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Why Game of Thrones fans should have us looking at our own online profiles

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by Startacus Admin

online reputation
Worried about your online reputation? Here are 10 tips for assessing the quality or otherwise of your own online profile, care of Charlie Terry, CEO of CEEK Marketing.

You may have read in the news how Angry 'Game of Thrones' fans 'Google-bombed' the show's creators so that their photo now shows up when you search for 'bad writers' Charlie Terry

A "Game of Thrones" Reddit channel named /r/Freefolk successfully used Google to catapult the show's co-creators into the top results if you search for "bad writers." It's an effect known as "Google bombing," whereby a Reddit post is given a thumbs-up by enough members that it shows up near the top of Google search results.

Similarly, in recent news Boris Johnson and his bus painting hobby have pushed down results for ‘bus lie’ about the NHS and the money that could be saved due to Brexit. Whilst Boris was keen to talk to journalists about his hobby of making and painting buses many sceptics felt it was merely a ploy to manipulate google results around him.

Examples like this might be extreme but it does raise the bigger picture about what is becoming a multi-million-pound issue in online reputation management. 

Search BARK or similar freelance sites and you will find a plethora of requests from businesses and individuals looking to remove or minimise everything from bad business reviews to embarrassing pictures of themselves they would rather the world forget.

But the average person may not be able to do a huge amount for themselves in terms of their online reputation, without needing to pay an expert for it.

Here are my top 10 tips. 

‘Google yourself’ – do a google search for your name and also search for yourself in Google images and see what comes up.  You may also want to look for video and other content which may have been added by other people or even you longer ago than you online profilecare to remember.

Ditch the embarrassing email – I frequently get sent CVs from people or click on profiles linked to emails for lagerlout86 or fluffybunny and look no further. Your email address reflects on you so keep in simple and professional and remember what might be sweet when you are 12 makes you a joke as an adult. Also avoid emails which mention a year as this is generally refers to year of birth which may count against you.

Stay current – set up a Google alert for your name so that you can keep track of any new content that is posted about you. Sometimes friends will share things you might not have wanted shared but if you don’t know about it you can’t ask them to take it down. Google alerts are free and easy to set up and you can have notifications emailed to you once a day, so it is a quick job to check.

Take action with what you see - If someone else posts a picture of you on Facebook you find embarrassing or inappropriate, remove the “tag” that identifies it as you. Also don’t hesitate to ask others to take down online profile and reputationpictures or information you think could compromise your reputation either professionally or personally.

Buy your domain name – there are numerous examples of celebrities or companies who have found themselves in a sticky situation after someone else has bought their domain name and used it for things they would never want to be associated with like pornography. So if you want ownership of your reputation you need to own your domain name – and also look at possible versions of it. Domain names can cost as little as £1 to buy and you may want to look at different versions such as .com and .co.uk.

Join social networks - and take the time to fill out the profiles fully and with thought. The main sites most people use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and of course there is also Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube. You don’t need to be posting every day but add content on a regular basis – which could include writing your own or just sharing third party stuff you find interesting.

Be intelligent on social networks – many high profiles and also less well-known people have come a cropper sharing or liking content which is seen as offensive – and the ‘excuse’ of not understanding the full implications of online profile and reputationthe post will not save you.  Before you like or share ask yourself if this is something anyone would find offensive, would you be prepared to defend your liking it and would you be happy to be questioned about it at a job interview or by your future self in 10 years’ time. If in doubt leave the share/ like out.

Consider if you would benefit from putting all your content in one place – Several sites allow you to do this including Tumblr, WordPress and About.me. You can also “point” your domain name to these sites, which means that anyone who goes to your domain name will be routed to your Tumblr page or WordPress page.

One you are happy with what is there optimise your presence on social media sites. Fill these sites out as fully as you can, customizing the URL when you can and repeat your name where appropriate. For instance, on LinkedIn you can scroll down to where it says “public profile” on your profile page and edit the URL.   Most websites give you the option of linking to other social media sites, if you this it will make your online presence stronger.

Keep private things private – but assume that everything is public – however careful you are about you post it is impossible to control the pictures other people post of you.  Still, you should, put privacy setting on all content you want to share only with a select group of friends and family. However, Facebook and other sites are constantly changing the rules about privacy so make sure you stay up to date.

Charlie Terry is the CEO of CEEK Marketing a successful digital marketing and social media consultancy with offices in London and Brighton and in Negombo, Sri Lanka.

 

 


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Published on: 4th August 2019

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