Cleaning Up Your Online Reputation

by Jay Buerck July 11th, 2012 

online-reputation-management

Having worked in the Online Reputation Management field for over 6 years I have encountered many individuals who want a particular result for their name "removed" from the search results page.

Unfortunately, removing anything from Google Search is nearly impossible although certain information such as your social security number, credit card numbers and other personal information can be removed.

If something shows up that you find offensive about yourself, you could first contact the webmaster of the particular page and ask them if they would be willing to take it down. Often times this is a futile step but once in a while the webmaster may reconsider. Perhaps you caught the webmaster on a good day and they take the page down, once Google updates their search it should be down from the search results page.

Results are Personalized

One of the things that trips many people up is the fact that not all search results are created equal. What you see in the search results can be vastly different from what the rest of the world sees from that result.

Search results can be different from location to location. If you conducted a search in New York it will most likely be different from a search conducted in California.

Location isn't the only way search results can appear differently. Being signed into a Google account can influence your search result as well. What you click on and the sites you visit is calculated and your search result is returned appropriately.

The best piece of advice, if you have something negative showing up for your name, don't click on it.

Simple Ways to Repair Your Online Reputation

The best way to control your online reputation is through social media profiles. You have all the usual suspects such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn but you might also consider accounts on Google+, YouTube, Flickr, and Quora.

When you create your account on these sites, you would be best served by using your name or the keyword you want to target. The URLs for these accounts will then include your name and help you rank in your particular search.

You might also consider commenting on articles such as Forbes, New York Times, Huffington Post and so on. These types of profiles have been known to show up high in search rankings as well.

My Search Results Aren't Changing

If you haven't seen changes to your SERP after a month or two, you might consider hiring a company that specializes in Reputation Management.

The price of packages can vary wildly but to obtain the results you want, you may have to pay a hefty price for a long-term result rather than an immediate short term result.

With constant updates to the Google algorithm, work completed by a fly by night agency may be gone as quickly as they appeared.

When it comes to reputation management, preventative measures are your best move. The earlier you can begin creating and publishing positive content the better. Many companies can't see an immediate return on investment so they fail to be proactive.

Why wait until a crisis arrives?

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Jay Buerck

Jay Buerck is the COO of an Online Reputation Management company and can also be found writing for Technorati, Google+ or followed on Twitter at @jaybuerck.

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One Response to “Cleaning Up Your Online Reputation”

  1. Marlon says:

    Contacting the webmaster to ask them if they would take it down is of no use at all. For instance celebrity gossip websites get tons of views daily (in the thousands), simply because they dig up dirt on famous people and post it online – something which everyone seems to love reading. The best way to counter this, IMO, is through social mediums like Facebook and especially Twitter. If you find something that you want gone from the SERP or something that might be untrue, send out an update on your Twitter account. It may potentially backfire by giving more unnecessary exposure to the link offensive to you, but at least it allows you to communicate your side of the story and get the truth out there.