People are always looking you up online whether it's before they meet with you, offer you a job, or even date you, so what do you do if some “bad stuff" or at least undesirable or inaccurate things about you appear high in search results? Your online reputation is important, so how can you handle this so-called “digital dirt"?
Here are three techniques that can help get rid of digital dirt.
1) You can request the Web site owner or blogger remove the undesirable content. That may or may not work, but it's often worth trying.
Many times however this simply won't work. For example, I'm sure United Airlines, united.com, would love to have untied.com, an anti-United Airlines site, go away, but I doubt it will.
2) You can bury the digital dirt in the search results. This is usually the best course of action.
By generating lots of positive Internet content about yourself, the undesirable results could be relegated to page 40 or so of the search engine results, where nobody looks.
There are many free and simple techniques to generate positive content about yourself that the search engines will love, including joining LinkedIn and creating a profile, leaving comments using your full name on popular blogs in your area of expertise, reviewing books on Amazon, and writing brief articles which can be posted to article directories like Ezinearticles.com as well as other Web sites.
3) If the digital dirt just won't go away, if for example you are OJ Simpson or allegedly embezzled a few billion dollars, there are two things you MUST do:
Know about the “undesirable results. " There are plenty of anecdotes about people who had digital dirt they did not know about that affected their lives negatively. For example, you might tell potential dates and employers, “I'm not THAT OJ Simpson. " If you don't know you can't do anything about it.
Present your side of the story. That means some of the top ten results must be yours. You might directly refute the “undesirable results" or simply present yourself in an alternate and more favorable light.
Your online reputation is important. You need to know about any digital dirt, and you may need to take action to remove, bury, or refute it.
Ted Demopoulos is the author of the upcoming book “Google Me. " For a preview, including his free ebook “Effective Internet Presence, Now required for success in business and life, " visit http://www.EffectiveInternetPresence.com
Click here for Ted's recommended resources for Online Reputation Management .