As social networking on the internet grows, so does the importance of managing your online reputation.
I was reminded of this the other day when I received a message from a member of my small business forum asking if I would remove one of her posts that discussed a former business she had owned. She’d moved into an entirely different business arena and didn’t want the post showing up if someone did a search on her name.
And I’ll never forget when a colleague — who’s business was online copy writing and PR and who made a major portion of her living by people finding her in the search engines — called me in a panic because one of the top search engine results on her name was a posting she’d made to an online forum detailing problems with her monthly cycle. Oy!
The truth is, whatever you post online has the potential for finding it’s way into the search engines — front and center. Be cautious and stay on top of what you say and what is said about you online.
Here are three things you can do to manage your online reputation.
- Request the content be removed. It’s tough and time consuming to get undesirable content removed, but it’s worth a try. If it’s a forum posting or comment on a blog, first try reaching out to the owner and explaining your situation.
- Bury it by being more active. The search engines love great content. You can submit articles to online publications, post thoughtful entries in online forums and on blogs to squeeze out the other content.
- Use Google Alerts to monitor what’s being said. Set up a google alert on your name to get a daily report of where you are being mentioned online. The sooner you find out about any mention that impacts your reputation, the better.
What do you think? What tactics have you used to manage your online reputation? Leave me a comment.