You CAN manage your reputation online
There are a lot of agencies that offer reputation management strategies and assistance in purging undesirable results from your Google search results, and many of them have a hefty price tag attached. As with most things, what you’re paying for is the convenience of outsourcing.
You need five basic things to manage the search results for your name:
– Basic search engine optimization knowledge (check out SEOmoz for a great start)
– A set of keywords you want to focus on (your name, your business name, and a few variations of each)
– An action plan of sites where you’ll place content (social networks, vanity domains, professional domains, and resume sites)
– An RSS reader filled with reputation-tracking feeds (blog searches, news searches, etc.)
– The time to devote to managing your online reputation
There are a lot of services that offer to monitor the web for any mention of you, your name, and your business. The fact is, this is something you can easily do yourself if you have the time to get set up.
For each search above, subscribe to the RSS feed of the results. This will give you a custom set of feeds to monitor for mentions of your name and a heads up for potential problems.
To monitor your SERP results for your vanity search, try a tool like SERP Monitor. This updates you when new results rank for your search.
When you combine news, blog and social monitoring with a close watch on your SERPs, you already have powerful (and free!) insight into your online reputation. The tools already exist to provide you with valuable information.