Google has issued some basic tips for individuals on managing their personal reputation online.
The advice includes what to do if they dislike something that has been published, and how to encourage positive content to appear high in the search rankings.
Susan Moskwa, an analyst for Google's Webmaster offerings, which assist businesses with web site crawling and indexing problems, said that, if people are anxious about how their name is appearing online, they need to try and remove the published post from the site where it appears.
Moskwa said it was no good contacting Google. "Google doesn't own the internet; our search results simply reflect what's already out there on the web, " she said in a blog post.
Moskwa suggested that, if web users cannot remove the content themselves, they should contact the site's webmaster. Once the content has been removed, individuals should expedite the removal of the content from Google using its URL removal tool, she said.
If people find they cannot take the content down, Moska advised web users to proactively publish "useful positive information about yourself or your business " to reduce the negative content's visibility.
"If you can get stuff that you want people to see to outperform the stuff you don't want them to see, you'll be able to reduce the amount of harm that that negative or embarrassing content can do to your reputation," Moskwa said.
Effective means to do this include creating a Google profile, which she said would appear high up in search results when people search for the profile's name.
People can also overcome negative press by encouraging a publisher to pr oduce a more positive follow-up story, or by publishing their own defence in a blog post or two.
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