The Blog

A Picture Could Cost You Thousands...

Just like the adage "a picture is worth a thousand words", YOUR picture on search engines could be worth a great deal when it comes to your online reputation. If you want to do a quick check to find out what people are saying about you, or what has been written about you; you type your name into Google and the results are available in an instant.

Just like the adage "a picture is worth a thousand words", YOUR picture on search engines could be worth a great deal when it comes to your online reputation. If you want to do a quick check to find out what people are saying about you, or what has been written about you; you type your name into Google and the results are available in an instant. Have you ever done an image search on yourself? The results may be startling and even shocking.

The Great Google Algorithm

It is great, and it is one of the most useful tools on the internet, but there is one aspect that search engines cannot accomplish. Search engines cannot differentiate between the 'personal' you and the 'professional' you. This is particularly important, and potentially damaging when it comes to images on the internet. That old 'My Space' photo?Your crazy profile photo on Last FM? They are all stored on search engines like Google and Yahoo! forever. People don't even remember half of the photos and profile that are found in an image search and it can come as a shock to see old photos of you brandished across the internet for the world to see.

With the advent of Google Plus and continual changes to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, you're going to have to start paying attention to all aspects of your online reputation: Images, blogs, forums, discussions and especially, social media sites. The most important factor is that you cannot always control what images of you are placed onto the web; and it's not just images of you that can be damaging to your online reputation.

The Professional Impact From A Personal Perspective

Of course, you understand the impact that personal pictures that you have placed on the web can have on your professional reputation. Nearly all businesses are aware of how important it is to use images, with the required ALT tags, to help promote and increase online brand presence. The big question is: How many images are there on the web that have been tagged with your name, that you're not aware of.

Social Media Plays 'Tag - You're It!'

People love tagging photos of other people and placing them on their social media pages. Sometimes they even tag random photos just to let you know. These photos end up on search engines and they will appear when you or anyone else does an image search for your name. What this means is that you're getting ranked in image search, which does influence the general search, by association. The people you know, and the people that they know have the ability to affect the type of images that are attributed to you. A couple of ill-timed or misplaced tags and your reputation can be damaged.

This can and does have a massive impact on your reputation online and how you are perceived; if your name is important to how you do business, you need to pay attention to every aspect of your reputation online. While many people assume that it's only 'big' business that has to worry about reputation management, at Veribo, we get countless calls from individuals who found offensive, inaccurate and irrelevant pictures associated or linked to their name on search engines. I cannot emphasize enough just how important it is to ensure that when your name comes up in text and image search, it is an accurate reflection of you as a person and as a professional.

When you consider that online reputation management really is all about managing your image - isn't it time you started paying attention to the image that you send out to the world?