Ego searches are searches that you perform looking for information on the Internet about you (your company and/or products). They are referred to as “ego” because they are searches to find out what people are saying about “you” (as opposed to what they are saying about your peers and competitors).
Three popular ways of performing ego searches are:
- Active: Going to a search engine and entering your name in the search box
- Passive: Adding a Google Alert
- Passive: Entering your name (company name and/or products) in your RSS reader
You may want to start your search with an active (manual) search. After you do that several times, you will realize that a passive search will help tremendously – from a time management standpoint.
When implementing a passive strategy, the references to your name are searched for by Internet tools and the search results are delivered to you (your reader or e-mail). Then at your convenience, you read the e-mail or go to your reader, and choose the listings you want to read in their entirety.
I have found that as comprehensive as the search results from the automated searches (passive searches) are, they do not report everything that is on the Internet about you. Therefore, my recommendation is to implement a passive strategy, and once every 6 – 8 weeks, perform an active (manual) search in order to discover anything that may have fell through the automated cracks.
What if your ego search reveals something that you do not like?
Okay, I’m going to cut to the chase on this one. The best way to combat unflattering information is through content, content, content. Add so much content using the same keyword term (your name? company name? product name?) as with your ego search that the offending information gets moved to the distance realms of the search engine results pages. Indeed, the information may not have been created by another. It may be information created by you… when you were another person…maybe some college antics or sports team banter or you lost your temper in an online forum. The point is that the information does not serve your best interest today.
If the unflattering information was created by another, my experience has been that offenders defend their “truth” and refuse to remove any of their statements. Cut your losses and develop a program to bury the offending statements.
Reputation Management Strategy: Bury the unflattering information
Write articles, issue press releases, add content to your blog, ask colleagues to write about you in their blogs, request that you become a guest blogger in another’s blog, actively participate in forums, add videos to YouTube, become a reviewer for Amazon, etc. Do whatever it takes to get your name out there in a legal and positive way.
This strategy takes time and patience. It will take the search engines a while to add listings with the new content.
What online activities do you recommend to get your name out there in way that will interest the search engines?