Google Kills Your Job Search If It Thinks You’re A Porn Star

Sep 8 2011 in Featured, reCareered Blog, social branding by Phil Rosenberg

How could Google think you, a God-fearing, church going woman (or man), are a porn star?

Or an axe-murderer? How about a bank robber, white-collar criminal, or even a sex-offender?

Google could not only be thinking this, but broadcasting it to the world daily … if you let them. This is especially a risk if you have a common name, that could easily be confused with someone else’s.

Google has no way of showing if the Susan Jones returned in a Google search is you, or if a different Susan Jones. If there is someone else who shares your name, but with a very different background – that person could easily show up far ahead of you in a Google search. If that someone else had many stories written about them, made the news or shows up in many places around the web, they probably rank much higher than you in a Google search – you might be buried on page 100, while the other Susan Jones gets page 1.

Typically, if there are many news articles or mentions about someone who shares your name they are either famous (you’d probably know about actresses or singers who share your name) or infamous. If you aren’t a porn aficionado, you might not know that you share your name with a more infamous counterpart. If Susan Jones was convicted of fraud on the other side of the country, you probably never heard of this other Susan Jones.

But if it’s been on the internet, Google has probably heard of your evil twin … and probably ranks her higher than you.

Why does this matter? Employers and recruiters do Google searches on candidates – often before an interview decision is made.

This article by Jacob Share describes the problem and some suggests some solutions:

Have you Googled your name recently? You might be in for a nasty surprise.

Whenever Google – or any search engine – finds some unpleasant information about you, there are 2 options:

Remove it at the source

Bury it with newer, positive information

Remove it at the source

If the troublesome search result is something you created yourself, like a blog post or Facebook page, you could remove it. However, it might take some time until Google removes a copy of that information from its cache, so you’ll have to do better … and you can.

Update that same page and convert it into a page of positive information. Google’s search robot will see the changes and update the search index, replacing the old version in its cache since Google wants the latest version of a specific URL.

Now when people search on your name, they’ll find this new positive information instead of the past negative information.

If the troublesome search result is not something you created but instead something that was posted about you, contact the page creator and try to get them to at least remove the negative content and ideally, replace it with positive content for the same result described above.

However, if the page creator posted negative content about you in the first place, they may not be very interested in removing it.

They might not even respond to you at all.

In that case, your only option will be to … Bury it with newer, positive information.

Creating new content to be found by Google’s search robot is easy. Here are a few easy ways to greate Google-indexed content:

  • Write blog posts
  • Write comments on blog posts
  • Ask & answer questions in public forums like Yahoo Answers (I don’t think Linkedin has indexed it’s own Answers section, so it won’t turn up in Google searches).
  • Record & upload video to video-sharing sites
  • Record & upload video or audio to podcast directories

There’s just one problem.

Google’s search results are ranked and the credibility and popularity of a URL has a big influence on where that web page will rank in the search results page. In other words, where the negative information about you was posted will determine how hard it is to bury it.

For example, a nasty tweet about you will be easier to bury than a negative mention on a major news site, just like a video rant about you seen by 50 people will be easier to bury than a video that went viral, was featured on YouTube and was shared by hundreds of thousands of people on Facebook or via Gmail.

So your challenge will be to create new content that will outrank the negative search result about you, and ideally, push it off the first page of Google’s search results entirely.

If the negative stuff about you falls into one of the earlier categories (major news site, viral content) this might not be so easy.

If you have the budget and the dire need, hire a PR company to create your counter-viral video, or find a team of SEO experts to try and game Google’s search results for you. Or, you can try to understand how you can create your own highly-credible and/or popular content by following these tips instead:

  1. Write guest blog posts on well-known blogs
  2. Write comments on blog posts that are likely to become popular or already have
  3. Ask & answer questions in popular public forums, like Yahoo Answers
  4. Record & upload video to YouTube, Google’s favorite video-sharing site (since they own it), and encourage people to share it
  5. Record & upload video or audio to popular podcast directories, like iTunes, or do so directly on popular personal broadcasting sites, like Ustream.tv or Blip.tv.
  6. Join the most popular social networks and create brand-building personal profile pages (or improve the ones you have so) that Google is likely to associate with your name
  7. Finally, how did you discover the negative search result about you in the first place?

    I compiled 200+ Resources and Tips To Help Manage Your Reputation Online so that you can react to negative content about you before it even gets a chance to rank well in Google’s search results.

    Original article by Jacob Share published at: http://jobmob.co.il/blog/when-search-for-me-goes-wrong/#ixzz1VOCDuP71

If you think this can’t happen to you, guess again. See http://www.recareered.com/blog/2010/04/23/why-am-i-always-2nd-or-3rd-question-of-the-week/ to see how surprising information could turn up in a Google search about you.

Also a note – If you have an account at Google, a Gmail account, a Google Voice account, or any other Google-related account, make sure you are logged out before you search for yourself. Google personalizes searches based on your past online behavior. If you’re logged into a Google account, the search results you see may be different than the search results seen by others.

So … what does Google say about you?

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Source: http://reCareered.com
Author: Phil Rosenberg

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