(Source) In a report Sunday, the Pew Internet and American Life Project said 47 percent of U.S. adult Internet users have looked for information about themselves through Google or another search engine.
Is this good news or bad? I’m not sure. It seems that online reputation management is growing in popularity. I mean, in 2002 the percentage of people who Googled themselves was only 22%. It seems we’re making progress. But there is still about half of all Internet users who don’t search for themselves online to see what’s being said about them. On the other hand, maybe those people are confident that no one is talking about them. Should they be?
I think online reputation management is one of the most important things to pay attention to now. Two or three negative comments about you from a reputable source or in a forum with a lot of traffic could cost you greatly. You might lose a big client or fail to attract one because of a negative review. But that’s not all. It could affect your personal life as well. The same study by Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that people go online to find personal information about others, including information about bankruptcies and divorces. It could be someone you are dating or planning to marry.
Now, I’m not suggesting you should cover or conceal your past, but it is important to check out your reputation online from time to time. What are people saying about you? And better yet, what are you doing about it?