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  • The Latest Trend In Online Reputation Management

    If googling yourself is painful, you’ll want to read this.

    There was a common theme among the SEO and reputation management experts in a recent panel.

    (Last year, a similar panel’s main point was how exposing yourself first can save you from harmful exposure later.)

    Let’s see what they had to say.

    Shira Abel

    Shira Abel of Hunter & Bard covered her Top 10 favorite reputation management screw-ups in the news recently.

    Some of them you’ve probably heard of, like Weinergate, or if you have a website, GoDaddy’s SOPA fiasco.

    Each mess could have been avoided with Shira’s list of takeaway lessons in mind (slide 19):

    Jon Sumroy

    Jon Sumroy of NationalPositions told the story of Jonathan Kern, a reformed British con man who left prison and took a new path in life.

    Searches on his name used to be filled with stories of his crimes, but Jonathan’s been busy the past few years, creating an interior design company and founding a charity dedicated to helping disadvantaged youth.

    Searches on his name still show negative results on the first page, but now they’re surrounded by much more recent, positive results. At first glance, you even might wonder if all the results are the same person. Either way, the impression is much better than it used to be.

    Instead of trying to clean up the negative results, they’ve now been put into perspective by the positive results.

    Nichola Stott

    Nichola Stott of theMediaFlow had a talk featuring Brendan Behan’s line “there is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary”.

    She focused on Ryanair, a UK low-cost airline whose outrageous policies (e.g. bathroom fees), edgy ads, and public relations have led to massive media coverage and rumor campaigns that the company has ultimately used for growth.

    Here’s her summary (slide 18):

    Spot the trend?

    A few years ago, I blogged a list of 200+ Resources and Tips To Help Manage Your Reputation Online. With that list, I also explained that there were basically two strategies in online reputation management:

    Once you’ve discovered something on the Internet that could lower your chances of getting a job, there are 2 things you can do to make it disappear from the Web:

    1. Clean it up – remove or have removed any harmful content.
    2. Drown it out – create positive content that will appear first in search results, pushing any harmful content so far down search results pages that future employers aren’t likely to find it.
    The new trend is the third strategy that can now be added to that list, and it immediately becomes my favorite of them all.
    3. Embrace it – take ownership of the negative content by following it up with related positive content, that explains how you learned from your mistakes and have progressed since then
    Why is the embrace strategy best?
    • It leverages the fact that you already rank well for your name
    • By creating new positive content, you’re also employing the “drown it out” strategy
    • The contrast from the positive will cause some people to ignore the negative


    Jacob Share, a job search expert, is the creator of JobMob, one of the biggest blogs in the world about finding jobs. Follow him on Twitter for job search tips and humor.

    Jacob Share, a job search expert, is the creator of JobMob, one of the biggest blogs in the world about finding jobs. Follow him on Twitter for job search tips and humor.

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