Googled Yourself Lately?
By Alicia Whalen
Wednesday, 26th August 2009
Managing your reputation in a Digital world is no easy task! Have you taken the Google test lately?

What about a Twitter search for your name or your business? When we first started out, our first job was to ensure that when the company name "A Couple of Chicks" was searched that our content appeared in the results (eliminating some questionable websites that would appear for a search containing the word "Chicks!" – I will not elaborate…)

Often people Google themselves or their business and are shocked to find not only competitor websites appearing in the results, but unfavourable web or blog postings about their brands. Disgruntled customers, an angry ex-partner or friends can post blogs and photos that portray you or your business in a negative light.

The growth of personal blogging has made online reputation management (ORM) a sought-after service and everyone can effectively manage their own online reputations or at the very least be aware of the implications of NOT "Googleing" your own name.

At the very least – I always recommend adding a "Google alert" with your name and variations of your business name. Alerts are delivered right to your inbox whenever Google indexes content that contains those keywords. Content includes anything from your LinkedIn.com Profile to news articles you are quoted in.

At the end of the day, a negative post or article can never be permanently removed, but most web searchers never click beyond the first page of search results. A negative post or article can be ‘bumped' to secondary pages with a little work, reducing the likelihood of being seen by others.

This can be done by creating profiles on various sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon, under the exact same name the negative page ranks for. This will help to bump the negative post to the second page and create a more positive picture of yourself or your company.

Managing profiles on multiple social media sites can be overwhelming and time consuming. There are a number of free online programs that can easily update all of your profiles and help maintain a consistent online reputation. Websites like profileomat.com, can manage personal websites, social networks, blogs, contact info and photo albums all in one profile. This will help you remain at the top of the search results with content managed by you.

These are just some easy ways to maintain your online reputation, however if your online reputation management issue is more complex, you may need to seek expert advice from online marketing firms who specialize is strategies that include SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Online PR in addition to the tactics outlined in this post.

Go ahead…Google yourself…I know you want to!

ideahatching.com is a new marketing blog from Alicia Whalen, co-founder of A Couple of Chicks Marketing, discussing search, marketing & measurement in the new Internet Marketing environment! Please leave your comments - I'd love to hear from you!

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