Fixing Your Online Reputation
Personal branding is an important thing to consider for anybody who is seeking good employment opportunities and to overall get their names out there in a positive way. Personal branding takes time to build but will slowly build with everything you do and accomplish. People who have spent the time to build up their personal branding will have opportunities available to them that may not have been there previously as people will see their content and activities. Although it takes time to build up your personal branding to a good level for everyone to see, it doesn’t take a lot for it to be damaged through a mistake or problems with the company you currently work with or worked for. This in turn can have many bad effects such as employers may see only negative content or articles about you and you may find it difficult to find another place to work at. Because of this, here are a few ways to repair your reputation on search engines to ensure that mostly positive content will be seen about you and you can effectively end your employment drought.
Cease and Desist
The first option available to you is to send cease and desist letters to any site or news article publishing defamatory, illegal and false content. These sites that are publishing this information most likely are doing it for quick views and will not want to take it to a legal level and will probably shy down from a legal battle that could take quite some time and could cost a lot of money. Because of this they are more likely to comply, but you will need some strong legal ground to be able to get anywhere because if this isn’t the case you won’t have any credibility to stand on and you may possibly make your situation even worse.
Removal of Private or Personal Content
If personal or private information is published about you without your permission, be it damaging or not, you have every legal right to remove it. This consists of details like your bank information and personal details like your mobile number, landline or address. There are a couple of ways to remove this content, one of which is to remove it from search engines themselves and another is to contact the webmaster of the site in question to have it removed indefinitely.
Obtain a Court Order and an Attorney
Nearly every single search engine, website and social media (especially the mainstream ones) will have a specific terms and conditions of use that every user and client will have to follow to keep their accounts and content. If these rules are broken in any way the administrators of these sites will more than likely remove the content as soon as possible and without question but only if they notice it or it is brought to their attention. You should look out for anything posted about you that violates the terms of conditions in any way such as content containing personal details that you wish to keep off the net or incriminating images that you have not given permission to be used online.
Rebuild Your Credibility by Creating New Content
Some content, published by the Government for example, cannot be removed and if this is negative content towards you this can be a big problem. Even considering this, there are still ways to get around and repair problems like these. By posting plenty of your own content and building up your authority in your expertise you’ll show up more on search engines and there will be more positive content than negative which may drown out any negative content so that people may not even see it at all.
Share Your Problems and Challenges
Anyone can post almost anything they want about anybody, no matter whether they are a business or an individual over the Internet. Because of this, you will need to be transparent with anybody who brings up your past as there is no hiding it, and sharing the problems and challenges you were faced with will make you seem more trustworthy and will most likely go a long way in repairing your reputation. This is especially true if your reputation has been damaged through no fault of your own, but if you have made mistakes yourself then you should admit and own up to them where it is necessary to with the people or organisations you are appealing to.
Use Social Media with Care
There are a lot of people who use social media and if you’ve posted something, no matter what it is or when it is posted, people WILL find it. Because of this, you should be especially mindful of the stuff that you post, view and like on your social media accounts even if it is nothing to do with your public reputation. The most important thing to remember is that anything and everything that you post online is part of something that anyone will be able to see the world over.
Even if you are not aware of it, you will have a personal brand that is portrayed by the quality of your work and the personality that you show when online. Public opinion also plays into this as people will be able to see what others post or say about you. Having a personal website gives you a platform where you have complete control and can post the content and show the side of you that you want people to see. This will help you stand your ground and maintain a level of control over how the public sees you.
Removal of Stolen Content
Whatever you have posted online, be it articles or any other content, there’s a large chance that somebody has stolen it. The stolen content is usually posted on other sites and sometimes modified to appear like it has been created from scratch but really no contribution has been made. If you find content that has clearly been stolen, then you have the right to file a DMCA takedown request against the people who have stolen it.
If you have ever used Google or similar search engines you may have already noticed that it automatically suggests content to you based on what you type in. This is based on popularity of searches or trending content and while this can be useful sometimes it can be a problem if your mistakes or struggles are trending or have been searched a few times. If suggestions like that are being seen by people trying to search for you they are quite likely to click on them, which will only make them more popular, and see the damaging content. This is one of the major reasons why you need to monitor your online reputation and try and keep control over what is said about you online.