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The Ashley Madison leak is one of the biggest news stories of the past few months. Millions of cheaters and non cheaters had their information hacked by hackers who then exposed these accounts online. Go ahead and check if your email address is affiliated with the Ashley Madison hack here. Whether you were active on the site or just...
We help improve your online reputation.
Improve your search results with 5 steps:
- Client maps out goals with his/her Reputation Advisor.
- Advisor and client agree on content strategy.
- ReputationChamp.com strategically publishes content to maximize impact on search results.
- Content is continuously optimized to maximize impact.
- Negative search content is pushed down over time.
We often focus on reputation management for businesses or job seekers, but the fact is that online reputation management is for everyone, always.
Though it’s true there are specific times when your online reputation really matters, maintaining a positive online reputation should be a constant effort. A need for a good reputation could pop up at any time. Consider these moments when a good reputation is crucial:
- Applying for college
- Starting a business
- Searching for a job
- Asking for a promotion/raise
- Connecting with coworkers
- Developing a business partnership
- Talking to reporters
- Going on a date
- Getting a loan
- Buying a house
- Attracting new clients
- Impressing friends and family
Just how sure are you that you’ll never be laid off? Are you confident that your father in law would like what he sees about you on Google? Do you have all of the clients you’ll ever need to get you through to retirement? We know that 92% of U.S. companies recruit and screen candidates online. And 34% of hiring managers have dismissed candidates based on online reputation problems. Facebook is a favored recruiting tool for 82% of colleges, and colleges are increasingly researching potential students online. Many of these are big life moments you’ll see coming, but some of them may pop up as a surprise. Others, like networking or attracting new clients, occur on a near-constant basis. That’s why it’s essential that no matter where you are in life, you should make sure that your online reputation remains positive.
Someone is Googling You, Right Now
Even if you don’t have any life changes on the horizon, you should know that people are still Googling you anyway. It’s common practice to Google a friend, family member, or acquaitance out of curiosity. Are your results embarrassing, or encouraging?
By reducing the amount of personal data that is available about you online, we make it less likely that you’ll have to go through the hassle of canceling all your cards, updating all your bills, and remediating your credit.
Even content on private accounts can be shared: If you’ve confidently locked down your social media profiles so that you can feel free to speak your mind, be careful. Though you do have a reasonable expectation of privacy, remember that anyone who can view your private profile can also save photos, take screen shots, copy text, and share anything they’ve seen.
Your online reputation may soon impact your ability to get credit: Companies are increasingly turning to social media when making lender decisions. They are primarily used to confirm identities, but in some cases, they are also assessing creditworthiness. Social media activity may soon be incorporated into FICO scoring.
Review websites are stronger than you: Reputation busting powerhouses like Yelp and Ripoff report have thousands of pages of content, and tend to rank very highly in Google. That means if you’ve got a bad review on one of those sites, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle.
Think you’re stuck with terrible search engine results? Not so fast. For serious offenses including false information, you may be able to use online defamation laws to remove content and even receive compensation for damage to your reputation. Google may also offer assistance in removing sensitive personal information from search results. Additionally, individuals plagued by mug shot websites may find help from new laws and Google algorithm changes. Certain members of the population, such as California citizens 18 and under may be able to utilize Internet eraser laws as well.
Bad reputations happen to good people: You can have a poor online reputation through no fault of your own. How? Let’s say a criminal has the same name as you, or an angry ex creates a crazy blog post with your name all over it. It’s difficult to control factors like these, but they can influence your online reputation anyway.
Though every person’s online reputation is unique and individual, there are key factors that can indicate if your online reputation is helping or hurting you.
Signs of a Good Online Reputation
Accurate search results: You want most of the search results that pop up for your name to actually apply to you. Not someone with a similar name, or entirely devoted to a famous person (or worse, a criminal) that shares your name. When people Google you, they want to find you.
Information that backs up what others already know about you: If you’ve sent your resume to a potential employer, or connected with a new contact on LinkedIn, you can bet they will probably check you out on Google. Does what you’ve told them about yourself line up with what your online reputation will says? It should, or your online reputation may reflect poorly, and negatively influence their opinion of you.
Active online participation, contributions as a thought leader: Do you have online accounts — and use them? Anyone who Googles you should be able to see that you’re active online, whether it’s on your own blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Tumblr. And that online activity should show that you’re knowledgeable, or at least interested in learning, about your area of expertise.
The absence of embarrassing entries: Let’s be honest, when we take to Google to check someone out, often what we are really looking for is dirt. A good online reputation has nothing questionable to be found. No photos of crazy nights out, illicit substances, revealing clothing, or inappropriate poses. This also goes for entries on mug shot websites, news stories about trouble with the law, or even bad reviews and hate websites. At the bare minimum, your online reputation should at least not be embarrassing.
Signs of a Bad Online Reputation
A complete lack of information, or inaccurate results: For people who want to learn more about you, finding nothing may be just as bad as finding something negative. It’s frustrating to discover that there is nothing to learn about someone online — and it can raise suspicion. In fact, many find Facebook abstainers to be suspicious. Searchers may wonder what you’re hiding, or it can also indicate that sadly, no one thinks you’ve done anything worth mentioning.
Negative news stories or bad reviews: Having someone talk badly about you online is one of the worst blows to your reputation. It shows that you not only made a mistake, someone thought it was bad enough to share with the world. A news story about being arrested, irate clients, or even a crazy ex writing about your divorce can ruin your good name online in the blink of an eye.
Hateful or controversial opinions, inappropriate language: The Internet is a great place for discussion, allowing you to connect not just with friends, family, and acquaintances, but with literally the entire world and its opinions. Forums, Facebook, and other outlets for discussion are a popular place to share your opinion and learn from others, but they also have the potential to wreck your online reputation. Search engine results that associate a hateful opinion with your name, or controversial discussions that are divisive may turn others off. It should also go without saying losing your temper or using swear words online will look bad as well.
Inappropriate and embarrassing photos: Any kind of compromising photo reflects poorly on your online reputation. Teachers and nonprofit employees have been fired for just a single questionable photo on Facebook. If you’re able to find lewd, drunken, or disrespectful photos of you online, you have a reputation problem.
Unsavory records: Your single night in jail or decade-old bankruptcy may feel like ancient history to you, but the Internet remembers. It’s a major problem if a search for your name pops up records that show you’ve had run-ins with the law or major financial trouble.Read More