Google Me, Baby: Managing Your Online Identity

By Amanda Smyth Connor1260785_laptop_work

Last week, I wrote a blog post about a gentleman from a popular television show. Within one hour of my making the post live, he emailed me directly to thank me for my kind compliment of his abilities.

Blew. My. Mind.

First of all, my blog has only been live for a few months and doesn’t exactly have the huge number of page views yet (it will get there. I have hope and some decent SEO skills.) But I am fully aware of my humble blog stats.

Secondly, I can only now refer to him as “He Who Shall Not Be Named” because he obviously does a fantastic job of tracking his online identity. My mention of his name online brought his attention to my blog post immediately. That’s commendable.

What are you doing to track your online identity? Online identity management, or brand management, is one area that most businesses, large or small, are willing to spend millions of dollars on each year. I may not have millions of dollars to spend on my own brand management, but all I need is a little time and a good search engine.

My name is Amanda Connor and once a week, I Google myself. There. I said it. I Google my name and close variations. I read the Yelp reviews regarding my business. I update my LinkedIn connections and I have a VERY strict filter up on my Facebook account. I read up on all of my Twitter followers and I check the status of all old press releases that contain my name from every former company I’ve worked for. I don’t like surprises and I like to know every detail of my life and my business that is available online.

Whether you do it to manage your private life, or you do it to manage your business or professional presence, there is no excuse for not being diligent in managing your online identity. Even if you don’t know what’s online, it is likely that your potential employers and clients do.

Amanda Smyth Connor is a SEMPO-certified SEO specialist, has managed online communities and nationwide marketing campaigns for several start-up and  Fortune 500 companies, and has been an editor for more years than she can remember. She also runs her own wedding planning company, Hummingbird Bridal and Events, throughout the northeast.

One thought on “Google Me, Baby: Managing Your Online Identity”

  1. Great article, unfortunately, there’s not much you can do if you don’t like what you see!

    Six years ago I joined with a group of other people to report someone who was running a (children’s) event, pocketing money and leaving the kids playing sports with little water and the referees so badly overheated that a few were in the hospital.

    After the report went in, a friend of the person running the event wrote a rant about me on a website, pulling out some ridiculous statements.

    Six years later, despite the fact that there are thousands of stories and accolades written by and about me, this website with the rant is one of the first things that appears when you such my name! I bought my name as a domain name, spoke with Google and even asked nicely that this gentleman remove the post. Nothing has helped.

    I just do my best to ignore it at this point and hope that someday it disappears. Has it hurt me with clients and potential jobs? Maybe, but the fact is you don’t have control over everything on Google. You can just be careful what YOU say on the internet if you don’t want it repeated.

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