Are Potential Clients/Employers “Googling” You? The Answer is Yes!
Tips on Cleaning Up Your Search Engine Results
We are currently living in the Information Age where EVERYTHING is accessible and is being tracked with data on the internet and on your smart phones.
I know you are asking yourself, “What does this mean for me, should I live in a bubble?” No, I am not saying that, but trust me in the climate which we are in now, YOUR REPUTATION and BRAND on Google. Well.. every search engine in general, will make you stand out OR can be career suicide if you have unflattering social media posts and photos that are showing up when an employer/client is searching your name or business.
Okay… so I know you’re saying to yourself, please get to the good part……
First, let’s discuss search engine optimization also known as “SEO”. This is instrumental because it is a “science” of getting web links to rank higher utilizing keywords in search engines. The goal is to be ranked high when a customer is looking for a particular product/service. This allows organic search results from unpaid/paid traffic.
So why is this so important? Well.. 90 percent of employers/clients will Google your brand name or your name to see if you are the “real deal” before they hire you or utilize your service. It is important to OWN your first page with related links to your brand and/or name. Another great tool to utilize is Google My Business for those with a brand/company so customers can see your address, business hours, products and services. Another great reference is you can sync your Google My Business information with your Bing Places for Business page and you can set it automatic if you make any changes on Google My Business it will reflect on Bing as well!
So, what’s the secret? Well there is no secret! I utilize platforms like Google Analytics to track my most utilized product/service and study the keyword search to see what keywords are being utilized the most. And I also have an Google alert for my name, “Sequoah Lloyd” and “Innovative Knowledge For Success, LLC”. This can be done by visiting Google Alert and enter your brand or phrase you wish to enter to track if there is any related links showing in result searches. The primary key is you will need reputable links like your professional website with a SSL certificate to rank higher (I will explain this later), LinkedIn Profile, Career Portfolio, GitHub, YouTube, etc. to demonstrate what you can bring to the table. Make sure on every platform that provides you a username that you ONLY use your name or brand so Google can detect a pattern for the algorithm. For your professional/personal website, web hosting providers like WordPress has integrated search engine optimization tools/plug-ins that can be utilized to market your business on search engines.
“I created webpage links, but it is not showing on my Google results?”
Well, I have some bad news, it doesn’t happen overnight... In good news, it will take about 30 days to reflect as Google studies the algorithm of keywords/phrases and rank each web link accordingly. It is always important to keep information on your pages new and fresh. Update a post, blog, or other content on your webpages at least once or twice a month, so your ranking on Google will not fall off.
“Why is my business/professional website not ranking higher in Google?”
Remember when I briefly stated earlier about SSL certificates? This is vital to know, Google WILL NOT rank unsecured links without a valid SSL certificate. This helps with customer’s information being encrypted and safe when they’re making purchases online. A website without a valid certificate is a risk for customers because hackers can steal personal information. Usually if you have a hosting provider like WordPress, Shopify, etc., this should be part of your premium subscription. If not, they’re several third-party vendors that allows you to purchase a valid SSL certificate up to 2 years.
Another reason is you’re most likely utilizing a “FREE” subscription service with a web hosting provider and you do not own your personal domain name. Owning your domain name is important for branding purposes. Search engine algorithms will have a harder time registering a website registered by a provider instead of your own domain such as Big Cartel. Pros: It is free to use and create. Cons: It uses “big cartel” in the domain name, so it is harder to register on search engines independently as your own.
“So, I have an unflattering, unprofessional photo or post that is showing when I search my name, what should I do?”
First, do not panic, we understand that you are “HUMAN”. There are several solutions to this problem:
- Click the photo or link that is providing you the unwanted content, if you have access to the social media profile just delete the photo/post and give Google about 30 days for it to reflect.
- Utilize Remove outdated content from Google Search, this will enable the removal of images. Note: There is no guaranteed that this photo cannot appear elsewhere if posted on other social media platforms or websites.
- Make sure you disable settings for search engine results on each social media platform. Here’s how you disable the setting on Facebook:
> Go to Settings & Privacy
> Under Privacy Settings And Tools group: Go to the first section, Privacy shortcuts
> Click: Check a few important settings
> You will see this page: Click, “How people can find you on Facebook”
> This will bring you to these sections: Friend requests, Phone number and email, and Search Engines.
> Click, Continue to review each setting. Once you get to the Search Engines section, make sure the button is not highlighted green and is turned off as demonstrated below.
“When I search my name on every search engine all I see is my personal information, what should I do?”
The information listed is a “public record”. However, you can contact each data broker independently for removal. If you prefer a company to do this, there are companies such as BrandYourself that can contact all the data brokers and ensure your personal information is not displayed for a monthly recurring subscription fee.
“How do I know after 30 days my results are reflecting and is accurate?”
There are two methods I usually do that works every time!
- Go Incognito on Google Chrome. To open an Incognito Window in Chrome, open the Chrome Menu in the upper-right-hand corner of the browser window and select New Incognito Window. This enables a private browsing mode, so this will not recognize your searches, so it is the most accurate results that is being shown.
- Utilize quotation marks when Googling your name on private mode. (Ex: “Sequoah Lloyd”) This will show you all the results regarding your name/brand that are showing on Google and you can also assess what links are not reflecting.
“I do not want to do the work myself, can I hire someone to manage my search engine optimization ranks and personal information on a monthly occurrence?
Yes, I mentioned earlier there are brands such as my business, Innovative Knowledge For Success, LLC who studies algorithms and rankings in every search engines for you to get the best result for your brand.
If you’re interested in our services, please email us directly at email@example.com
IT - Data Consulting | Innovative Knowledge For Success | Coral Springs
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