Many folks with online reputation management problems do things that make their situation worse.
Here are two things to avoid.
#1 Clicking On The Negative Link(s)
If you are in the habit of Googling your name to check out your internet reputation, you may find things you don’t like.
Don’t click on them!
All this does is sends a signal to Google that the links are relevant to the search query you just made (your name) and boosts them in search results.
This is the exact click through rate strategy we use to promote your positive links, so don’t make your situation worse by clicking on the negative articles.
Use Incognito Mode When Clicking Negative Links
Instead, go to incognito mode on your brower. Searches/clicks made while in incognito mode do not count and thus they won’t effect your search results.
Incognito is also referred to as “Browsing in Private” by Google or “Browse InPrivate” by Microsoft.
Here are ways to browse privately in different browsers:
#2 Changing The Search Phrase To Find The Negative Link(s)
Here’s a conversation we’ve had many times with clients:
Us: Does the negative link appear when you Google your name?
Client: No, you have to add my city to it.
Us: Okay, don’t do that!
Here’s what happens.
Someone types their name into the Google search box and everything on page one looks good.
But they know there’s a bad news story out there and they want to find it.
So they start adding things to the end of their name like their city, their occupation, the word “news,” the name of the newspaper, you name it.
The problem with doing this is you signal to Google that these appended suggestions are relevant to Google’s algorithm.
Before you know it, these suggestions appear after your name in the search box and now you’ve got a Google Autocomplete problem.
These suggestions become part of Google’s algorithm and everytime you search your name now, you see these suggestions appearing after your name.
The problem with this is the suggestions – when clicked – lead people straight to the negative content you don’t want them to find.
The way to avoid this is to perform your search recon work in incognito or private mode.
This way your searches don’t count and will not influence autocomplete.
I know it’s tempting to Google yourself to see what people are saying.
Particularly, if you know there is an arrest record, negative news story, or other unwanted post online.
Just remember to always use INCOGNITO mode whenever doing any investigative work on yourself, so you don’t inadvertently influence the search engine algorithms in a way that causes even more damage.