Just last month, Google celebrated its 12th year as the giant who changed the world, and today is the largest media company on the planet. Without overstating it, Google has transformed the personal and professional life of everyone as we know it. Now it’s “the result” that should make us aware of how we come up on Google search.
Until 12 years ago, only public figures actually had a reputation to manage. Individuals used narrower channels such as mouth-to-ear to make an early impression. Public politicians, businesses and celebrities were all deeply engaged in managing the ways and places their names came up. This included monitoring and maintaining a good placement of their name in the proper correlation and association. All others simply did not have any public reputation to manage.
Today employers, potential partners, colleagues, teachers, and others are all able to check up names and reputations simply on how they appear on Google and with that association. You’d better come up positively!
“Googling” a phrase or a name has turned into a global practice, serving multiple goals and reasons. Each of your online ‘entities’ and activities are well documented, and at the end of the day, represent your overall brand and public face. In terms of reputation management, everyone needs to realize that today’s “new” media is everywhere – If the opposing teams coach wants to blog about how bad you are, he can, and days, months and years from now everyone will read it (true or not). If you are a job seeker, your past and recent online expressions are visible to all, and can serve you in the opposite direction of where you aim to go and want to be. Social media presence is synchronized with Google’s search engines and your profiles (pictures, posts, and friends) are available to the general seeker.
If that’s not enough, those who avoided participating in social media to prevent potential public embarrassment may not be better off down the road, as the first few Google entries are best “controlled” by you if you are an active participant in social media. Ultimately, today everyone has become their own online reputation managers, and needs to conduct “Public Relations campaigns” for themselves.
The way to properly manage your reputation today goes through link building, content generation, and a well-managed synchronization between all channels that represent you.
A few initial do it yourself thoughts:
1. Create Content: Make sure to express your thoughts and opinions on a proper and legitimized blog. Don’t be afraid to run one yourself, using any of the existing user-friendly platforms like Blogger or WordPress. Your posts reflect your thoughts, ideas and insights and will appear on Page One of many google searches. quality content as possible on blogs, your social channels or as reactions to other peoples’ content. This virtually guarantees that by searching your name a Google user gets exposed to the relevant expressions that you have shared and which promotes your name and professional reputation correctly.
2. Hyperlink: Create links, discussion and chatter about positive content that exist. Make all positive content ‘hyperlinked’ to other sources and channels that you own. This will lead to good synchronization between those posts and your social media entity.
3. Monitor: Be aware of what shows up on google regularly and don’t be troubled to motor your online reputation. Create a Google alert for your name or your company which will be sent to you as soon as it’s posted. This way you will be the first to know what’s new with your reputation as it appears online.
Google is no longer just a search engine – it is the 1st lens through which the world views you. Realize today’s “media” allows anyone to be an authority and to affect your Google rankings.
5W Public Relations