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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Hi this is Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday productivity pointers. Today we're talking about your online reputation. Now this is the new measure of you online. Just like creditors look at your credit score to see, if you're going to be a good candidate based on your spending habits, a lot of job applicants are finding that potential employers, are looking at their online reputation to get a measure of their character. Now what you say about yourself is one thing. But what about what other people are saying about you? Now I'm not talking about Facebook, and what you get tagged when people notify you so you can easily untag yourself if you don't like what you see.
No. I'm talking about the knitting club you just joined, in which the president of the club in an effort to be convenient. Posted the entire club directory with your name, address, and telephone number for all to seem completely unaware that Google is very quietly indexing these results for anybody to get access to. So today I'm going to be talking about some tips and techniques for how to set up a Google alert so you can effortlessly monitor what's being said about you at all times. Alright. Let's get started. I'm going to open up a web browser and type in www.google.com/alerts.
It's going to bring me to the google alert screen, and here's where I put in my queries. And what types of results I want. Now I can have as many queries as I want, and I highly recommend that you put in a lot. Now first of all, I'm just going to put in my name. Because if it pops up anywhere, I want to know about it. Here's where I can choose the results type. For things like just news, just blogs, just books, In this case, I'm going to leave it as Everything. And how often, I can either get a digest notification once a week, or once a day, or individual emails, as it happens.
I'll put it on As It Happens. And I can only choose if I just want the best results or all results. Now, I've actually had some mixed results by doing this. I've found that to get the best alerts, I always leave it as all results. And finally, I choose where I want it to deliver to. In this case, my gmail email address is just fine. When I'm all done, I can choose create alert. So here's my alert. And at any time I can edit it or select it and hit delete. But in this case, I'm going to create some more alerts.
Now I recommend you go through and put in some personal information like a phone number. This is useful finding out if you're going to get added to any directories without you knowing about it. These are usually done by very well-meaning people who have no idea that all your data is going to be live on the internet. I can go through, click create alert, and off it goes. So now, you've got some personal things in there. If you own a company, you can also put some brand information in there. For example, I can put a query about courses that I create. I want to know if people are talking about them, so I can respond.
Now that we've created these alerts. You'll get an email notification whenever Google indexes a site that contains this query. You can also just do these searches, and I do recommend that you do them every once in awhile. Put your name in, see what happens. But, there's one thing that you need to do. You need to do these searches when you are you. For example, I'm logged in as me on Google, so what I see is going to be skewed. I need to sign out of Google. I need to sign out of Facebook.
I need to sign out of all my social networks so that any third party products that I may be using will interact with these results. So this is going to give you a clear picture of what other people are going to see when they do these searches, and that's what we're worried about. See if your Facebook profile comes up in a search result, then look at your Facebook profile when you're logged out. See what kind of public information you're giving off about yourself. For example if you have private post on twitter. Make sure that they are really private.
You could click on twitter and see what happens when you are not logged in. So that's how you can create a Google alert search, to get notified any time new information about you or about your brand is being posted online. If you don't want to create the alerts, you could just do a Google search too. There's also some other third-party sites that can do similar things, like Social Mention and Giga-Alerts. I encourage you to use these to monitor your social reputation online.
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