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Many of us work hard to develop a good reputation and overlooking what others think or say about us could be costly. Fancy terms like Online Reputation Management or Search Engine Image Protection have evolved and you can benefit by gaining a deeper understanding of this modern trend. Google Alerts is a service designed to help you learn about internet content that contains certain words or phrases - such as your name.
Wikipedia says: “Search Engine Image Protection (SEIP) Also known as Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM), combines the science of Search Engine Optimization, with technical and marketing expertise, for the sole purpose of protecting your name and reputation from undesired public information accessible via internet search results.”
In english, all this means is that you want to know when something is published about you so you can act accordingly.
Why should I monitor my online reputation? You should care what is being published about you online because your customers care. Your customers are going to look. Googling a name, or browsing professional networks such as LinkedIn is no longer vanity - it is common. If your name appears online in a negative context, it could hurt you.
When should I start monitoring my online reputation? Today. It is incredibly easy to start using Google Alerts and there is no reason not to.
How do I start monitoring my online reputation? If you don’t already have a Google Account, set one up. Next, while logged into Google, visit the Google homepage. Choose “More” then “Even More” then “Google Alerts.” On the Google Alerts screen you can enter as many terms as you want to be alerted about. Start with your name.
Google Alerts is a powerful and robust system and you may want to configure more than one alert. When new web-content is published that contains the terms you configured, you will receive an email. You may or may not need to act on the newly published content but at minimum you will no it exists.