Simple Steps in Protecting Your Online Reputation

Simple Steps in Protecting Your Online Reputation

The end of the year is a great time to do a year-end review of your online reputation. Lately some genealogists have let their emotions do the typing and might want to review some of their comments. 


We all need to pause and
take a minute to see what
our comments say about us.

Your online reputation isn’t just about what you say or put online; it’s how you put it online and where you do it! It is also affected by what others say about you.
So, why does your online reputation matter?

  • 78% of all job recruiters check search engines to find out more about potential employees…and I am sure that potential clients do too.
  • 63% of recruiters check social media sites. Are you a genealogy presenter or want to be one? Your potential employers may check you out on online first.
  • Professionals especially need to protect their reputation and monitor their online presence. You work hard to develop your business and reputation, so you need to take steps to safeguard it.
  • A good online presence can garner you business, promotions and respect.
  • A bad online presence can influence or change people’s opinion of you (and not in a good way either).

Every time you post anything, you open yourself up for negative commentary, fair or not. Genealogists are passionate and opinionated bunch and are not shy about sharing both. Here are some simple steps to protect your online reputation.

  1. Consider content. Count to 3 before pushing send. Don’t badmouth others. Remember that our community is small and the internet makes it even smaller. A comment sent in a heated moment may come back to haunt you. Don’t let someone control your rep and online strategy.
  2. Clean up. Go back and clean up existing content. Remove those things that are questionable and not part of the image you want to portrait.
  3. Create positive content. A lot of positive content can offset any negative that you put out there. But, remember if one ‘Ah Shucks, can ruin a thousand atta-boys’ then you can guess how much positive content it will take to offset a doosey.
  4. Review your online profiles. Make sure that your online profile is solid and reflects who you are and keep it current.
  5. Actively monitor your name, blog and business name. Use Google Alerts and Google Reader to notify you when your name is posted. Technorati, BlogPulse or SocialMention are applications that can help you keep track of mentions in blogs and articles and other social media. NutshellMail will email you content from social media streams at the times you designate. TweetDeck, Hootsuite, and Postling are all sites that can help you manage your social media presence in one place.
  6. Be ready to respond. Even when you do everything right, someone at sometime is going to take offence or take something wrong. A direct and thoughtful response can go a long ways in diffusing a situation. Contacting the person directly to resolve the issue is best. If the complaint is legit, then a public apology and explanation may be in order. Even when a negative is without merit – the comment can still hurt, refuse to respond in kind. Honey vs. Vinegar.
  7. Don’t forget to monitor your images. Check for your images that have been tagged. Ask people to remove any unfavorable images that have been posted.

Taking the time to monitor your online presence is worth the effort and worth protecting.

And remember:


  1. Wonderful post and such good advice.

  2. What sound and sensible advice, something more people should be aware of.

  3. Thank you for your kind comments. Our reps are all me got online and worth the effort.

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