When it comes to your reputation, what “Google” says about you is what the world will think about you. No matter what the truth actually is, if you are not proactive to ensure that your name and image are upheld to the highest integrity, then the internet can be one gigantic playground causing viral defamation to you and your business.
Recently the world’s largest search giant announced that they had over 1 trillion pages cached in their index… 1 TRILLION. That means there are twelve zeros following the number one. To give you an idea how large that is: If you were to count from one to trillion in one second intervals, it would take you over 31,680 years to do so. Fortunately Google is able to index and store all of this information for the world to search through. The negative part is that this information can contain some very personal information that you may not want people to find.
One of the most famous instances of a case like this is when a young Korean woman was on the subway, let her dog poop in public, and didn’t clean up the mess. In the old days this problem would have just gone away and pissed off a few bystanders on the subway. However, in the information age, this spread to the internet and became a famous meme, thus causing destruction in this young girl’s life having to be known as the careless individual who didn’t clean up her dog’s mess.
So how can you be proactive in managing your image online? Easy, there are a plethora of great social sites that allow you to post biographical or profile information about you or your business. If you don’t have a Facebook profile, then it is highly recommended to sign up for one as these results tend to rank very high in the search engine results. Also look at Linkedin which is a popular business networking tool that can benefit you beyond your search engine results and also for possible work connections. Xing.com and Workface.com are very popular business profile sites that allow you to put biographical and business information.
Also look at different variations of your name. If you have a common name like Michael Smith, then the odds are that the domain names are already taken in every extension. However, if you add a dash in there and get a little creative, then you can find a domain that includes your full name and should show up prominently for your name when you are searched for.
Finally setting up a google.com/alerts account is incredibly beneficial for keeping track of who is talking about you online at any given time.