As we move more and more of our lives into the digital realms, the New York Times' Nick Bilton reminds us that "the internet never forgets". In an article about online reputation management, Bilton discusses firms that use a combination of SEO and content removal tactics to help customers reclaim their online identity.If you've got the chops and patience for it, creating a personal website is the best DIY method for having a say in what Google says about you, but it won't always do the trick. Bilton highlights a few tales of woe from netizens who became known by search engines for things they'd rather forget, the effects of which included damaged professional reputations and slowed business:
the Philadelphia physiologist who became unwittingly linked to a consumer advocacy site, when it listed him as a graduate of a distance learning school that was shut down. "I felt totally victimized because there was nothing I could do," said the physiologist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want added attention. "My case load started to dry up."
Online reputation management firms are pricy, and most of us would prefer to manage our reps without shelling out a ton of cash. If your online past has ever come back to haunt you, we want to hear about it. Share how you managed to clean up your rep, or even the difficulty you've had, in the comments. Photo by sanberdoo.
Erasing the Digital Past [NYT]