Generally people become aware that what’s on google about them is damaging after they’ve lost business.
It’s more common than you think that bad things come up on Google, as errors, bad reviews or even mistakes.
It happened again this week.
I got a panicked phone call because a client googled their name and what is shows up on page one is unfavourable or damaging to their reputation, their business and their bank balance.
There is a lot of time and expense involved with manipulating google search results to display favourable articles about you
Here are some things you can do to damage control:
Create a press release
PR newswire is one of many PR companies that will send your press release out to tens of thousands of news websites for a nominal fee.
If your press release gets picked up by these news websites you can often have page 1 of the Google search results dominated by the press release – instead of the unfavorable article that’s damaging your reputation.
The trouble with this approach is typically clients need to scramble to be able to determine a newsworthy angle for their press release.
Also, there are no guarantees that even if you have a newsworthy story and you pay for your news release to go out to all these websites that it will actually get picked up and republished on the news websites.
So worst-case scenario if you can spend a lot of time and money and not get any results.
Claim and brand online assets
Another approach is to begin feverishly creating online assets, branded under your name.
If you don’t already have them set up you could create the following:
- A simple website under your full name, so www.yourname.com
- Social media accounts such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Google plus, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. These assets should all be registered under your name as well.
- Start writing blog posts and publishing them to your social media accounts.
Create backlinks or mentions on other websites
Examples of this would be a membership with the BBB, your name listed as a member of that association you’re part of, your name listed at any places you’ve been interviewed at.
While these three tactics can certainly help to push the unfavourable Google listings down on page 2 of the best practice is to proactively manage your own reputation online.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect and control what Google posts about you.
It will certainly not cause any harm to establish your personal brand online by using the tactics above in a proactive manner.
And don’t forget to do a quick check on a reasonable cadence to ensure your reputation stays squeaky clean!