Ask just about anyone, and they’ll probably tell you that you’re a bit of a narcissist if you go out of the way to Google yourself. Perhaps that’s a valid argument, especially if you consider the number of hours most of us spend ogling at our social media pages every day.
But what happens if your reputation were on the line? Would you Google yourself then? Perhaps you never considered the fact that Google serves as a central hub for your personal reputation.
Try to think of Google as the cover page of your online resume. It’s open to everyone, and it could say practically anything. To stay abreast of your personal reputation online, it’s important to keep tabs on what people are saying about you.
Reputation Management via Google
A new survey sponsored by Domain.me found that out of 1,000 U.S. adults, 24% in general (and 43% Millennials) claimed they’d had their reputations affected by information that can be found online.
When this group Googled themselves, the results were surprising – 12% claimed they were surprised by the damaging information they found, 20% found inaccurate information, and 33% found their content had been shared without their express permission.
Another study found that 75% of HR departments are required to perform online research on applicants before considering them for an interview.
Imagine if you were judged solely on what the rest of the world had to say about you. Even if you’re a likable guy or gal, you’d be taking a significant risk by allowing others to dictate how the world views your online persona.
Consider the fact that even a single negative post could potentially cost you a job, scholarship, or even a potential love interest. You read that right. A study found that an increasing number of Americans are thoroughly researching their online matches before going on a first date.
Your reputation is more precious than you probably know, and you should take proactive steps to monitor and protect it.
How often should you Google yourself?
The question begs to be asked – how often should you Google yourself? Well, that depends on your level of popularity. For instance, the average Joe really shouldn’t need to look themselves up more than once a month.
That said, those who either interact with the public regularly (i.e., business owners, doctors, and lawyers), and public figures (i.e., politicians, athletes, and celebrities) should get into the habit of looking themselves up on Google more frequently.
Individuals who are frequently the subject of public interest are much more likely to see a drastic change in their reputation in a shorter span of time.
Just ask Chris Rock whose recent tweet about the correlation between mass shooters and white males stirred a wave of negative backlash.
Get into the habit of Googling yourself
With your reputation on the line, it’s vital that you get into the habit of looking yourself up on Google. If you’re an average Joe like the vast majority of us than once a month is all you need.
You don’t know what job recruiters, friends, family, or even potential love interests may see when they Google your name. Make sure you’re the first to know.