We've always emphasised the importance of monitoring your online presence, and now Google's jumping in with their own tips for managing your reputation through search results.
Most of the time, thinking before posting something that might be potentially embarrassing is the best route, but hindsight's 20/20, isn't it?
Google already took a significant step toward helping you have a little more control over what search results for your name turn up when they released Google Profiles, but they also offer a few helpful (if a little obvious) bits of advice. Then again, strange as it may sound, they also offer advice that encourages what we generally consider to be spam:
Sometimes, however, you may not be able to get in touch with a site's webmaster, or they may refuse to take down the content in question. For example, if someone posts a negative review of your business on a restaurant review or consumer complaint site, that site might not be willing to remove the review. If you can't get the content removed from the original site, you probably won't be able to completely remove it from Google's search results, either. Instead, you can try to reduce its visibility in the search results by proactively publishing useful, positive information about yourself or your business.
We can't emphasise enough how useful building your nameplate site is to taking control of your Google presence, but if you're not up for the task, Google's little advice column offers a few decent pointers. How have you cultivated your Google image? Let's hear it in the comments.
Managing your reputation through search results [Official Google Blog]