What is Virtual Vanity? OUCH – it will hurt if not attended to.
What happens when you do find or see negative or not so nice comments about you online? What happens when you read outright lies and twisted truths? It can hurt, but it will hurt more (virtually speaking) if you engage. Especially if you see some websites that seem like consumer protection websites, grievance sites, complaint forums etc. Although some may be legit, there are many that are not. Read about them in Google Bomb.
How to approach negative content:
•Be sure your early warning system is in place -set up Google Alerts and BackType
•Never, ever engage in it. Don’t fuel or feed it. That is exactly what the perpetrator wants, keep your cool and work diplomatically to get it removed.
•Determine the website that the negative content is posted on – look for the TOS (Terms of Service) or Code of Conduct
•Read the TOS (Terms of Service) or Code of Conduct and determine if the post is violating any of them such as: abusive language, slanderous content, harassing etc.
•Write the Support Team at the website and bring the post to their attention and exactly how it is violating its TOS and politely and professional ask them to remove it.
•Retain an online reputation service, they are usually the pros and cost effective verses the legal road.
•Last and most costly is retaining an attorney. Cease and desist letters are cost effective (usually approx $1000) however if you are not ready to litigate, I would recommend you don’t send one – most will take the letters and post them, and it will get worse for you.
For more information, order Google Bomb today. This book can literally save you from many Internet errors with your virtual image. The approximately $10.00 book is priceless in value!