Have you ever started typing words into Google and the search engine finished what you meant to write? That’s Google Suggest working. All major search engines use their own version. Google Suggest, also called Google Autocomplete, is a tool you can use to help keep track of your online reputation.
Reputation management online professionals recommend that all businesses, no matter how small, should check their online reputation at least once a month. Setting news alters about your name and your business name helps you keep track of what’s being written about you online. Another way is to go to Google, Bing or Yahoo and start typing in your name or your business name. Check the suggested list that pops up. If it includes words like “scam” or “rip off”, then you know that your Internet reputation needs fixing.
Using Autocomplete On-Deck
There is more to Google Autosuggest than at first meets the eye. Another tool available to the layperson is Google’s Autocomplete On-Deck. This helps you see what keywords have just been added to the Autocomplete list. This way, you can see that your name and “scam” or other negative words are about to go onto Google Autocomplete before they actually go onto Google Autocomplete.
The best way to find these on-deck keywords is to log out of your browser, log back on and clear your cache. You need to do this in order to clear all of your previous Google searches. Type your name in the Search box slowly in order for Autosuggest to show you the most possible suggestions. Try pairing your name or your business name with each letter of the alphabet in order to quickly see if there are bad reviews or other negative content online.
What If You Find Something Bad?
If you find negative information about your business or your own name online, don’t panic. Start working to counter this content. Read the complaint carefully to see if the writer has a genuine complaint or is just ranting uncontrollably. Only work with those who seem to have constructive criticism. See if you can contact the author of the negative review, blog post or whatever and offer restitution.
Check that you have information readily available for any potential customer. This should include updated contact information, your education or certifications, glowing customer testimonials or photographs of your work. Never threaten legal action unless one person is systematically trying to drag your name through Internet mud.
About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is the founder of Technology Blogged. 23, with a love for good writing, you'll find Jakk playing 'Drag Racing' on his Nexus 5 and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to his feed for unique editorials. Find me on Google+. View author profile.