Have you ever Googled yourself, did you like what you saw? Did you feel good about what was out there for the whole world to read or did it make you cringe and want to run away and cry?
When I speak to groups at Social Media Marketing workshops, the one thing I ask them to do afterwards is to Google themselves. Why, because I want them to see their online digital footprint to ensure that it’s accurate.
Remember, if someone else tags you online, it becomes part of your footprint and you want to ensure it’s something that is not offensive or unflattering.
Reputation management companies such as BrandYourself and ReputationDefender have two pieces of advice: Google yourself often, and when you do, do so using a private window or incognito mode option so that results are not customized because of your location or search habits.
“Pay extra attention to the first page of your results, as this is the first impression that your personal and professional contacts will see, and 90 percent of users do not bother to look any further,” says Rich Matta, CEO of ReputationDefender, the subsidiary of Reputation.comfocusing on consumers and small businesses.
“Once something is posted online, it’s very unlikely it will go away,”
So what do you do if what you saw on some of your online profiles weren’t pretty or less than desirable, you may want to go back to the websites which has the information and delete it.
If content exists that you did not post, you should contact the webmaster and request that they pull it down. If you don’t get a response and you feel the issue is important enough to pursue, you can engage a lawyer who will ask them to remove it, and an email from a lawyer is much more intimidating than one from a John Doe from Idaho.
Privacy Settings on Social Media sites are important so that you can make sure that only those who you know and trust have access to your most private posts, photos, notes, comments, etc.
If you’d like to add, rather than delete content for the world to read, consider creating a blog or contributing articles to other blogging communities.
This way, people will learn more about anything you care to share, including your interests, family, favorite foods, hobbies and other topics you wish to include. You will be branding yourself in a positive manner and leaving a legacy for your loved ones.
No matter what you find when you Google yourself, it is important to know that you do have some control over the situation. If you find that others are posting nasty or derogatory things about you online, remember the law no longer messes around when it comes to cyber bullying. Typically, in situations like this, all it takes is a click of the ‘report’ link, and in a day or so it’ll be removed.
NEVER be afraid to take matters into your own hands – search engines are used today to learn about anything and everything in our vast and confusing universe, so you want to be sure that what people learn about you online is the information you’d want to give them if you were to speak to them yourself.
Go ahead Google yourself then tell me do you like what you see?