Google-ization Without Representation

by Eric Pudalov, Community Events Coordinator

On this day off, I happened to be “Googling myself,” so to speak, just out of curiosity, and came upon some different profiles on social networking sites that represent me quite differently.

I realize that, for employers, there is certain information I wouldn’t want to put on the Web, and in general, I don’t put that stuff out there. Still, being that I recently joined a social network for horror movie fans, and am also on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, and LinkedIn, you could see a very different Eric depending on which link you clicked.

Which brings me to my next point. For our organization, when you Google us, there are some negative results that unfortunately come up. While I won’t go into much detail, many of those results are related to things that occurred several years ago, and have now been resolved. One of the cases, in fact, was written by someone who apparently interviewed with the company several years ago, and didn’t get the job, so they seemed to be venting about their experience. However, the complaint still shows up prominently on a major search engine, which worries me.

So, I would like to ask Sherry Heyl, at Mindblogging, is there a way to at least keep outdated information from being the first Google result when you type something in? Would it help to have more Web resources about our programs and what we do?

And once again, I’m also asking for the input of Gini Dietrich, whose blogs I have been enjoying very much over the past few weeks, and perhaps Jay Baer, author of Convince and Convert, whose blog struck me as highly informative and visually appealing as well. I realize that no organization is perfect, but we would like to do our best to have more (truthful) information about ourselves on the Web, and stay updated on a regular basis, which is of course part of my job.

Actually, I’m hoping that in the months to come, I’ll have more people in my department, simply for input on some of the projects that we work on (not to suggest that I don’t like my coworkers!). I only say this because when it gets down to the wire, we may have multiple projects of equal importance, and I sometimes feel that I fall short in certain areas while focusing more energy on others (isn’t that all of us, though?).

Our main website, at the moment, is unfortunately having technical issues, but those should be resolved sometime this week. We are working on making some updates to reflect a few of the major changes to the program that have been put in place recently.

As with anything, the more experience and practice I gain with all of the Web-based social networking and advertising, the more I’ll learn, and hopefully the more contacts I’ll get in touch with. So I’m being as patient as possible…as always, I appreciate all the advice and examples I’ve gained from you experts out there. I hope to be in your position someday!

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About gcsscommunity

My name is Eric Pudalov, and I work as Community Events Coordinator with Georgia Community Support and Solutions, whose mission is to provide creative, life-enriching solutions to people with developmental disabilities and their families. I became interested in this field, however, due to having a disability myself; namely, I had brain surgery in 1996 at age 14, to remove a benign tumor. Following this, I had many difficulties with short-term memory, loss of strength, confusion, and emotional control. Fortunately, at present, I've recovered much of what I'd lost. Despite some setbacks, I graduated high school with honors, and received an academic scholarship to Adelphi Univ., where I earned a BA in Communications. Since then, I've held a number of different jobs and internships, among them a TA position at Sylvan Learning Center, and work as a "Service Leader" with Hands on Atlanta. Since living in GA, I've also been involved with two programs (including GCSS) that serve people with disabilities. My experience has included sharing apartments with adults with autism and other disorders. Though my so-called "limitations" may differ from those of others in the program, these experiences have helped me to realize that people, overall, are capable of much more than we may at first perceive. Search Engine Submission - AddMe
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2 Responses to Google-ization Without Representation

  1. Sherry Heyl says:

    You bring up several questions with several answers.

    Regarding your personal vs professional image on social network sites, I offer the following advice.
    1. Get to know your privacy settings on each site and use them.
    2. Do not always depend on your privacy settings. If you do not want the whole world to know something about you, do not put in on the Internet – not even in email.
    3. Do not be afraid to have a real personality and tell use what you like, such as horror films. That is what makes you human and interesting.

    Regarding negative information on the web about your organization.
    1. Consider if it would help to post a comment on the post explaining your side and how things have been resolved. It might help or it might stir up unnecessary conversations – so this needs to be decided as a case by case situation.
    2. Continue to produce your own content that will continue to rise in search engines and bury other content.
    3. Be timely in responding to any other comments, negative or positive, from now on. If you do not respond on the original post, at least respond on your own blog.
    4. You can also hire an SEO firm that can help you with your own search engine rankings as well as purchase ads that will come up.
    5. Remember, everyone gets a voice on social media, and you cannot suppress the voice of critics. All you can do is provide your best service, give your fans the ability to tell about their experiences with you and solve any real issues that might come up to the best of your ability.

    • Thank you so much, Sherry! Very helpful advice, as always. I like the idea of posting a comment on one of the negative reviews and how things have been resolved. Also, we have definitely been working on producing our own content as much as possible, and that has been showing up in search engines more often. So, I guess the keyword here is “proactive.”

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