General Question

soethe6's avatar

What's the best way to control what people find about me on the Internet?

Asked by soethe6 (537points) August 1st, 2007

I'm particularly interested in controlling the top hits when someone searches my name in Google or other major search engines. I am a writer, and I intermittently publish online. Unfortunately, some of the work that I did 5-6 years ago is still the top hit on Google--since it's at a high-traffic site--while my recent work is much farther down the list. Some of the intervening hits are random, backwater pages for, say, theater companies I worked for years ago...stuff like that. It seems ridiculous that they're so high on the list, but it would be a lot of legwork to contact the relevant webmasters and ask them (at risk of sounding rude) to remove my name.

I understand that you can *pay* Google to give a certain site as top hit when a certain search is done, but I'm looking for a free way to manipulate results. I've tried asking webmasters who link to my older stuff to update/erase their links or references to my name, but they're usually to busy or unfriendly to bother.

If I open a myspace account under my name, and then use that page to link to the sites I want people to see, will that affect Google results? Or does Google not do crawls of personal myspace pages?

Any other suggestions for manipulating search-engine queries for my name? I'd rather not have to design and build a whole website along the lines of "" but maybe that's necessary...

Thanks for any suggestions!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

segdeha's avatar

Linking to your preferred content from one page is not likely to affect Google's ranking much. If it did, there would be a lot more manipulation of results going on.

About the only thing I can think of that you could do is to ask the "offending" sites to either remove the content or set it not to be spidered by Google and other search engines. But, I suspect that's not exactly what you are going for.

bob's avatar

The best way to control your online presence and identity is to create your own whole website.

You can try doing all that control from a myspace account, but 1) I don't know that a myspace account will be the #1 hit and 2) a myspace account can't be the kind of online presence that you need. If you create your own website, you'll almost definitely be the #1 hit for your name, and you'll be able to direct people to your work (and tell them about work that doesn't appear on the web). A simple, resume-style page shouldn't cost you too much.

Back in 2002, a web writer named Anil Dash published an article on his blog about taking control of your online identity. His solution then was to create a personal website. I think that's 10 times more essential now. You might want to take a look at the article.

You should try creating a myspace page and linking to the articles from there. But I think the only really good solution to this problem will be to create your own website.

ketoneus's avatar

I will echo bob's advice and recommend creating your own web site. You can set up a simple site pretty easily using built in tools offered by many web hosting companies like godaddy. However, please keep in mind that highest ranked results in Google are not necessarily just based on the content of the page. Google's algorithms consider several factors, including (among other things) content of the page, date of the last update, and perhaps most importantly, the number of other sites linking to that page. What that in mind, after you set up your site, I would also recommend setting up a myspace page, a facebook page, a linkedin profile and perhaps a profile on xing. Put links to your main site in each of your profiles and it will help your Google ranking.

leb0wski's avatar

@ketoneus, nice answer.

I agree that you should buy a domain for your name. So if your name is Eddie Money you should see if you can register “” or as close to it as possible, then include as much relevant content as possible. If you’re a writer, include all the stuff you’ve already got published elsewhere and then do everything you can to get as many links to that domain as possible. Doesn’t hurt to start a blog and link back to your domain, leave comments linking to your domain, etc.

bob's avatar

I wish my name were Eddie Money.

leb0wski's avatar

@bob – We all do.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther