This post has been most recently updated on July 26, 2023.
In today’s online world we live in, your online presence could keep you from landing that dream job, acquiring that new customer, or even finding your soul mate. If you have ever Googled yourself, the results can be quite shocking and sometimes extremely damaging. Luckily, this can be solved by taking the necessary steps toward cleaning up your reputation is important.
Without reputation management, the skeletons in your closet will become the forefront of Google searches. Everyone has the ability to post content online, whether real or fake, positive or negative.
Blog posts, social media platforms, and review sites are just some of the weapons of choice where prospective employers and customers may find undesired information. They will scan the top pages of Google, browsing for any information that would promote or deter them from investing in you.
Why Your Online Search Results Matter:
Information found on you does not have to be negative to hurt. Surprisingly, it can be the small petty posts that do the most damage. Maybe the review was posted months ago, so you think it will have little effect on present-day matters, but the longer a review or post remains on the internet, the stronger the links may become. Negative reviews, as well as positive reviews, can have a negative impact. Eventually, the post will gather more links, and Google will recognize the information as accurate, giving that post more authority.
When an individual is thinking of investing their time or money in you, your search results need to project the quality and value of you or your product.
“Can I Delete Search Results That I Don’t Want From Google?”
Negative or unwanted information may not always be able to be removed from the internet. The negative information needs to be suppressed with something positive. If you post enough strong and accurate information, the entries you wish to suppress will move further away from the top results.
Sounds easy enough, just post a plethora of positive information about yourself right? Wrong, this is a poor use of your time and resources. You need solid management strategies that will help you with managing your online reputation.
In order to suppress content that is unable to be removed fully for your Google search results, you must implement the creation of new personal online profiles to outsource information directly to Google, in turn, “pushing down” or “burying” the negative and unwanted content.
The key is to incorporate your personal information in a way that highlights the truthfulness and trustworthiness of your own personal brand to improve your online search results and filter more positive content to search engines.
Social media networking can also be a helpful tool to promote content like a personal website, blogs, articles, or other social media accounts. Cleaning up your reputation takes a solid plan and course of action. Making the wrong move could actually make things worse.
How to Clean Your Reputation on Social Media
When cleaning up your reputation, cleaning your social media profiles is a great first step. You don’t need to have a large following for this to be useful. If you are on a job search, having professional-looking social media accounts is important because employers will often Google your name.
Here is a step-by-step guide for doing a social media cleanse:
Google yourself. See what comes up at the top of search results. You will be able to see exactly what others will see when they Google your name. It is a good idea to set up Google Alerts for your name to monitor what is said about you online.
Check social media content. Log into all of your social media accounts and see what content is on there. If you have old accounts that you don’t use anymore, go ahead and delete those.
Untag yourself from social media content. Any unwanted photos that other people have posted of you. You can also send them a message and ask them to delete the picture.
Switch personal social media accounts to private. Only accept follow or friend requests from personal friends and family, and not ones from professional connections.
Remove or hide posts that are unprofessional, inappropriate, or just embarrassing from accounts you want to remain public. If you wouldn’t want a hiring manager to see it, make sure they can’t. Many sites allow you to archive old posts so only you can see them.
Edit your social media handles to sound more professional. You could use your name or a shortened version of it.
Add quality photos. Upload quality photos or headshots to your public accounts that paint you in a professional light.
Write a professional bio. Tell people who you are and what you do.
Post professional, positive content. Going forward, only post positive and professional content online. Posting positive content will help to suppress anything negative that is already online and you can’t remove.
Why Hire a Professional?
Not only will your work look like spam to Google but without the proper strategy, you could actually reinforce the unwanted post or links more. Just as your business needs a desirable physical location, the website’s location needs to be where the most traffic is generated.
The content you put on these sites is equally as important. Cleaning your online profiles and bios are essential to looking professional and polished.
Maybe what’s written about you is a bee sting in the grand scheme of it all; it’s a painful nuisance more than anything else. You can dull the pain with some home remedies; make yourself a couple of different social media sites reflecting what you want people to see and give it some time. Try to expand your online presence with positive achievements that you have accomplished.
If your online reputation is really messy, a band-aid is not going to suffice. You need to get some real help and fast. Reputation911 has helped a wide range of people clean up their online reputations by building their personal and professional brands.