Have you ever taken the time to Google yourself, your friends or even your family? If you did, you likely came up with a wide range of results on the first page of Google. For the most part, it was probably Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts that appeared for most of the names you may have looked up. However… did anything come up in the search results that you wished hadn’t?
In the crazy and fast-paced world that we live in today, Google is our source for information and whatever Google ranks at the top of their search results must be true! Google is now also the number one source for first impressions. If someone searches for your name online, what are they going to find… and are they going to wish they hadn’t seen it? For professionals and brands, this is even more important — can such results help establish you as an expert within your space, or make you seem unprofessional and unfit for hiring?
These are all important questions to ask, as most people will never really think about what comes up in the search results when someone searches for their name. However, it probably happens hundreds of times daily, and if you were applying for a new job or going out on a blind date — you guessed it… you are likely to be Google’d!
With all of that being said, there is a way to monitor, track and repair what might currently be ranking for your name online. This process is actually referred to as ‘online reputation management‘, which is more than just taking control over what your personal name, business or brand looks like in the search results. It’s actually a much more detailed and complex process of making sure your best content is always shown as a priority, while also always keeping an eye on potentially harmful content that might already be out there.
For brands and businesses around the world, reputation management is quickly becoming one of their most important areas of focus — as ignoring what’s currently out there, or lurking in the shadows could actually cost much more in the long run. Not only does this include monitoring what appears in Google, it can also consist of what’s currently being said about a brand or business on social media, incoming reviews from customers or also new product mentions, feedback and support issues floating around the internet.
10 Stats that Prove Everyone Needs to Pay Attention to their Online Reputation
It’s easy to think reputation management is online for brands and businesses, but as mentioned earlier — people are likely going to be searching your name online all the time. When they do, make sure they find what you’d like them to see and not a previous criminal record, unflattering pictures you’ve posted on social media, or even something silly and harmful you may have posted years ago. First impressions only happen once, so make sure it’s a good one!
- 65% of internet users see online search as the most trusted source of info about people and companies (source: 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer)Online Reputation Management
- 79% of consumers place equal weight on both online reviews and personal recommendations (source: 2013 BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey)
- 85% of consumers use the internet for research before making a purchasing decision (source: yelp)
- 33% of traffic from Google’s organic search results go to the 1st item listed (source: Chitika)
- 70% of U.S. recruiters and hiring managers have rejected candidates based on information found online (source: CrossTab’s “Online Reputation in a Connected World”)
- The majority (66%) of all online harassment occurs through social media websites and applications. (source: Pew Research’s “5 Facts About Online Harassment”)
- Unhappy customers potentially mean big losses for some companies. The annual cost of unhappy customers is approximately $537 billion. (source: 2013 Global Customer Pulse Survey)
- 78% of online shoppers check the review section before making a purchase and nearly half of Americans (44%) are active contributors, actively writing reviews if only occasionally. (source: YouGov)
- 86% to 90% of customers will make product or service purchases based upon online reviews (source: Dimensional Research)
- 85% of U.S. recruiters and hiring managers say positive online content influences their hiring decisions (source: CrossTabs’s “Online Reputation in a Connected World”)
Based on our examples above and these latest industry ORM stats, you should now have a better understanding about why reputation management is such a priority for individuals, businesses, and brand around the world. It’s not enough to simply know what’s ranking in Google for your name, you need to actually be in control of it.
Don’t let another second pass by. Go Google your personal or business name right now and see what comes up!