Five Ways to "Do It Yourself" Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management is all the rage these days. How can't it be? Your online reputation is essentially your entire reputation. The overwhelming majority of people who ever want to learn something about you are going to consult the World Wide Web to do it. If you're expecting to enter in on an enterprise that's success is determined by the integrity of your good name online, then you need to make sure that good name is indeed good and not associated with negativity. Luckily there are five ways you can do it yourself:

1. Make Sure You Own

The first thing you should do is purchase your name's domain i.e Whenever someone types your name into a search engine your own domain will be the first thing to pop up every time, ensuring that their search results are in your control. It's the simplest yet most effective way to control your online reputation.

2. Establish Yourself on Every Social Network

After your own domain, the next results that are likely to appear are social networks. Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Google+ will all rise to the top of that list because these sites are immensely popular. By making sure you're a member of these networks you guarantee that further search results will be in your favor.

3. Google Your Name Plus Positives

If you ever find yourself at an unfamiliar computer terminal, one you don't use often, then start searching for yourself with positive words like “reliable” and “quality” attached. It's a somewhat silly technique but if you do this enough times, when someone searches for you the first fill-in options to appear will be those words most associated with your name when searched. Creating those positive searches through alien IP addresses can establish those good search phrases for you.

4. Attempt Cordial and Respectful Removal of Negative Content

In the event you uncover negative or otherwise unauthorized content about yourself online, attempt to contact the site owner and present your argument for why the content should be taken down. If you prove that the information is not true or its posting had malicious intent, you may get what you want. If a site owner is unwilling to compromise, then seek the help of an online reputation manager.

5. Stay Vigilant

Six months where you don't bother checking up on your online reputation is plenty of time for it to turn into junk. Never let a week go by where you haven't performed a basic Google search of your name to see what appears. Letting negative or erroneous information sit around for months online is exactly how bad online management problems arise in the first place.

Do it yourself online reputation management won't replace the talents of an ORM specialist. But it's a good start for young entrepreneurs. Protecting your online reputation is important for a reason. Don't wait until something bad happens before you start caring about how you appear to those who learn about you through the Internet.

Maggie Durango is a free lance writer that loves new technology and fiddles with every new gadget on the market.