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Blog Post

I Have Digital Dirt, Now What?

Most people (92%) will not go past page 3 on a Google search

What is digital dirt? It is anything on the Internet that is unflattering about you. Run a Google search on your name and put your name in quotation marks (i.e. "Kristen Jacoway"). What did you find? Are the results consistent with the personal brand story you want to portray? What if you have the dreaded digital dirt?

A study done by iProspect shows that most people (92%) will not go past page 3 on a Google search. So, the first question is what page is the digital dirt on a Google search? If it appears on pages 1-3, this could be problematic for career management and in a career transition.

Now, ask yourself if you created the content. If so, you can remove it. However, the problem with posting digital dirt (i.e. an unfavorable picture of yourself, a negative comment about a company, etc.) is that retweeting and reposting of the content can occur once you've placed it online, thus being spread virally. Once this occurs, you can approach people and ask them to remove it. However, viral spreading of content can get out of hand and it almost becomes impossible to erase it.

I'm such an avid believer in blogging for many reasons. Blogging can help you push some of this digital dirt past page three of your Google results. However, if the content is on a high-ranking site, you may not be able to accomplish it. Blogging can also help in this situation as you can address what happened and the lessons you learned. Protect your brand. In the age of video and camera phones, it is become increasingly easy for someone to snap a less than desirable photo or video of someone and post it on the web. Again, once it's up and seen, it can be spread rapidly.


Reach Communications has trained consultants on how to help you formulate strategies for your digital dirt. For more information, visit www.reachpersonalbranding.com.
Creative Commons License photo credit: dougbelshaw

Cross posted by Kristen Jacoway at Career Design Coach

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More Stories By Kristen Jacoway

Kristen Jacoway provides next generation personal branding, social media, and internet strategies to consult with professionals and entrepreneurs in a career transition.

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