There is no better way to gauge your online presence than by Googling yourself. Google name searches are done by people you meet every day, including potential employers, network connections, university admission committees, and even a potential client.
You need to ensure that when someone Googles your name, your top search results should be relevant and positive.
Googling yourself is a smart way to keep tabs on your online reputation and learn more about what the internet knows about you.
It's important to take control of your own personal brand and stay up-to-date on information about yourself that populates online, as well as user privacy protections to secure your data.
Can someone tell if their name has been Googled?
The short answer is No. People won't be able to tell if others search for them online using a regular Google Search. You can't track most things you do online unless you leave a clear trail.
Almost a billion names are being Googled every day. It doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in. People have grown accustomed to the fact that everyone’s life is online to a certain extent.
This is why most people tend to search for answers online. Thus, it becomes essential to take control of what your online presence looks like.
Understand What You See When You Google Yourself.
When you Google yourself, make sure to scan through the results related to your name to determine what information is accessible.
It might include social media accounts, forums discussions, articles, videos, and blog posts you have written or been mentioned in, and even phone numbers or addresses if they are listed online.
By paying close attention to the types of search results that appear on the first page of search results for your name, you can better understand what others see about you when they use the search engine.
Out of the people who Googled themselves, 20 percent reported inaccurate or outdated information, while 12 percent were surprised by the unpleasant things they found. Other people with the same name influence a whopping 33 percent of searches.
Can You Scrub Your Name From Search Results?
These things might not seem too crucial at a cursory glance, but they could significantly put off clients or employers.
Fifty percent of people do not own the first search result for their name. Throughout your education and career, people are bound to look you up. Your online presence, therefore, has a lot of say in where you reach in life.
However, 90 percent of people do not search for anything further than the first result. This means that your personal and professional contacts have already formed an impression about you based on the first search result that the Google search shows.
Here are a few reasons you should Google yourself.
- It helps you understand what employers or clients see
- It gives you a better understanding of how to brand yourself
- It helps protect you against identity theft
- It gives you the edge by taking control of your online presence
- People are more likely to form positive impressions about you with a better online reputation
If you are not sure how to google yourself or if you are wondering “how to remove my name from google searches,” don’t worry. Here is how you can see what others exactly see when they search for you.
Conduct a Google Name Search
Google supports the use of personalized local searches when you are logged in to your Google account. Ensure that you sign out or use the incognito window. This gives you an objective idea by depersonalizing the search. Opening the incognito ensures that Google does not alter the result rankings.
Use the Name Others Would Search With
Make a list of all possible combinations of names people might use to search for you. It is always best practice to go by a single name personally and professionally. However, this is not always possible.
Your list should include variations, nicknames, titles, hyphenated names, and so on.
This gives you a fair idea of which results are more visible. When you are searching, make it a point not to open up negative results multiple times. This gives Google the impression that it is the more popular result, bringing it to the forefront.
Watch Out For Changes in Search Results Over Time.
Just like anything else, your Google search results can change over time as different information is indexed and ranked. In order to make sure you are aware of any changes in the results displayed for your name, be sure to monitor them periodically.
If you notice something that looks suspicious and could impact your reputation, take steps to address it quickly.
Google yourself often and at regular intervals. Once a month is a good interval for normal folks. You could even choose to set up an alert for new search results. These are directly sent to your email, making it convenient for you to go through them.
Run a Google Image Search
Something most of us forget to do is to run a Google image search. A simple option is the reversible image search. The results are a combination of pictures and websites. So, you can check anything relevant.
What to Do to Maintain Your Online Reputation
The process doesn’t stop with simply Googling yourself. You have to take action in order to control the information that is available online. You need to maintain and monitor your online presence or at least clean up the existing one.
Here are some things that have to be done after you Google yourself.
Clean Up Your Digital Footprint.
A good place to start when you Google yourself is to look for inappropriate images, comments, or posts that may have been posted without your knowledge. If you find anything adverse, take the steps necessary to remove them and clean up your digital footprint.
Additionally, if there are any inconsistencies in what results show up when searching for yourself on various platforms, correct them right away.
It’s important to keep a consistent professional image across all platforms.
Monitor Social Media Activity & Online Reviews.
One critical step to safeguard your online image is to be aware of the ongoing activity related to you on social media. This can be accomplished by using Google Alerts, a free service that allows you to get notifications about your name in real time.
You’ll also want to Google yourself periodically to monitor any recent comments or reviews associated with your name, brand, and/or business.
Make sure you maintain a list of social media accounts you have created. Make sure the sites showcase a consistent story as far as your professional growth is concerned. You can even choose to upload a resume if the options are available.
Now deactivate and delete any social media accounts you made ages ago that are no longer important. It is vital to prune your accounts continuously.
Also, make sure you represent yourself consistently and with the same name. This is how your professional brand will be perceived.
Set Up Alerts to Monitor Your Digital Presence Regularly.
A great way to monitor your Google search results regularly is to set up alerts for your name. By setting up a Google alert for yourself, you will receive an email notification whenever new content featuring the search term that you have entered appears online.
This can help you stay on top of any changes in your search results and quickly respond if there is something negative or false circulating online.
Request Removal of Unwanted Results
If you find some negative information, you can always contact the website and request for the mention of your name to be removed. The best way to deal with them is by pushing them down. You can do so with new content like a blog, website, and so on.
If you are unable to do so, the next course of action would be to prepare for it to come up. In case recruiters bring it up during an interview, you need to be prepared to handle it.
Manage Your Personal Online Reputation
If you need some help creating your new online presence, NewReputation is always here to help. We will focus on pruning your name search results while allowing you to optimize your brand online.
With the continuous screenings that occur in every part of your life, we can help you stand out and show yourself and your work in a positive light.
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