Personal Reputation Management
Controlling What the Internet Says About You
The World Wide Web is a very public place – and it’s often quite hard to control what’s placed in Google and other sites. And you must remember that Google and other search engines are not simply search engines. The internet and its many uses has transformed search engines and also made them reputation engines.
Building and Managing an Online Reputation
When potential employers and customers want your work and professional history, when a reporter wants to cover your story or business, when a prospective date wants to know more about you and basically, when others want to know about you or your business, it’s the internet (primarily Google) they will turn to.
You may have posted something rash in your social networking account (such as a picture of you drunk and happily holding a bottle of beer). Someone may have posted similarly malicious and damaging pictures or stories about you. Or a disgruntled customer may have badmouthed your products or services and posted it on a forum or a blog. Even if your case does not post things that are that damaging, you still want to make sure that what’s out there will show you in the best possible light. It’s so easy to multiply this exposure. The more salacious the gossip, the more it will be searched and linked to and the more this kind of negative information can be more easily found in the internet.
If you’re not careful, what others may find in the internet may not be the things you want them to see. It’s like a skeleton in the closet – only available for every person interested to search and find. That is why reputation management is very important, especially for those who are just starting a career or are in-between jobs. Being able to manage your reputation can also protect you against online defamation of your character – something that is very possible since the laws regarding online character defamation are not as hard and fast at the moment.
So don’t wait until you see a flurry of negative and potentially damaging things about you or your company. Take a proactive stand against personal reputation management – while it’s early, you can start implementing a strategy to build positive content for you in the internet.
Some simple reminders and tips about personal reputation management
Although the internet is very public, you have the power and the ability to control your Google (and other search engine) results. Here are a few tips on how you can do this:
- Google your name. Find out what’s already out there. That way, you know what you have to contend with and you can start taking proactive measures towards protecting your reputation.
- If you find sites that show your name, you can request the website’s administrator to remove content. There are a number of people search websites that provide listings of your Internet footprint, or simply, the information available when someone makes a search of your name. These websites allow individuals to contact them and make a request in order to have their information removed.
- Write it up. One way towards owning content available in the web is to start writing through a blog. You can buy your own name as a domain and build a blog using this domain. With blogs, you can put in content as often as you want and need to. And since a blog has a single URL, Google will notice that you are regularly generating content. This will result in higher Google rankings if you’re wise about using keywords (via Search Engine Optimization). However, you should note that if you do decide to blog, you should be able to update your blog regularly. It wouldn’t do much for you to start a blog and leave it at one or two entries for a long stretch of time. You can also use methods that will drive up SEO value – such as using backlinks and other strategies.
You can also write for other blogs. Doing a guest post on more popular blogs can help take the top search results spot when your name is searched. When giving your bio, be sure to use embedded links that link back to the sites you have.
- Join the right social networks. There’s Facebook and MySpace for a start. But these are not the only places for you to network. You can look towards other social networks such as LinkedIn, Delicious, YouTube, Twitter, FriendFeed or Flickr. You can also think about building your own through facilities provided by Ning.com. The best use of these social networks is to regularly participate – that means acquiring lots of friends, posting on your wall regularly, posting pictures and videos and encouraging others to comment on your posts and pictures.
When building your profile, you can use your own name and not rely on aliases. This way, your username is also searchable through Google. Also, avoid the temptation of stuffing your profiles and posts with SEO-rich keywords. Your posts and entries should look natural so as to avoid the risk of being banned from the site.
- Fight the negative with the positive. Aim to own more content and work towards driving these at the top of Google searches – especially the top ten to twenty hits on Google. You can’t always control what’s being said about you in the internet, but if your controlled content gets the top searches in the web, you can more or less minimize the damage that may be caused by negative content by reducing the visibility of the sites that post negative content.
- Take part in communities. Join blog communities which share your interests or the topics you blog about. When you take part in the community – by discussing relevant issues – you may meet new blog friends who can be interested in writing and promoting about you.
- Give out a free eBook. This will increase the number of visitors in your blog or website. You don’t actually need to require lead generation forms – the free eBook will increase your rating Google-wise due to the increased traffic to your site. Also, if you put in the right triggers, you can encourage people to link and share this free eBook.
Personal Reputation Management is key in ensuring that when anyone searches your name, you provide them with the right information about you. If you need help in building your website, Adaptivity Pro is here to help you. Adaptivity Pro is a Utah Web design and SEO company based in Salt Lake City. Adaptivity Pro is an expert Utah SEO provider that can control your Google rankings. We’ll help you monitor your online reputation and manage SEO-rich content.
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Adaptivity Pro Web Design
Salt Lake City Utah
P.O. Box 951049
South Jordan, UT