Today, I was trying to work out how a potential client had contacted us to do a workshop / speaker event for them. I tried googling all sorts of key terms to see what came up… Still can’t work it out, but very grateful that they did find me & really looking forward to working with them.
Whilst I was googling, I decided I hadn’t googled myself for a while & should take a minute to see what came up. No big surprises – All of the usual stuff that I expect – several pages of articles about me, Business Coaching, Woman of the Year, Cars etc. – nothing too exciting & also nothing to get nervous about 🙂
However I was reminded that google has an alerts service for your name & I hadn’t received any alerts for a while, yet I’m sure I’ve been published a few times.
I went to my google alerts account (https://www.google.co.nz/alerts) & checked to make sure everything was set up properly… And it was there that I found that one of the settings had changed and so I wasn’t getting ALL alerts.
I turned it on & these popped up – 2 blog articles that I have never seen before:
An article on the Woman of the Year awards from 2013, where I was a finalist in the Business section for the Business Coaching, Mentoring & Charity work that I do… It was fun to look back on that night.
And then an article in Stoppress from one of my original start-up clients at The Icehouse. Interesting that this business has now broken into the UK & is up for sale (If anyone is interested then contact me directly):
These alerts reminded me how important it is to not only google yourself regularly, but also have a google news alert set up so that it can pick up any new articles or blog posts.
Alerts are a great way to automate the searching process & you can choose to receive these as they are published online.
Normally these will be positive things… but what if they’re not? Or what if your personal details pop up & you don’t want those made public (This happened to me a few years ago – my address & telephone number on a CV and a spa bath photo from Facebook that I had inadvertently made public)?
There are a few options. Firstly, find the original source:
- If you are the owner then you can make the changes. (This solved my spa bath & CV issue for me!)
- If you’re not the original owner & it meets the criteria, then you can contact google who can help you to remove the information – here is how they work – https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/1228138?hl=en.
- And if it doesn’t fit into the criteria for google to remove it, then seek help from a professional online reputation management specialist.
And finally, you want to see what order the articles on google come up in. Are they reflecting what you want to reflect online? If not, then you’ll need to start looking at online reputation management to take control of this.. Don’t underestimate how many people google you … And this will be their first impression… Is it one you love?
BONUS TIP: Don’t forget any other names you might have – nicknames, married names, maiden name etc.