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Whether you’re a brand, a business, or a singular entity, your online reputation precedes you. The Internet is permanent; once an item gets published, it’s floating around forever. That can definitely affect you—for better or for worse, depending on what you do about it.
Make Smart Publishing Decisions
Whether you’re interviewing for a job that has nothing to do with the Internet or opening a new restaurant, people will Google you. Although you can’t always control what others say about you or your business, you can and should control what you publish. It’s better, for instance, to have personal pages locked down so that only your friends see them. Make professional Facebook or Twitter accounts you don’t mind sharing with the rest of the world. Be especially smart when posting pictures or YouTube videos. If you don’t want a boss or a fan seeing it, don’t post it.
Google Yourself Frequently
Googling yourself is something of a dirty habit but it’s also necessary. Keep an eye out for what’s being said about you, your business, and your brand. Generally, if you’re not a huge mega-celebrity and if you haven’t rubbed too many people the wrong way, you have a shot at cleaning house and erasing any information you don’t like. Once you’ve done that, however, try not to make the same mistakes again. You might not get so lucky next time.
Get Good Page Results
Specifically, the first page of your search results define your reputation online. If the first few entries have negative information, then trust that people will think of those things first. Potential customers might avoid your online shop, your new book, or your restaurant simply because of one bad review. You don’t even get the chance to impress them. That’s also why it’s vital to practice good business sense. Be polite, accommodating, and professional no matter what.
Seek Help from the Professionals
There are lots of resources that tell you how to make the best Internet impression you can. There are books, like the Michael Fertik Wild West 2.0 publication; countless articles and videos; and even professional services available for hire. If you want to become Internet famous or simply beef up publicity for a new business endeavor, these resources will help you drum up the right kind of attention. That way, you won’t have to worry about any negative search results.
The Internet is a great place to find information, as long as it’s good. Make sure your Internet reputation heralds your arrival rather than impeding it.