7 Steps for Managing Your Online Reputation
by Michael Fleishner
What's your reputation on the web? Do you even know what other people are posting about you and your business? Here are 7 basic steps you can take to ensure that your reputation doesn't become negatively impacted by what's being said about you online.
If you've ever Googled your name, you know how important managing your reputation online can be. Each day, thousands of individuals are searching online for information about others simply by searching on Google or other leading search engines. With information being so readily available, managing your reputation is more important than ever.
How to Manage Your Reputation Online
Fortunately, managing your reputation online isn't all that difficult, but it does take work. Here are 7 basic steps you can take to ensure that your reputation doesn't become negatively impacted by what's being said about you online.
1. See where you stand. Start your reputation management initiative by Googling your name. Try it with quotes and with out (first and last name together). Look through each of your results on page one and page two of Google. Are there any there are are negative or you wish to remove?
2. Set up a Google alert. Visit Google and set up an alert for your name. After setting up the alert Google will send you and email to confirm that you wish to receive the updates. Accept the alert and each time your name is published to the Web, you'll know about it.
3. Contact website owners for name removal. If there are sites that include your name and commentary that is less than desirable, contact the appropriate websites requesting that the information be removed. More often than not, website owners will agree to remove your name and/or inappropriate information.
4. Purchase a domain with your name. Add sites and webpages associated with your name and watch negative search results get pushed lower on Google rankings. Visit GoDaddy or another provider of website URLs and hosting, and purchase a domain that contains your name. Even if your name is rather common, experiment with variations until your name can be established in the form of a dot com. Once you own a domain, publish a webpage with your personal profile.
5. Start a blog under your name. Blogger is a great tool for setting up your own blog which can be used to publish information about yourself. Popular blog sites are often picked up by Google and you can control the content. Be sure to sign up for Technorati after your blog has been published. Submit your blog for review and its popularity will increase, improving search rankings and continuing to push down negative search results.
6. Free press release. Use free-press-release.com or a similar free press release site to publish favorable information about your and your reputation. This form of reputation management is easy and costs nothing. Be sure to use your name throughout the release and in the release title.
7. Author articles in your field. Publish article relative to a particular topic or area in which you've done some work or have experience. Use article distribution services to build online references to your content. Make sure your articles contain an about the author section that links back to your main website.
There are a variety of strategies you can use to manage online references about you, your family, or others that need to manage their reputation online. Other online sites like Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, and Squidoo, offer ample opportunity to deliver favorable search results that can push unfavorable results down in search engine rankings. The key is to start today to pro-actively manage your reputation and put yourself in a favorable light.
Michael Fleischner is the founder and President of MarketingScoop.com. He has appeared on major media including the TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and more. With more than 12 years of marketing experience, Michael has developed major brands as well as a variety of businesses in need of leading marketing programs.