Your Googleability: How to Control and Mold Information About You Online
It’s old advice, but important advice, that you should know what’s out there about you on Google. Who will be Googling you? Well, let’s see. Here’s a small list of people who might just type your name into the old search engine:
- Potential Employers
- Boyfriends (Current, Future, and Ex)
- IRS Agents
- And more…
So it’s safe to say you should have some idea of what’s out there about you on the internet, right? The question that isn’t often asked, though, is how do you control that information if it’s something you’re not proud or fond of?
Consider these tips when trying to remove or remake certain parts of your Google profile:
- An enormous amount of what you’ll find on Google comes directly from social media profiles you own! Did you have a MySpace in 2002, and never deleted it? Well, guess what, it’s on your Google page. Take the time to find your passwords for every social media site you find on Google, and either delete the profile or change your privacy settings to control what information is public from each profile.
- Ask for removal. The truth is, the internet is forever, but you can remove certain pieces of information so they’re not easily or readily available. If there is a webpage up about you or with information you don’t want out there, take the time to ask the person or company who owns it to remove it. You might not receive a response, but it’s worth asking. For instance, if your sorority has a photo page and posted some photos you don’t love, you have every right to ask the sorority to remove your photos.
- Good information buries bad. You can’t always remove something negative about you online, but you can bury it! If something is floating to the top of Google that you don’t love, be sure to create a strong online persona you do love. Google anyone and you’ll often see the first few things that pop up are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Take the time to create additional profiles on sites like MyLife, Pinterest, Tumblr, About.me and other harmless social media sites that will make sure the first page of your Google search is positive and any negative stories at least get buried behind them.
- Get Google+. You may not understand Google+ and you may think it’s strange, but it’s the #1 way you can control your persona on Google. Why? Because having a Google+ page means that page will come up in any Google search first, and will include your photo and bio. Do it!
Go forth and clean your Google, ladies! You won’t regret it!