Today, it is just plain irresponsible to be passive about personal Google search results, so spend time building a good online reputation with relevant testimonials and resolved issues.
The Internet is the first place we turn to learn more about people, and Google is the perfect place to search. Many of today’s of job recruiters are required to do a Google, LinkedIn and Facebook search of potential employees prior to hiring in an effort to establish what type of employee you might be.
It is always your responsibility to have good results when someone Googles your name, so you will want to create and promote your best content to the top of your search results, and push unwanted, negative, and irrelevant results farther down or off the first page completely.
Diagnose Your Google Ranking
The first step is to determine whether or not you have a problem with your results and how bad it really is. You must diagnose your Google ranking and then begin to take corrective actions.
Google will slightly alter your results, basing them on your location and prior search history, so sign out of your account prior to searching your name for true results of what others see. If available, use a different IP setting or a anonymous browser to get the best results available. The person searching you won’t have this, so make sure you sign out before searching.
When you start the search for yourself online, make sure and use the name people are going to be searching for you with. This also brings up the important point of consistency: when you use your name online, a resume or anywhere else for that matter, be sure that it is the same name and make that it’s the one that you want to rank for.
What Are You Ranking For?
Once you see your results you need to figure out which category you’re actually in, so decide which of these categories represents your best first page results when you are “Googled”. Remember to concentrate your efforts on the first page so you can reach the majority of search engine users. 93% of searchers never go past the first page, which is why you want to concentrate all your efforts on knocking off any negative results listed there.
In today’s world it is disturbingly easy to have your reputation attacked by posts on free forums, review sites or social networks. Google has a tendency to lean towards negativity when providing search results, remember that when you start making enemies or crazy posts. Keep in mind it takes only one comment, tagged photo or blog post from an angry ex, former employee or competitor. Also make every attempt to not misuse your name or categorize yourself irrelevantly. If you work in the hotel industry, there is no reason in the world to start ranking as a pet groomer. Some online marketing agencies who promote instant results tend to list you under any available keyword you may be able to dominate but has no association with who you really are.
You always want positive results backed by well-branded content about you and your life.
If your search results provide multiple people with your name, it may prevent the person searching for you from finding relevant information about you. In many cases this is not an issue, I myself have a doppelganger in the world that I have actually contacted. This other person is not in my industry, town or state but still comes up when my name is searched. Luckily they aren’t criminals, but this may not be the case when you research your own name even if your name is a common one.
See the Problem and Plan Your Strategy
Once you determine where you actually stand online, it’s time to be proactive and start improving search results related to you. Your goal is to flood the first page of every search engine available with as many positive and relevant results as possible. Depending on your web presence, you can figure out how much work you need to do and then plan accordingly.
Build a Presence:
The first thing you need to do is build an online presence for Google and other search engines to find and actually index. Without positive content, there is no way for you to show up on the first page. You can begin this process by submitting a bio to known social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Brandyourself and other sites which Google typically uses to base results on.
Burying the Negative B.S
Maybe there’s something negative a client, former friend, competitor or bored idiot posted about you, so concentrate on starting a relevant blog to confront the issue and tear it apart. By this I mean you specifically plan for content release, article publishing and interaction so that your presence grows online and establishes you in the desired categorical. Once you start feeding Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines good content which combats the negative result, the issue will begin to slowly crawl down the first page and eventually disappear all together from your results. If you don’t already own your own domain (yourname.com), now is the time to concentrate your efforts on acquiring it. With a personal blog, website or social profile you can begin working in the content and material you would prefer the Internet knows you for.
Depending how competitive your name is, you could start seeing results on the first page of Google after only a week or two. Remember, social media may seem all fun and games, but these profiles are essential for the foundation of your online presence. Share only appropriate subject matter publicly, stay away from long rants or insane diatribes that will later be indexed and turn up under your name. Remember to stay on point when it comes to self advertising and if you are going to go off the deep end on any subject, you may want to consider a nickname profile to do it under.