Branding isn’t just for companies. Professionals each have their own story to tell and goals, skills, and expertise to share. In today’s increasingly digital world, a personal brand is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s expected.
Jan 11, 2023
Social Media Marketing
Let's face it: Google stalking, or researching people online, has become a ubiquitous practice in our modern digital era. While the term may have negative connotations, this behavior is neither creepy nor unusual. In fact, it's often just a manifestation of a natural curiosity about people who are new to your life, or whom you're about to interact with in some capacity. Given that people are undoubtedly going to Google you at some point, it's imperative to be proactive about the kind of information they'll find.
In the era of rampant Google stalking, it's more important than ever to monitor and control the information about you that's available online. Thanks to updated Google policies and EU data protection laws, it's becoming easier for individuals to remove negative or harmful information from search results. By being proactive and strategic in managing your online reputation, you can ensure that the narrative about you that exists on the internet is one that you've helped to shape, and one that you can be proud of.
Steering the Narrative: Controlling What Shows Up About You
The goal is to curate a set of search results that you'd be proud to show off—whether that's professional profiles, academic publications, social media accounts, or mentions in news articles or blog posts. Ideally, you want the information that appears about you online to be positive or, at the very least, neutral. What you absolutely do not want is negative information or content that could jeopardize your reputation or cause potential harm.
The Manual Route: Your Most Powerful Tool
One of the most effective ways to control what shows up about you in search results—especially if you're based in the European Union—is manual removal. Having an uncommon name might make it easier for you to find and target specific information about you, but the same principles apply even if you have a more common name; it might just require a bit more digging. Google has recently simplified the process of removing personal information from its search results. Unlike before, where you had to provide proof of potential harm to get Google to act—such as evidence of doxxing, stalking, or identity theft—you can now fill out a straightforward form to request the removal of personal data. This includes your phone number, email address, and physical location.
Here is the form for the same: Google's Support Page for Removing Personal Information
Additional Options for EU Citizens
If you're an EU citizen, you have the added advantage of more robust data protection laws that provide you with additional avenues for removing personal information. For more details on what you can do, visit the following link: Legal Help for EU Citizens