Your Online Reputation
10 May 2012
Protecting your online reputation is extremely important. There is a very good chance that before every job interview, sales pitch or social engagement you will have been ‘Googled’ by the people you are setting out to impress. Negative online results can eliminate your chances of success even before you start.
Research carried out in 2010 by Microsoft found that 78% of surveyed companies examined the search engine results of job applicants. The study also found that 86% of employers reported that a positive online reputation influenced their hiring decision.
It is critical that you are aware and manage your online reputation. Here are a few tips of what you should be doing:
1. Assess what is already out there
You finally have a legitimate reason to ‘Google’ your name. Have a look at what comes up in the search results. If you have a Google account make sure you are logged-out before you do the search. Also carry out a search across all major search engines and social networks (Google Images, Google.com, Bing.com, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook) – this will give you the whole picture.
2. Google Alerts
To stay on top of any potential negative comments in the future set up a Google Alert (www.google.com/alerts) to send you an email anytime something about you or your business is published online.
3. Secure your ‘name’ domains
If they are available, purchase your name domains e.g. michaellough.co.uk or michael-lough.com. I buy my domains from www.lcn.com, the site also gives an easy search to check for availability. Buy at least one domain that includes your name. This can be used to build positive online content about you now or in the future.
4. Check your Google settings
If you have a Google account then check your settings to see what you are sharing with everyone. Google has now changed its terms and conditions to say it will share everything unless to tell it not to – but please note there are some things you cannot turn off. Until recently pictures of my children appeared in Google Images when I searched my name – I have since made these images private.
5. Create a LinkedIn page
If you don’t already have one, create a LinkedIn profile. This is online content about you that you can control. It will also appear very high in Google search results, potentially pushing negative search results further down the list.
6. Seek professional help
If you do come across malicious content about you or your business, do not bury your head in the sand. It won’t simply go away and it will have a detrimental effect on your professional and personal life.
We have helped many individuals and businesses reclaim their online reputation in a cost effective and discrete way.
For a confidential conversation please get in touch.