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Komando: Control how you appear online

People love to look up other people online. According to Microsoft, 79 percent of companies research potential hires on Google. Business associates, dates, schools and just the plain curious also go online seeking dirt.

I won’t lecture you about online postings. You should know by now that anything you put online never goes away. A photo or a comment posted in a moment of poor judgment can haunt you later.

But here’s a novel approach. Make it really easy for people to find you online. All surveys indicate hardly anyone looks at search results three pages or more down.

So what you want to do is create a site that ranks well in Google searches for your name. This way, when someone Googles your name, the information that you want them to see is at the top of the search results. Find links to sites mentioned at www.komando.com/news.

A domain name is the address that directs visitors to your site. For example, my domain name is Komando.com. A domain name is typically used in association with a Web hosting account. The Web host stores the actual content for your site.

Google places a lot of weight on domain names. So, it is important to claim yours. It will appear prominently in search results for your name. Register your domain with a registrar like GoDaddy, Yahoo or 1&1. Expect to pay $8 to $15 yearly per domain.

There are a number of top-level domains. For example, there’s .com, .net and .org. Claim your name on all possible top-level domains. You may not use them all. But others can’t claim them.

Next, claim your name on social-networking sites. The sheer number of social-networking sites makes it difficult to check for your name. Sites like KnowEm can help. They check for your name on hundreds of sites. They can even check for domain names. You can’t update all of these accounts regularly. That doesn’t matter. This goal is to prevent others from claiming your name.

After you have your domain names, it’s time to create a site. It’s not that hard. I have tips to help at Komando.com/news. Your domain name registrar will offer Web hosting for your site; you only need it for one domain. All the others can point to it.

Make sure you use your full name frequently on your site. By using your full name, you’re letting Google know what the site is about you. It will rank well in searches for your name.

You’ll also need to decide what to put on the site. A blog is a good idea, as Google favors sites that are updated regularly. You can get free blogging software from sites like Blogger and WordPress. Or your hosting provider probably offers free blogging tools.

Use your blog to talk about your interests or to showcase your professional knowledge. This does more than just help you establish your online reputation. It can help establish you as an expert in a specific area.

Finally, you’ll want to link everything. On your site, link to the social-networking accounts that you update. For example, link to your Facebook, Flickr and YouTube accounts. If you use Twitter, you can have your tweets appear on your site. Just use your account’s RSS feed. It’s an easy way to get content for your site.

Contact Kim Komando at [email protected] .


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