Not too long ago I wrote a guest blog post for an acting website. In the post, I joked about how, whenever you’re about to go on a first date with someone, you should Google them first (it would be silly not to!). Along that same train of thought, I talked about why it’s important to Google yourself so you know what kinds of things come up when someone types your name in the search bar.
Not surprisingly, there were a few scoffing remarks about how vain it is to Google yourself. I’m not sure why, but it seems like people still think that searching for yourself online is vain. It’s not. Instead, it’s actually a really good way to measure your reputation and see yourself as others see you. It’s also an important way to monitor what sort of information about you is public – for instance, a few years ago I searched my name and found my street address and phone number listed. Yikes! That came down as soon as possible!
Blog For Your Reputation
These days, it’s inevitable that at some point there will be information about yourself posted online that you don’t want public. It could be an image of you getting a little tipsy at the company picnic last year, or some remarks that you just really wish weren’t online.
The good news is, when you blog regularly, you have control over the content that comes up first if someone Google searches your name. Search engines prioritize the more frequently updated websites, so if you post every week, that photo from your high school reunion will quickly be buried in the countless pages of internet information.
This is why I believe blogging is so important!
Set Up Your Google Alerts
It’s really easy to have a running Google search on yourself when you set up a Google Alert. This essentially means that Google will continually search for your name in all its data, and every time your name comes up, you will receive an email. I recommend setting alerts for your name, your company name, and several commonly misspelled variations of both.
I also have alerts set for my theater company, The City Shakespeare Company, so I can capitalize on any articles that are written about us in the local papers or blogs.
Go to www.google.com/alerts. Type in the names you wish to monitor. If it’s more than one word, put quotation marks around the phrase to make sure you only receive the most relevant results.
I’m curious to see what you’ll find. Drop me a line in the comments area below to share what comes up.