What's the first thing the hiring manager does after seeing your resume cross their desk, or when a potential customer gets your name as a referral for some work to be done? They punch in your name into Google and check out the first couple of results.
The internet is essentially a cryo chamber of information with essentially no fact-checking. One post on Reddit, one bad news article, one bad review (no matter how true) can follow a person forever with almost no way to interject or defend yourself.
Sure, it's possible to reach out to the person who published what they did but if it's for malicious purposes there is essentially no recourse.
If you are being haunted by online listings tied to your name - what can you do? Well, maybe we can push those listings down when someone looks up your name.
There's a saying in digital marketing - the best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google.
The very first organic result on the first search engine results page (SERP) sees about 32.5% of overall search traffic in terms of clicks. The 2nd domain sees 17.6%, while the 7th only sees 3.5%https://digitalsynopsis.com/tools/google-serp-design/
At Birch River Design Group we have helped folks preemptively defend their name on Google or help push down unwanted articles, YouTube videos, or Reddit posts that show up when searching their name.
If you are in need of some personal reputation management then, depending on your needs, here are our recommendations depending on your current situation.
If you utilize your personal name for business needs, you should be executing at least the basics of a personal reputation management plan. Time is a factor in ranking these items so being proactive is extremely helpful if something does show up.
The following is a list of
- Personal Website with links to social media
- Public Twitter
Here is a (heavily redacted) screenshot of successfully owning above-the-fold first-page google rankings using this strategy.
Examples Of Things Attacking You
- Other YouTube Videos
- Smaller news sites
- Smaller websites or forums
It's finally happened. Someone texts you asking if you have Googled yourself lately. The first item that comes up is something completely untrue or outright malicious. What should be done?
First off make sure you have covered the basics above. If you don't have the basics then those might fix your problem pretty quickly. If you do have your basics covered but are being outranked then it's time to take the next step.
Launch a YouTube Channel
We are certainly not recommending becoming a YouTuber! But we do want you to start uploading videos from your phone on YouTube and be sure to include your name in the channel name, video descriptions, and anywhere else you can.
You should be uploading at least once a quarter. Google owns YouTube and loves promoting the videos in the SERP. Here is an example of how much space it can take up (and push down negative articles - remember how many people actually keep scrolling?)
Start Blogging on Medium.com
After the basics are done and your YouTube videos are starting to outrank the listings you wish to push down, the next avenue you should approach is Medium.com
Since you are blogging already on your personal website, we will want you to split the blogs between your own Medium.com blog. Be sure to use your real name as an author so it gets picked up by the search engines.
Chances are the articles will not rank unless you are talking about yourself, but the author page or the following page should rank above the listings you wish to push down. Bonus points if you link to it on your personal website.
Examples Of Things Attacking You
- Large national sites
- Government websites
When you get into extremely "reputable" sources it is going to be very difficult to push these listings down. I put reputable in quotes because Google considers Reddit (a forum anyone can post to) as highly authoritative. Another example is that court cases can be used by colleges to study. So if a .edu website describes the court case it might always be associated with you, even if you were exonerated!
When you are in a situation like this it's going to be very situational and difficult to push these listings down - but it will cost you more money and time. The best course of action is to launch a press release.
Launch a Press Release
It's time to hire a writer and get the good word out to as many news stations and publications as you can. Flood the field with truthful information about yourself and push down the bad listings.
We recommend using the following services to publish a press release