Manage Your Online Reputation
Have you ever Googled yourself?
If the results are cringe-worthy, it’s time to take control of the situation.
You need to manage your online reputation.
There are a number of steps you can take to ensure that when you – or your future employer, future significant other, or your mom! – looks up your name online, the results tell a story you want to be told.
It Couldn’t Happen to You… Right?
Let’s be honest…
It’s incredibly easy to be on the receiving end of a biased and spiteful review.
Let’s say you went on a date, the guy got handsy, and you never returned his call. Dodged a bullet right?
Next thing you know, you find a nasty fake review about you online.
Sites like “The Dirty” exist purely to serve as a medium to gossip. Anyone can post anything about someone whether it’s true or not. You might find yourself at the receiving end of a rant like this poor fellow.
The site owners refuse to take down anything.
Instead, they dare you to sue them.
And because the site has a high domain authority, the nastiness posted about you will show on the first page of search results.
This can affect your ability to get a job, a date, and so much more.
So, how do you change your online story?
1. Try for Removal
You can always submit a complaint to Google.
You’ll need to do a bit of research first to find applicable bullying or defamation policies that are being violated to build a strong case.
2. Buy Your Name as a Domain
Buy a domain name under your full name (example – johnsmith.com).
It’ll cost you about $12 on GoDaddy.
Remember to buy the .net and .org extension in addition to .com.
If you really want to protect yourself, consider investing in iterations of your name like yournamesucks.com or anything else someone might try and exploit.
The idea is to use these domains not only for self-promotion but also to prevent others from using them against you.
3. Set Up a Website
To promote yourself using yourname.com, you’ll need to set up a website.
I know what you’re thinking. “Now I have to hire a programmer?!?” No.
Anyone can set up their own website without coding knowledge. SquareSpace makes this incredibly easy with plans as low as $12/month.
Check out the plug and play templates (optimized for mobile).
Select the one you like and use it to add content (text, images, video) to your site.
Use your name as the main keyword.
But don’t limit yourself to just one site.
Set up a second site around your professional life using the other (positive) domain extensions you bought over at GoDaddy.
If you bought negative domains, consider setting up a “tongue in cheek” site that you use to expound on your “negative” (but not really) attributes. These could include things like:
- You can’t say no to your dog and now you have to sleep in a small corner of your fur-coated Queen size bed
- You have trouble differentiating pigeons from seagulls
- You’ve never taken the time to learn to scuba dive
- You’re too scared to try bungee jumping
- Your cuticles could use some grooming
You’re clearly a terrible person.
4. Create a Wikipedia page
Despite anyone’s ability to edit a Wiki page, it’s still trusted source of information.
It’s a great way to get your name online.
On your page, mention things like your biography and work history to portray a wholesome image of who you really are.
5. Get SUPER active on social
If it’s not a personal site (or reviews on third-party platforms), search engines will show social profiles of the people you look up.
Don’t neglect the opportunity to brand yourself here.
Here are just a number of ways you can take advantage of social:
- Setup a public Facebook page
- Post more frequently on Twitter
- Open an Instagram account and post engaging content
- Open a Youtube account
- Open a Vimeo account
- Add a slideshow to SlideShare
- Post to Linkedin
- Post to Google Plus
I recommend getting a HootSuite or Buffer account to help you manage a content schedule so that you don’t have to post things individually to each platform.
6. Use a reputation management service
- If you’re still struggling, try out a reputation management service.There are plenty out there, but I’d start with BrandYourself.
They will help you remove Google results and create content around your name.
Lots of Good CAN Push Down Bad
The Internet can be a mean and scary place. Words can stick around for a long time online.
It’s time to take control of your story and online reputation so the world learns about the real you.