A friend of mine, a low key successful person called me today and told me about a minor disagreement he had with a trade reporter to whom he sent a nasty note – and could my PR Agency do him “a favour and have the article removed from Google.” He was angered that the article spread to blogs and now controls most of the Page 1 searches for his name – and amazed that we couldn’t simply snap our fingers and remove the content. Amazingly very few business people realise that Google is the most powerful media outlet in the world – nor do they understand the dynamics that matter to ensure positive Google search results.
From banks to personal contacts, clients to employers everyone is searching Google results to form a determination. “Googling” is a practice which represents ones brand and face – and 1 bad day – or malicious blogger, commentator or competitor can forever affect your reputation. The key is for Google to reflect what you want said and known – not someone else’s opinion.
Some basics to properly manage your online reputation:
- Ensure that you have a website (consider a blog as well), and all of the digital media basics – Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc. all of which rank high on Google. Ensure that your website has the proper terms on search, and know the basics – title tags, meta-tags and the like.
- Create content regularly – using friendly platforms like WordPress or blogger.com. These posts will often appear on Page 1 of Google searches and will expose “searchers” to the reputation you want them exposed to.
- Link and Hyperlink properly to your sites and other positive content. This allows for good synchronisation between the content which you want to exist.
- Be aware – of what shows up regularly by creating Google alerts to monitor your online reputation, which will allow you to keep up with today’s 24/7 media world as search engine posts emerge.
Google is the defining engine for your brand – and your persona and it needs to be managed as such. Today’s media allows anyone to be an authority and affect Google rankings – manage yours accordingly – or keep a crisis PR agency on speed-dial to solve your issues.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a Top 25 US PR Agency.