A surprising majority of businesses, executives and individuals today give no thought to their online reputation. In a world where international boundaries no longer exist, Bertrand Girin, co-founder and President of Reputation VIP, enlightens us as to the stakes at hand where online reputation is concerned.
Online reputation – who should be concerned?
Your online reputation is built on everything that anyone, anywhere in the world – yourself included – says, posts, comments and publications about you on the Internet. Bertrand Girin stresses that very few people today get by without an online reputation in some form or another. Where businesses are concerned, it is almost impossible to hide from the omnipresent eyes of Google. From the moment you open a social network account, create your own website, post a comment on a forum or a photo of your family – from the moment you become present on the Web – you have an online reputation. Whether it is deliberate or not. If you are looking to sell goods or services, to promote brands or ideas, it is actually within your best interests to build a solid online reputation.
Who does online reputation affect the most?
The question is: who does it not affect? Big businesses are of course at risk but crises come in all shapes and sizes these days and no business or person is out of harm’s way. Looking for work? Bertrand Girin reminds us that the first thing most recruiters do these days before interviewing candidates is to look them up on Google. Looking for love? Same thing – expect to be ‘googled’ before getting a date.
Things that can negatively affect a reputation
Many people come to regret posting a drunken photo of themselves on Facebook, having heated altercations, or leaving compromising comments on public spaces such as forums and blogs. The ink on Google is indelible. Once you’ve hit enter, it is extremely hard to backtrack.
To find out whether anything negative is being said about you, you need to regularly check your first page of Google results. Freedom of speech is rampant on the Web. One bad review can overshadow three good ones. One tiny slip-up and your reputation could be ruined and not just locally, but on an international basis.
What measures can people take to fight bad online reputation?
Bertrand Girin advises people to follow the recommendations of the Reputation VIP online reputation dashboard. Create new content to push negative results down the list of results on your Google result page. Open new social network accounts and keep them up-to-date.
Thanks to a recent decision from the European Court of Justice, certain information about you can be de-indexed from search engines for specific search requests. Forget.me can facilitate the process by submitting ‘Right to be Forgotten’ forms to Google and Bing at once.
Bertrand Girin adds that people shouldn’t be daunted by their online reputation. Embrace it, accept it and learn how to control it to make the best out of it.