These days one of the first things people do when they want to know more about you or your business is to do a search for your name on Google – I’m sure you have all heard of the expression “I just Googled you”.
Whether there are some embarrassing photos, a bad review of your business or poorly written blog comment, these all effect your online reputation.
Luckily, though, Google have decided to help you manage your online reputation with a number of tips. Here is an overview of the tips from Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, Susan Moskwa:
The first step in reputation management is pre-emptive: Think twice before putting your personal information online. Remember that although something might be appropriate for the context in which you’re publishing it, search engines can make it very easy to find that information later, out of context, including by people who don’t normally visit the site where you originally posted it.
Tackle it at the source
If something you dislike has already been published, the next step is to try to remove it from the site where it’s appearing.
- If the content in question is on a site you own, easy — just remove it. It will naturally drop out of search results after we recrawl the page and discover the change.
- It’s also often easy to remove content from sites you don’t own if you put it there, such as photos you’ve uploaded, or content on your profile page.
- If you can’t remove something yourself, you can contact the site’s webmaster and ask them to remove the content or the page in question.
After you or the site’s webmaster has removed or edited the page, you can expedite the removal of that content from Google using our URL removal tool.
Proactively publish information
If you can get stuff that you want people to see to outperform the stuff you don’t want them to see, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of harm that that negative or embarrassing content can do to your reputation.
If you would like to learn more about how to manage your online reputation then I would recommend checking out Andy Beal, online reputation guru and author of Radically Transparent. To get you started here is an interview with Andy as he discusses how small business can deal with a “reputation assault” on the web. Enjoy!