You might not know this fact, but there are more than 644 million active websites right now! As you can imagine, there is plenty of information accessible to anyone that wants to seek it out. The Web is an invaluable tool for research. However, it can also be a bad idea for some individuals and businesses.
The open nature of the Web means that people have more freedom to express opinions on a variety of topics. Regardless of whether those views are true or not! For example, it’s not unheard of for some businesses to post fake “bad” reviews on their competitor’s products.
Do you want to make sure your online reputation is squeaky-clean? If so, there are a few steps you can take to mitigate any negative information and promote yourself in a more positive light. Here is what you need to know:
Do a Web search on yourself
You need to find out what people are saying about you online, and the only way to do that is to perform a Web search on yourself! Google is your friend, as they say. Be sure to do both a general and image search on your brand name, and check out what others are saying about you online.
If you don’t already have one, get yourself a Google account (it’s free). Once you’re signed in, you can set up “alerts” so that you get emails whenever new content is published online about your brand.
What happens if your brand is mentioned on thousands of web pages or websites? As you can imagine, checking each page or site is something of a mammoth task. You can always hire an online reputation management company to help you out. It usually works out cheaper (and is more effective) than hiring a team of people directly.
Get unauthorized content taken down
Have you come across some websites that are plagiarizing your work? If so, you have the right to get that content removed. For instance, let’s say that you write software for a living and have found people making illegal copies of your work for others to download for free.
In the US, you can get that content taken down thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. You can submit a DMCA “takedown” request to the site’s owner or host. By law, they must comply with your request.
Similar laws are also available in Europe and other parts of the world.
Buy domain names relating to your brand
Let’s face it; domain names are cheap to buy. Your brand needs to secure its intellectual property rights, one of which is going to be your brand’s name. Companies like Microsoft, for example, own plenty of domains around the world that use their brand names.
There is some debate about how “far” you should go when buying up domain names. If you’re only targeting a domestic market, it might make sense only to buy country-specific domains and general ones like .com, .org and so forth.
By following the above guide, you’ll have a better handle on managing your brand’s online reputation. Thanks for reading!