Manage your online reputation in 6 easy steps

Don’t wait until something goes wrong to see what turns up in a Google search. Here’s how to stay one step ahead of a reputation crisis.

Online reputation management goes well beyond SEO to include aspects of PR, external communication, blogging, copywriting and social media. My goal is to tackle what can seem to be a daunting task in some easy-to-understand, easy-to-do steps.

The following six items should be an integral part of any online reputation management campaign. For the purpose of this post we’ll assume the goal is to control the search results for your name, but the principles apply to virtually any online reputation management campaign.

1. Take an inventory.

Take an inventory of the online assets available to you. Sign out of Google and run a search for your name. Go three to five pages deep. Grab the URL of every result and classify each as positive, negative or neutral. Then do the same thing on Bing and Yahoo.

2. Stay alert.

Schedule a Google Alert for your name. An email will arrive in your inbox every time Google sniffs out new material with your name in the content. This will help you stay on top of new results, whether or not they hit the first page of search results.

3. Optimize existing positive assets.

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