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Understanding Reputation Management: What Your Search Results Mean

In this age of the Internet, it is no suprise when someone tries to Google your name to find out more about you. Whether it’s a potential employer, a former colleague, a professor, a new friend, a long-lost family member or anybody curious, it matters that what comes up sways in your favor. That said, understanding how to monitor your results and making sure only the good stuff comes up is key. This is what online reputation management is all about.

How do you know if the results are good or bad? How do you make them favorable to you? For this discussion, let’s use the name of Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck to get examples of what bad, good and excellent search results might look like.

The Whys and Hows of Searching On Google

Google’s search function is designed to give the users the best possible results that answer a certain question. The service makes use of artificial intelligence, using keywords, algorithms and the context behind the words that are typed in to come with a list of information that can help the reader. This is done in a way that is easily understood.

For Sallie Krawcheck, typing her name in would likely turn up some professional images, biographical and career information, social media accounts and recent news about her. However, it’s not always the good stuff that comes up. Some CEOs see news about recent controversies they’ve been embroiled in, whether professionally or personally, and this instantly paints an ugly picture.

If somebody is typing your name on Google search, that could mean that person knows little to nothing about you. When the page results in a mix of facts and unsavory news (worse, photos), that could brand you for life. If that person happens to be someone who wants to do business with you, then seeing negative news will have that person heading for the door.

 

Investing In Your Search Results

When Google’s robots decide that it’s your bad past issues that deserve the front page, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. This is where reputation management comes in.

Now, let’s go back to Sallie Krawcheck as an example. When you type in “Ellevest CEO” on the search engine, only favorable and factual results about Krawcheck will apear. While your search words did not form a complete sentence, Google’s smart algorithm figured out what you were trying to look for, so it gave you exactly what you need.

Now, notice on the upper right part of the first page there’s a box where perhaps the most important information about Krawcheck appears. This is usually the Wikipedia page. By clicking on the arrows on that area, Google takes you to other related pages that may be of help in your search for knowledge.

On the other hand, when you type in “Sallie Krawcheck” on the search bar, something else comes up. Sure, some of it still says she’s CEO of Ellevate, but it also shows off her Twitter account, company profile and professional bio and other features or mentions of her online. The results range from professional to personal.

Lucky for her, the results are good. If they hadn’t, then she would have to employ SEO and reputation management techniques to ensure that the questionable stuff are relegated to the far back and only the good ones are on the first and second pages. When it comes to your reputation online, search results can be a challenge because it reads everything that’s been said about you on the Internet, even the embarrassing ones.

Past is past, but not on the Internet. Fortunately, we have online reputation management strategies we can employ to make sure the bad stays buried in the back. Beyond pushing the good stuff to the fore, this effort requires a technicality that is best handled by the pros. With the experts on your case, you can rest assured that when somebody Googles your name, you don’t cower in embarrassment. Investing in a professional reputation management service is your answer to achieving this level of confidence online.