Have you googled yourself lately? I have, and what I found was terrifying!
It was my Myspace page – complete with 16 year old me, mirror shots with the exposure so high I didn’t have a nose and quotes like “I live for now” and “music is my life”.
Boy, have I changed!
Okay, so this experience was actually a couple of years ago, and since then I have enhanced my personal online presence quite a bit. When you google me now, here’s what you’ll find:
Not bad, hey?
So why is it so important to keep an eye on your online profile?
“Your name is your reputation in the modern world and there’s no faster way to find out about someone than to Google someone.” [i]
And it may not be a rouge Myspace account from the early noughties, it might be a photograph shared by a friend or a tweet you’ve been tagged in. If your name is attached to it, google will find it.
Why is that? Well Google used to use something called metadata to assist with its search ranking—but now SEO is all about social media. Essentially, google want the most interesting and relevant data to show up first in its searches. It now factors in your presence on social media, and of course Google + gets priority in the SEO game.
“Take 10 minutes each day to spend on your brand’s Google+ page, whether it’s to post something on your business profile, or posting your content into Google+ communities. Be sure to post the content you want to be ranking for on Google+ to prove to Google that you are worthy of positioning high in their search engine.” [ii]
So how do you avoid that risky stuff getting online? The truth? You can’t! For me, it’s all about monitoring, and knowing my audience. If I put out something that I consider a risk—boy do I monitor the heck out of it.
And I take control of my online reputation. The picture on the right hand side of my google search is from my Google account, everyone should have one. I also watch what people share of me, and keep a close eye on security settings. I have different content for different security levels, for example my personal Facebook is on the highest of security settings so I can share the juicy stuff, but my Blog’s Facebook is open to everyone—so that one gets the fluff!
For more tips on monitoring you online presence, Google have a few handy tips here.