How to Change What Comes Up About You in Google
Own your name. Say you're a teacher with a disgruntled student posting nasty comments about you on RateMyProfessors.com , or a job-seeker whose first Google result is a fiery opinion piece you wrote a decade ago for your college newspaper—not a first impression you want to make on a prospective employer. To push cringeworthy links lower in the Google rankings, register with the major social-networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn), create a Google profile ( Google.com/profiles ), and even consider purchasing your own URL ($1.99 per year for new domain owners; GoDaddy.com ). "Search engines tend to rank pages about an individual that the person actually 'owns' higher than something by a third party," says Scott Skurnick, a search engine optimization executive in Los Angeles. The negative content won't disappear entirely, but take heart: Experts say most searchers never even make it to the second page of results.
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