While you may think you are in control of your online reputation, the truth is that Google is going to play a much bigger part in what other people think -- than what your reputation really is!
It might not seem fair (and it's not), but that's just the way it is. Billions of searches are made on Google every single day and depending on what Google ranks at the top of the search results... well, that's what your online reputation is going to be.
There is good news however. It is possible for your personal or brand name to rank at the top of the search results and be in control of what others see when they search for your name online.
A Breakdown of Your Personal Profile in Google Search Results
When it comes time for you to start researching and preparing for how to protect your name in the search results, the first (and most obvious) thing for you to do is to to "Google" yourself! Type your name in the search results and see what comes up.
If you don't see your web site, blog and social profiles... you are in trouble! But don't worry yet... we are going to help you in this article and show you how you gain regain control over your good name and rank at the top of the search results in the process.
Before attempting to change the search results and investing a lot of time and money in trying to secure your number one rankings, you should first invest some time in understanding why and how different sites rank in the search results for your name.
In the infographic below, provided by BrandYourself, we get a complete breakdown of a person's Google results -- and how to look better in the process.
Google is your first impression.
Over a billion names are searched on a daily basis through Google. Whether you think you are famous or not, there is a good chance someone is checking your name every day -- which could be your employer, a client or even people you know and meet with every day. The question is... what are they finding when they start searching for you online?
If your social profiles and web sites are ranking beyond the first page of Google, you might not even be listed at all. Reports show that 94% of people only look at the first page of Google's search results. The good news is that if you are ranked on page 2 or 3, it shouldn't take much work to boost your rankings onto page 1.
Only 2% of people actually "own" the whole first page for the name on Google. This is extremely tough to do and even tougher if you share the name of a popular celebrity, politician or athlete.
What Sites Rank Best in Google
If you want to look better in Google, then you need to know what sites Google gives priority to. Yes, Google does love to rank social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn... but all social networks are not the same.
At the top of the list is LinkedIn... it's simply the king of social networks in terms of ranking on Google. If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, create one today. After LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter take second and third place.
Other profile pages that rank extremely well in Google are WordPress (great for hosting your own blog), Vimeo (ranking even higher than YouTube in most cases), Zerply (lesser known design job site, but ranks very high) and Flickr (no other photo sites rank near this one).
There are thousands of social profile sites out there, but only a few will actually help you rank in the search results. Popular sites like Meetup, Foursquare, DailyMotion, StumbleUpon and Digg are all popular sites, but they are rarely seen on the main page of Google.
Take Action to Control Your Online Reputation
The best way to control your online reputation and see improvements in what Google ranks for your name, is to take immediate action and follow the advice on our blog.
Below you will find some of our most helpful articles on how to use content creation and social networks to rank higher in the search results.
- How to Own Your Brand's Search Results
- Best Practices for Protecting Your Name with Social Media
- CEO Reputation Management: An Owner's Guide to Social Media
- 5 Tools to Monitor and Repair Your Online Reputation