How often do you Google yourself? Is it something that you’ve ever done? If you manage a brand online (and your personal profile counts for all intents and purposes) it’s something that you should be doing at least once in a while. It might seem vain and like a complete waste of time but I’d argue that it is anything but.
An online reputation is something that precedes you: as a PR professional if you’re pitching for new business or as a marketer if you’re spreading the word about a new product or service. It might seem like it’s impossible to control, but keep a beady eye on the first few pages of Google and you might be able to have more of an impact than you think.
Timely responses are the key. To give you a bad example from my own experience, I Googled myself very recently and not only found what I expected to be there (my Twitter profile, this blog, my LinkedIN profile and my contact details on clients’ press releases), I also discovered that I had been cited as an expert by web design agency Pure Innovations in an article about SEO:
The quotes came from a blog I wrote while I was working with digital agency Coast Digital. While it’s not a problem in this instance that they’ve referenced me without my consent (I’d rather they did that than simply pinch my words of wisdom), I would have liked to gain a backlink to the original article for some valuable “link juice” in exchange.
Considering this article was published in October of last year and I knew nothing about it until this week, I was very fortunate that it was a glowing endorsement. Had it been negative, I would have been completely unaware and it might have damaged my reputation a long time before I was able to do anything about it.