Worried about your web reputation? Unfortunately, there’s no way to change it. That information sits secured behind impenetrable barriers in the cloud, and you have no recourse when others post inaccurate information about you.
Or do you?
With today’s technology, users actually can remove personal information, fix negative search results, and improve their business reputation. So, when you’re ready to learn to adjust your online reputation, so you can finally get ahead in life, read on.
Web Reputation 101: Research Yourself First
Begin with a simple Google search. Run searches that include the following.
- Your name
- Past addresses
- Current address
- Places of work
- Colleges you attended
- Your business’s name
You want to track down sites that give inaccurate or misleading information that affect your online reputation. Bookmark each. You’ll need them later when you adjust misinformation and clean up old search results that lead to old business and the like.
You can also check the Wayback Machine. It’s a site that searches digital archives that include old websites and other out-of-date information. Markdown anything that’s inaccurate or you’d like to get rid of.
Don’t worry, running a Google search on yourself isn’t all bad. You’ll likely also come across some unexpected and positive things people had to say about you!
Time to Scrub
If you run any of the websites in question, such as a Twitter account or Facebook page, it’s time to learn about their settings panel. You can change your privacy settings on Facebook and other social media channels to allow only friends to see your posts. That means you can hide any embarrassing photos from the public.
When you finish with them, it’s time to reach out to the owners of other websites with misleading information about you. The easiest way is to look for a link on the website in question.
If you can’t find it there, use who.is. It’s a website dedicated to matching domain names and websites to their owners.
Once you find their owners, try a nicely worded message. Inform them they have some inaccurate details and give them the correct information in the body of your email.
If a large corporation runs the site, such as Yelp, be patient. It could take up to six months for them to respond. Use that time to send a second or third email to the owners of smaller websites.
If you aren’t willing to do this legwork yourself, you can use an online reputation management agency. They essentially fix your online reputation for you. Usually, you pay them an upfront fee and a smaller monthly fee to fix, then improve your online image.
Alter Your Name
LinkedIn is the social media channel used by professionals to speak to other professionals. Consider altering your name to a slightly different name that you use for business. Charlie becomes Charles, Maggy becomes Margaret, and so forth.
If you do this, you can build up a new online portfolio that matches what you want people to know about you.
Now that you better understand web reputation adjustments, you can try it for yourself. Start with a Google search and find out what people are saying about you. Then move on to scrubbing out-of-date pages full of misinformation.
Did you find what you were looking for? If so, take a look at the rest of the business products and services portion of our enormous online library, now.