Several years ago your reputation came from the things you’ve actually said and done, but the online arena has changed everything. The internet may be one of the great modern inventions of open and free speech, but when anyone can say anything about anyone anonymously, the “facts” can become murky. If your name and reputation are important to you and your company, you must stay on top of your online image.

So what’s one of the best ways to find out how you look online and how others see you? By “googling” yourself. Googling yourself means inputting your name or company name into online search queries so you can find out how others see you when they search online, but it’s not as simple as that. Let’s review how to properly Google yourself.

Why and How You Should Google Yourself

When it comes to your online presence, you cannot live in a bubble. Ignorance may be bliss, but not when it comes to your online reputation. You must see what others see when looking for your name or company. In a 1,000-person survey conducted by Domain.me, 20% of respondents Googling themselves found inaccurate information and only 22% of respondents said they were happy with the information they found, so get Googling!

Tips on Googling Yourself

Turn on Incognito mode on a chrome browser, or otherwise use a private mode to Google yourself. You don’t want the search results to be skewed by previous searches or your account, so you must Google yourself as if you’ve never looked into your name or company at all.

Use quotation marks to get specific. In a google search, quotation marks indicate to query the exact phrase so if you put in “Charles Webb,” you will get results for the full name Charles Webb and not Charles and Webb as their own queries. You can add modifiers to get more specific results as well such as Charles Webb Sacramento, or Charles Webb plumbing.

Be Thorough

People don’t often leave the first page of search results but when they do, you must make sure your reputation is protected all around. Dig in deep to at least the 5th page of search results to get the full view of your online presence.

Don’t Forget About Images

Always check at least 5 pages of the images tab on your google search as well. You don’t want any embarrassing pictures of you in college cropping up too.

To see yourself as others see you, you must regularly Google yourself, and be thorough about it. If you need help managing your online presence or reputation, get in touch with an online reputation management agency.