bad reputation
In an age where we are being warned that what we put up on social networking sites such as Facebook could ruin our reputations, how do we go about building a decent, respectable web-presence?

Well for starters do you even know what your web presence is?

Seth Godin reminded me today that it was worth kicking off the New Year by searching for yourself on Google, something I do once every couple of months to see what has changed.

When I search for my name (Shaune Fradley), Google returns 224 results. Not bad but nothing like Seth’s at 992,000. Granted he’s had more time and more exposure than myself but how many of those 992,000 results will return a quality link? By page 5 there are a couple of tenuous links, page 10 a few more, page 20 even more and by page 50 it’s a string of people writing about Seth Godin, much like I’m doing now. In fact next time the Google crawler robot searches this page it will add another link to those 992,000 results as I have directly referenced Seth Godin. Even better because I’ve mentioned him 3 times and because blogs are classified as current news by Google there is a good chance this post will get a pretty high mention in the Google results. Good for me, good for him.

So firstly what is the best way to search for yourself on Google? With a name like my own I’m reasonably unique so I just search for my name contained within quotes “Shaune Fradley” and the results that come back are pretty much guaranteed to be me. What if you are John Smith? That’s a much more common name and much more difficult for a targeted search but if work in accounting in Warwick you could search for “John Smith” +accounting +Warick. Hopefully you’ll find yourself.

So what about those results and how do you keep them focused? Most of the results that come back for me are either film related or web marketing information as they are the 2 things I either write about most or people write about me. The film related hits are vaster as people know me as a cameraman and editor and have either written about me or posted me as a credit on their film production. This is great for my reputation as when a potential client searches for yours truly they can see I’ve been involved with a lot of projects.

So how do you improve your own web presence? It’s simple really all you need to do is write about what you know, maybe in your own blog, maybe in another experts blog, or perhaps in an article over on Squidoo or on Ezine Articles, the beauty about articles being they are copyright free and once you have written one somebody else can take your article and publish it on their blog/website whilst still giving you the credit.

Be the expert that you know you are and before long you too can have 992,000 dedicated results on Google. Don’t expect it overnight though, I had little to no web presence 5 years ago, now I have a massive 224 results! 🙂

Also think twice about what you write as once it’s out there it can be very difficult to reel something back in. This BBC report on Facebook is a prime example of the problems and backlash from a bad internet reputation.

Hopefully though when you search for yourself you will be pleasantly surprised and you may even discover something you never knew existed.


Image courtesy of the Arms Deal website.