Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal domains that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Everyone does it, it’s just that no one talks about it. They do it late at night, while no one’s watching and then act like it never happened. I think it’s time to change the way we look at ourselves on and offline. When was the last time you took a really good look at yourself, online? Have you Googled yourself lately? If so, what did you find? Were you shocked by the results? How do you control what the internet says about you?
60% of Americans have never bothered to search their name on a search engine (like Google)
Many of us have a highly complicated relationship with our own “online presence”. While we’re concerned about how online content about us may tarnish our reputation, only few of us are actively doing anything (proactively) about it. Domain.ME recently conducted a survey of 1,000 adults who frequently use social media and the Internet. Surprisingly, 79 percent of Americans self-report that they haven’t tried to manage information about themselves online. (So if you haven’t already… go ahead, Google yourself already.)
Personally, I research everyone! (14% of people go online to check someone out before a first date or social gathering.) Going on a group date? I want to know what high school (and junior high school) you’re from. Headed to a business meeting? I always check LinkedIn (and sometimes Facebook) to get insight on who I’m meeting with – plus it’s a great way to research interesting conversation topics. Let’s face it, if you’re not researching online, they’re definitely researching you!
How do you take control of your digital reputation?
In three easy steps.
- GOOGLE ME: Go to Google, Yahoo and Bing immediately. Enter your name and assess what comes up. Search for yourself regularly all three search engines. Set up a Google alert with your name. If you have a common name like “Jenn Smith,” add your employer, hometown or other distinguishing factors about yourself to make the search/alert more accurate.
- REPAIR YOUR REPUTATION: If you do see content online about you that is wrong, try to fix it. If you put it up, get rid of it. If someone else posted it, reach out to them to get them to correct it.
- CONTROL YOUR NARRATIVE:
You can’t control everything that is said about you or your children online but you can take control of your digital profile by creating your own website or starting your own blog. It’s extremely easy to secure your name with a domain that ends in .ME. On top of that, building out a site with your professional achievements is easy with all the site builders that are out there today. Optimize your site for search engine queries with SEO plugins. Personally branded sites will come up higher in search results about you and help you take control of your online reputation. In fact, the top listing on a Google search gets 33% of the traffic, whereas the second position gets 18% of the traffic, and it only goes down from there (Search Engine Watch).
(BONUS) In fact, only 4.8% of traffic makes it to the second page of results (Search Engine Watch), so creating a personal website and a social media presence to bump any negative information to the second page will dramatically help your digital destiny.
While it’s taken years for you to address & claim ownership for your online presence, it only takes a few moments to create and reclaim a refreshed digital footprint online. If you take the efforts today, the results could last a lifetime! To get a .ME domain to create a personally branded site website to control your online reputation, visit Domain.ME.
Have you Googled yourself lately? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen attached to your digital footprint online? Share your digital footprint fails and successes below!
You can’t control everything that is said about you or your children online but you can take control of your digital profile by creating your own website or starting your own blog. It’s extremely easy to secure your name with a domain that ends in .ME. On top of that, building out a site with your professional achievements is easy with all the site builders that are out there today.