Companies and individuals alike should be monitoring what is being said about them on the internet and social media. One of the tools that is available for personal use and that can be adapted for small business use is from Google and it is called ‘Me on the Web‘.
Me on the Web is part of your Google profile if you have a gmail account or a Google + account. You can find it by searching for Google Dashboard and you will have the opportunity to sign in to your Google Account.
Here’s what Me on the Web can do:
1. Alert you when you name is used on the web
2. Alert you when your email address (or addresses ) are used on the web
3. One or more custom fields that you specify. The custom field can be a brand name, a company name, another person’s name, your phone number or your address. You can have more than one custom field.
Me on the Web provides options for notifying you when it finds something.
a. As it happens
b. Once a Day
c. Once a Week
Notifications are sent to an email account that you designate. You can do an immediate check of what Me on the Web finds. I did a search for my domain name and it was quite a shock to see places that were referring to me I knew nothing about.
Managing your Reputation
One of the concerns I hear about all the time is what to do about negative comments on the web about you, your brand, your organization or your management and staff. Google provides guidance on how to manage your identity. First Google provides guidance on how to handle sites where you control the visibility of items you post, such as pictures on Picassa. Many social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Google + have settings that allow you to control who sees what part of your profile and postings.
Google also provides guidance on two other important topics on what to do when the content on the web is not controlled by you and you don’t want it to be on the web.
Removing personal data from the web
1. Be careful what you post on the web, particularly personal information.
2. Try to get the unwanted content removed from the web by contacting the web master.
3. Counter act negative content with positive reviews and information.
4. Notify Google if confidential information is being displayed and you cannot get the webmaster to remove it. Examples of confidential information would be your government ID or social security number, your bank account or credit card information, an image of your handwritten signature or your first and last name or the name of your business appearing on an adult content site that’s spamming Google’s search results.
Removing a page from Google’s Search Results
Google provides techniques for removing a page or site from Google’s search results. This is not an optimal way to handle things as Google is not the only search engine even though it dwarfs the competitors. If you need to request Google’s help to remove a page or site from its results, you may need to do the same thing with other search engines as well. Google also has an expedited process for confidential information. See this page for instructions.
Google has provided a tool to help individuals and small businesses track themselves on the web. There are other tools that are more robust for larger businesses (most come at a fee) , or work on certain social media platforms, so it is wise to have a few of these probes feeding you with how you are being perceived on the web. Me on the Web is an excellent resource to start with.
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