Your reputation is everything. It can take years to develop and only a few blog postings to call it into question. This guide will give you some practical steps that you can take now to preserve your good name.
1. Monitoring Your Name - Be your own Gumshoe
The internet is vast and replete with brontobytes (that is a 1 followed by 27 zeroes) of information. But you can harness the power of Google and monitor your name by adding Google Alerts. Google will send you emails of queries that you create. For example, I have created a Google Alert for my name, Adrianos Facchetti. This allows me to monitor what others are saying about me. To sign up for Google Alerts, go to www.googlealerts.com and sign up. The rest is pretty straight-forward. There are additional ways to monitor your name. In fact, there are many companies that engage in Reputation Management, exclusively.
2. Ownership - Own your name
This piece of advice sounds easy enough but it is often overlooked. You need to own your name. This allows you to control to some extent, what is said about you.
3. Avoid Conflict
Don't engage in arguments in internet forums. If you need to vent, go for a run. Engaging in a sparring match is unlikely to persuade the person, and worse, it may lead to a defamation lawsuit.
4. Use Wikipedia to your advantage
Wikipedia is an incredibly powerful and influential source of information online. If your name or brand become important enough, Wikipedia may determine you to be a source of information worthy of citation. You should attempt to define your name/brand or services on Wikipedia before someone else does. It's as simple as that.
5. Obtain Positive Reviews from Important Bloggers
Search out important/influential bloggers in your niche and ask them to write a positive review about you. Since bloggers often enjoy excellent search engine results, it will have a resounding and positive impact on your reputation.
6. Write Articles About Yourself
This will seem strange to you but it works. Write a bio about yourself in the third person on the sites you own or control. An especially effective technique is to write your name in the title of a posting. That way, your name will come up in search engine results.
7. Get a Lawyer
If nothing else works, seek out legal advice from an experienced internet defamation lawyer. Attorneys are becoming increasingly effective combatants of online defamation. They can file John Doe lawsuits in situations where anonymous messages are posted or e-mailed. They can subpoena Internet Service Providers to provide information about such messages. Additionally, cutting edge internet defamation attorneys will work with computer experts in search engine optimization to crowd out defamatory messages.