No longer do we live in an age where misdeeds and mistakes remain in the past. Nowadays, everything is documented on the Internet, and even the smallest of actions stay permanent. Regardless of the date or place, a Google search or social media check can quickly unearth these errors. However, your online reputation doesn’t have to stay tarnished – in fact, reputation management can help you repair the damage surrounding your name. If you’re looking to improve your reputation, the following tips can help you clean up your online presence:

What’s Being Said About You?
In order to determine the extent of the damage, you’ll want to perform a preliminary assessment of your online presence. Search your name and identifying information on a variety of search engines and take a look at what appears on the first few pages. In addition, check the dialogue surrounding your name in social media sites. Another way to monitor your reputation is to set up alerts on your name, through tools such as Google Alerts. If any red flags pop up during your search, then this can be a good indicator of where to start cleaning up your name.

Claim Your Name:
Managing your online reputation requires a proactive stance, such as owning your own name. For example, purchase a URL with your own name, which will serve as a credible source for information surrounding your persona. A personal site is critical – it can produce positive content which pushes down negative results and counter false claims. In addition, make sure that you establish your name with social media accounts, which can help you manage the dialogue around your name. With full control over these sites, you can establish a degree of control over what’s being said.

Remove the Content:
One way to address the damage is to take down the misleading information and remove it as much as possible. If you see anything that may tarnish your reputation, try contacting the site owner and requesting for the offending information to be removed. Another tip is to go through any social media accounts, and remove content that have been posted by friends and colleagues. While it may take some time to go through this process, the benefits to your online reputation will be well worth the effort.

Use a Service:
If the damage is simply too large to take on your own, then you may want to turn to extra help. Luckily, there are a variety of online reputation management resources that offer professional service for a price. Depending on the service, they can help you with negative links or inaccurate information on search engine results. If you feel as though the task of cleaning up your online reputation is simply too much, then choosing an online reputation management service can help you appear your best.

Create Original Content:
One reason why negative content stays on search engine results is because it’s the biggest or only news surrounding your name. Therefore, one strategy is to counter the bad with the good, and produce original, fresh content. Whether through blog posts, reviews, or informative news, there are endless ways to create content that can benefit your reputation. The more you produce, the more likely you’ll be able to minimize the damage to your name.

Rachel Hyun Kim is a professional blogger who writes on a variety of topics, ranging from SEO, social media and business. She loves to learn all she can about online marketing, and is always looking for the next writing opportunity. She is a writer for Resource Nation, an online resource that gives advice on topics including telemarketing services for small business owners and entrepreneurs.