Today Google released a new add-on tool to their user dashboard- “Me on the Web”. It offers a streamlined way to monitor your reputation and social mentions online. It’s very similar to setting up a news alert for your name and online identities or handles (I have mine looking for “Lauren Perdue”, “LPerdue” and “Oodleday”) and doesn’t take long to set up.
The first step is to set up a Google Profile so you can use this tool, but you should take time to fill out your information completely so it can be of maximum benefit to you. The coolest aspect of this service is the Removal tool- which has huge implications for Google further humanizing the SERPs.
The Removal tool helps you take content off the SERPs. This is great for reputation management because it’ll speed the process of removing old webpages with information you don’t want disclosed online. Google still wants you to go talk to the page owner first and get them to remove the content, but if that doesn’t work, the Removal Tool will speed up the process. It’s also great for protecting your personal data and passwords because you can report a breach of your private information.
Google says the Removal tool is NOT for the following:
- To get the right “version” of your site indexed
- To take your site “offline” after being hacked.
- To “start from scratch” with your site.
- To remove crawl errors from your Webmaster Tools account.
- To clean up cruft.
What I can’t wait to see is how people use this tool- if people use it for its intended purpose, then Google might expand it to business use for business/brand reputation management. I also look forward to some fun schadenfreude when inevitable black hat SEOs try to remove competitor listings with the tool. As Google says:
Important! The URL removal tool is intended for pages that urgently need to be removed—for example, if they contain confidential data that was accidentally exposed. Using the tool for other purposes may cause problems for your site.
I love the smell of de-listings in the morning.
Enjoy this new Google tool and if you come up with any success stories, I’d be interested.