation of your latest vacation – but the (search) results don’t lie. Use a high-profile platform like Tumblr, WordPress or Blogger and take advantage of their SEO-friendly strategies to help facilitate your blog’s home page. With luck, it will bump an undesirable link to a less heavily-trafficked section of your search results. Just like with social media, your blog doesn’t need to become popular for it to be an effective tool. And you don’t need to invest a ton of time in maintaining it either. Simply creating one in your name will go a long way towards improving your online reputation. Pro tip: make sure that whatever topics you choose to write about support the image you’re trying to showcase to the world.
Set up an alert! Knowledge is power. Set up a Google Alert for your name so you can be immediately in the know when Google indexes new information about you. You can celebrate if it’s positive and an accurate reflection of who you are – and, if not, you can get proactive about managing it so a rogue result doesn’t negate the work you’ve done in tailoring your digital search portfolio.
Your search results page is definitely worth the time it takes to manage. Look at it as your digital resume or portfolio – information that communicates volumes about who you are. Ask yourself if what’s there really represents you.
Overwhelmed by the process? Reach out to one of ReputationDefender’s customer service representatives at