If online reputation management is the third-wave in the evolution of the internet security industry, then taking pro-active steps to manage your safety and reputation are increasingly crucial.
Here are 5 steps to protecting your personal brand online:
- First impressions are made online. Check your search engine regularly. It’s a new form of personal grooming. Look at the image of you the world is seeing. If it’s not the result you want people to see, then you have to change it through starting a website, joining social networks, getting press, and writing articles for websites.
- Understand who is searching for you. Though you cannot legally find out exactly who is using a search engine to look up information about you, you can find out when and where someone is searching for you. You can use wikiwords and set up a profile. When someone clicks the link to your profile, you will receive an email alert. That email will tell you when your profile was searched, where the search originated from (based on IP address) and which keywords were used to find you.
- Remove negative search results. Just as there are countless “credit repair” companies who claim they can erase past debts, there are now a multitude of reputation management firms claiming they can “remove negative search engine listings,” as onlinereputationedge.com reports. The site provides a series of ways here.
- Track your performance automatically. One of the easiest tools for tracking what Google knows about a topic is Google Alert. Subscribe to the service and you will receive an email as soon as your search phrase (like your name or company) enters Google’s index. Google Alerts cover news stories, video comments, blogs, pages found in web search, and even Google’s own mailing lists, Google Groups.
- Don’t underestimate a strong social media presence. Social media platforms are high-authority sites that are favoured by search engines. Social media sites offer countless ways to participate in online community, and most of these profiles offer the added bonus of search engine visibility. Flickr, YouTube, Digg, Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter are six mainstream social media sites that feature results when you perform a web search.