Google Yourself Today…and Often

Have you “Googled” your name and the name of your business lately? Years ago, when Google was just getting popular and I was busy building and running Sleep Country USA, Robert Olsen, a lifelong friend did an internet search for my name and it came back with over a million hits! He called me to tell me which prompted me to do my own search just to confirm it.  He was right!

It wasn’t just the number that shocked me; it was the variety of sources, comments and mentions there were – and that was just for my name, not even my business name!

The search as I sat down to compose this blog yielded slightly over 180,000 hits and most of them relate to the projects I am currently involved in; my book and speaking events.  However, there are still plenty of mentions of me connected to the business I founded in 1990 and sold in 2000 – yes, over a decade ago!

The point is, the internet is a wonderful tool but it is also a huge repository for all sorts of information – some accurate, some not.  Some flattering, some not. As a business person you cannot afford to be unaware of what others see when they Google your name and/or the name of your business.  Be sure to Google common misspellings!

Even if you don’t own a business, as an employee, your personal reputation is influenced by the reputation of the company where you work so you need to know what is being said out in the marketplace.

This information can influence future customers, employers, landlords, business associates or even friends!

My husband, John Murphy and I host dinner parties in our home every month and have done so for years.  Last month I was running late and did not get out the usual mailed invitations so I did an “evite instead.  Using the evite list, EVERY person in attendance had done both a Google and Facebook search of every other guest.

 

Do an internet search on yourself and your business today, then make a note on your calendar to do it again every 3 months. When you find erroneous information, contact the source and ask for them to correct it or at least comment back in reply if there is an option.

If you find a lot of unrelated information, particularly negative information on someone with a similar name, you may want to help others find the right search words to locate you.  Something like “Now if you search the internet for my business, be sure to include XYZ in quotes or you will find a lot of unrelated data on a business with a similar name in Florida”.   This can help you not get tarred with someone else’s bad reputation.

Is monitoring your reputation on the web time-consuming?  Not really.  If you feel it is, you can always utilize a web service such as Reputation Defender.  Is it really important?  Absolutely!  All you have in this world really is your good name!

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