Google is a mirror. It doesn’t control or manipulate what it sees; it merely reflects the behavior it encounters from every single one of its ga-zillion users. So, what you do, say or post online (or what others say, do or post) is saved forever. The world can see whatever you post, say, tweet, favorite, mention, read, watch or click on whether you intend them to or not. There is no, “Please Google, do not save this,” button that will erase that emotional rant, sarcastic tweet, or photo of you doing a keg stand the one and only time of your life during spring break. But it's not Google’s fault, since Google's job is to publishes what you put out there. So start actually thinking about what you’re putting out there. You’re branding yourself by simply being yourself. So, think about it. What kind of “self” do you really want to be? Remember, Google is only the mirror. You’re the one standing in front of it.
The former techniques of "gaming" your search results (remember key word stuffing?) no longer works. Google and the other search engines have advanced so much that they are finding out and publishing everything about you—the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t freak out. There is an opportunity for you here. Just do good. The idea of "rants" and "slams" may feel like a relief or make you feel like you’re getting even in the moment. But when those ugly words you said, and actions you took come up for the next five years when people search on your name, perhaps that simple satisfaction isn’t so satisfying. Be a doer of good and share more stories about the cup that is half full than the one that is half empty, or about the troll who knocked it over. Like karma, it will serve you well in every Internet search for a long time to come.
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