Unfortunately the Internet offers the possibility of setting up profiles in other people’s names – so it’s really important to collect the profile names that belong to you. If an individual does find negative content or information available that is private, confidential or defamatory there are a number of ways to remove and suppress the information online.
Optimise your current digital assets and social profiles
By optimising your profiles and creating positive and relevant content online, any negative content you are facing online will soon disappear from those dreaded searches. And, by regularly adding new content to the internet – through tweets, by posting on Facebook, updating your LinkedIn account and circulating blog posts on Google+ – you will be helping to reduce the impact of any negative content published about you online.
Reputation Matters: if you fail to keep your assets updated, they are likely to lose ranking power, and the unwanted content may well appear again.
Create new profiles and assets and ensure that they’re optimised for your name
Buy your own domain ie YourName.com and create a really strong profile with lots of positive content. For a list of social networks most likely to rank see A Guide to Managing Personal Information Online.
Reputation Matters: general rule of thumb is that you should add new content at least once a week – keep it simple, a short article or comment on something you are interested in will suffice.
Remove negative content wherever possible
Where negative content exists, contact the websites directly if the content is defamatory or untrue. You can remove unwanted tags on unflattering posts or images yourself, and don’t be afraid to request that images are taken down if you feel they will compromise you.
Reputation Matters: You can use the Google Removal Tool to remove negative content from the search results, although Google will only do this where the content is clearly defamatory, of an adult nature or through legal procedures.
For a more in-depth look at how to manage personal information online download the ebook A Guide to Managing Personal Information Online.
For further advice about counteracting negative content online please contact me here.
Read Tim Dowling’s article on online reputation management, published in the Guardian, May 2013
Igniyte is a UK based Online Reputation Management company with clients across the world. Working since 2009 to help individuals, companies and brands to replace negative press articles, reviews, blogs and comments with positive content.