We post photos, share stories, write blog posts and spend quite a bit of time on social media. But have your Googled yourself to see what is actually on your first page? You should. It’s not a narcissistic thing to do. It’s a very practical thing. You need to see what other people see when they Google you.
Google regularly gets requests from governments and courts to “hand over user data.” And more and more companies require it of recruiters when submitting a candidate. Social intelligence could cost you a job. According to Career Builder, about 37 percent of companies do a social search before hiring a candidate.
Do you know what would be found on you?
I recently Googled myself and went about 10 pages deep. The majority of the content was articles I’d written or content I knew was out there. But in the course of doing my search, I discovered people had excerpted items from posts I’d written or they had quoted me. I had no clue they had done so. All in all, it’s a good thing as nothing I found was negative. Whew!
So why should you Google yourself?
Upon occasion, I have found that people have used my content without my knowledge and failed to include links back to me. I once discovered a company had gone as far as using one of my posts in their company newsletter. Not only had they not given me a heads up, they had not included any links to my site. Rule #1 is you always include a link to the person whose content you are quoting or excerpting. Driving traffic to them is a way of saying thanks for use of their content.
Rule #2 is to ask permission if you can use the writer’s content. Or at the very least, as a courtesy, let them know you have included them in an article you are writing. They will be flattered and most likely want to share your post with others in their social graph thus amplifying your article’s reach.
Set Google Alerts on your name.
Google Alerts don’t always pick up your name, but they often will so set a Google Alert on yourself. If you’re in the public eye, writing consistently, you need to do this.
Bottom line is every tweet, post, photo is telling a story about you and lives forever online. You can try through Google Removal to get items taken down, but it’s not an easy task and they get so many requests.