Have you ever googled yourself and found a negative comment or review? Or maybe you discovered a picture that someone else posted, which shows you doing something you would never want an employer to see? Lisa B. Marshall explains what you can do to fix the problem.
Negative reviews, negative comments, or inappropriate photos can make you cringe, but more importantly, they can have a negative impact on your career.
Recently I was delivering a program called, "Developing Your National Reputation Through Social Media," to a group of pediatricians at a very large well-known hospital. After the event, a physician approached me and explained that he had a received a very negative review from a disgruntled patient on one of the major physician review sites. The physician was distraught. He was concerned not only because other patients might see the search result, but also because he thought that colleagues and recruiters might see this negative information. He asked me what to do.
Normally when someone tells me they have a undesirable link on the first page of search results (after they Google themselves), my very first suggestion is to see if it's possible to get the person who posted it to remove it, or at least revise it in some way. If that is not possible (and often it's not) then I suggest a strategy that helps to move the undesirable link further down in the results. The goal is to knock it off the first and second page of search results—because let's face it, most of us don't look past the first two pages.
Specifically, I suggest creating additional professional profiles on sites that are professional and extremely search-engine friendly. For example, in addition to a LinkedIn profile, create a Squidoo lens, a Scribd document, and profiles on Zoominfo and Google. I also recommend creating profiles on any relevant industry specific professional networks. The last step is to be sure to create profiles on the top social networking sites which currently include: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, VK, Flickr, Vine and Meetup (even if you never plan on using them). The benefit is that these major, credible sites have great “Google juice” and so they usually land closer to the top of search listing results. Why is this important? Again, because all of these legitimate professional profiles will likely push any undesirable results further down a search result list.
In addition to that strategy I suggested he ask happy, long-term patients of his to add their reviews to the site as well. In addition, I encouraged him to participate in another physician review site and to set up a laptop in his office for patients to leave a review at check out. He wrote me later to let me know that although he was unable to remove the devastating review, he was able to move the result to the third page and to counter-balance that review with several positive reviews.
So, don't worry if you found something negative: it will take a bit of work to fix the problem, but it is possible and, certainly, in the end, it will be worth your effort.
This is Lisa B. Marshall moving you from mediocre to memorable, from information to influence, and from worker to leader! I invite you to read my best-selling books, Smart Talk and Ace Your Interview, listen to my other podcast, Smart Talk, and invest in your professional development via my online courses Powerful Presenter, Expert Presenter, or Influence: Maximize Your Impact.
As always your success is my business!