It’s frustrating when you see something incorrect, erroneous or downright inappropriate come up when you Google yourself. When this happens, what can you do? Here are some ideas…
1. Try to “bury” the unrelated link by improving your Google results for other things that you DO want linked to your name. How? Start by downloading or viewing my (free) slideshow from You: The Online Brand, and watch out for the “start with the easy stuff” slide. There you’ll see some places where you can create profiles that should rise in the Google results rather quickly. View or download the slideshow here.
2. If the website is one where you can get reasonably good contact info, you might be able to get the host to actually remove it and replace it with something you prefer. Why not just remove? Because you can remove something and it can still come up, but if they actually replace the same URL with something else, then it will be pretty much gone. I say pretty much because there are sites that archive content and if someone really WANTS to find something, they usually can…
3. Build a personal site where you can start to drive traffic from other sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter). This should help to “consolidate” clicks and start to increase your results and build a repertoire of pages that link to you, and more importantly, that you control. With enough good content and with a name that you “own” and intelligently pair with industry niche keywords, you could own several pages of Google search results for your name and kick out all the other crapola.
4. Start a blog. If building a personal site is daunting, start with a blog. Remember to tag your name in each post, and sign each post with your name (and if you do have a personal site, link to that in each post too).
5. Issue online press releases through a free distribution service like PRlog.org. Use relevant keywords and be sure to repeat your name a few times. Link to your blog and/or site.
Want more help? We’re planning a workshop on this topic, and we should be releasing the recording of the “You The Online Brand” in the next couple of weeks. That has lots of good info too. To get notified when these things happen, register here: http://www.MichelleVillalobos.com.
Good luck! And please please post your own ideas on how to bury bad Google results below!