What comes up when someone Googles your name is actually very important
Reputation by referrals or word-of-mouth just don’t cut it anymore. When you think of your name floating around the internet, you immediately think of Google. It’s the only search engine people use when they’re hunting down critical information.
The biggest issue lies in inaccurate information. More often than not, wrongful or impermissible data gets attached to our names. When you have a business or professional image for your career or passion, and you need to protect it against having inaccurate information stuck to it, you’ll be given the same old tired response. “It’s the internet,” you’ll hear, “it’s there forever.”
Information, once out on the internet, is extremely difficult to get taken down (though not impossible.) By saying it’s there forever, we mean that you can’t get every bit of data attached to your name off of the internet. You’re not powerless. Get ready to fix your online presence.
Fixing The Negativities
There’s a short, short list of what can have action taken against it. If you’re a content creator, you could be dealing with copyright. If photos of yourself have been posted online without your permission, most social media sites will listen to your claims and resolve the issue. Your best bet is to contact whoever has posted information or media about you, and simply ask them to remove it. The thing is, they really don’t have to, unless it violates the law.
Do you own a website or write columns for well-known sites? I hate to tell you, but there’s a high chance your work has been plagiarized. It happens every single day, usually by offenders in other countries that have shaky international copyright laws. The best thing you can do is first check to see exactly where your content has been posted on the web. After that, you’ll need to find the appropriate place to claim plagiarism, and it’s all dependent on the offender’s nationality and their laws.
Inappropriate or Otherwise Unauthorized Photos
There’s been debate through every industry you can imagine: you cannot simply copyright your face or your body. If there’s an unfavorable picture of you posted somewhere, you can take two routes to get it taken care of.
More often than not, pictures are posted to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. If you’ve got an unfavorable photograph skulking around a page or two, you simply need to contact the social media help desk. Most of the time, once they can verify you are who you are, they’ll go ahead and remove the photo. It’s a simple fix.
If simple contact won’t do and you absolutely need to get the content taken down, you can hire a law team to take care of your online presence by aggressively contacting the domain hosts and website owners. There may be a notice left stating “This image/media has been removed due to the request of Mr. Smith’s lawyer,” or something along those lines, but your media, in the end, gets taken down. Prepare to have your checkbook ready for this one.
Bury Negative Results
During Google searches, 93 percent of people don’t leave the first page. One way to deal with negative content is to replace it with positive content, and get those results to rank ahead of the bad stuff.
It’s not quite the same as removing all of that nasty information from the internet; it is more like killing it with kindness. It’s no secret anymore: job recruiters search you on Google before they make a final decision, and it’s not exactly difficult to find critical information about you.
When you work on your online reputation, you put the good parts up front—where they belong. It gives you the tools to manage what people find when they search you online, which in the long run, can be the make or break between employment, college acceptance, and so many more crucial parts of our everyday lives.
The internet gets more and more integrated into our lives every single day, and now you can do something about its effect on you.
Author: Megan Cahill
“Megan Cahill is the Outreach Coordinator for BrandYourself. In her writing, she offers keen insight into the online branding world for businesses and individuals. Other topics of interest include the U.S. job market, business, marketing, SEO, and everything in between. She believes in empowering people to make their own reputations, and aims to show them how. ”
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