Monday, November 10, 2008

What is Google Saying About You?

Have you ever Googled yourself? I suspect everyone has done it at one time or another. Doing it doesn't necessarily make you self-centered – especially if you make your living as a freelance writer.

During the summer I mentioned how important it is to watch what you say on the Internet. Take my word for it - you never know who is watching. It's so easy to get carried away posting on forums and blogs. Once those posts are on the web, there is no taking it back – it's out there for everyone to see. No take backs. Here are a few reasons why you should Google yourself regularly.

1) You get to see what others see. When you contact a prospective client for work there's a good chance they'll Google your name to find out more about you. Not every client may bother to Google you, but if they do, you don't want your name attached to anything too crazy.

2) Some social networking sites will expose you to the world. Did you know that if you make regular posts on Twitter, the search engines will begin indexing them (because of the constantly updated content) and you will start seeing them in your search results whenever your name is Googled? This may be no big deal to you if you use it strictly as a business marketing/promotional tool, but if you are prone to posting the kind of comments you wouldn't want an important client to discover online, consider yourself warned.

3) Manage your online reputation. Performing regular quick searches allows you to find out who is linking to you, what others are saying about you and how you are seen in your industry (all good things, right?).

You can used Google Alerts can be used to keep you updated on the search results in your name. You can set it to perform a search every day or every other day automatically.


Lori said...

Absolutely true! If you don't want your mother or a judge to read it, don't type it. :))

I limit my use of social networks to two. Frankly, I can't handle more than that. My addled brain feels compelled to keep up with everything! LOL

Kimberly Ben said...

You said it, lori!;-)

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