Reputation management has been on my radar this year in a big way. Three separate stories, and two new clients from it. The first two stories (and clients) had a problem with their search results, and didn’t like what they were seeing – or rather, what their potential customers were seeing. The third story (and not a client) was of a person who was getting death threats because of a story they were involved in (which involved images and published articles) though somehow I think the threats were to scare them, and they wouldn’t be followed through with. It got me into the whole “reputation management” headspace and it was a super interesting rabbit trail of information, one that would take me to “the top of Google”! Not really, but it felt like it after clicking through link after link, adding to my knowledge about this area and finally getting to a point where I felt I was dealing with a human, and not a cleverly curated article that prevents you from needing to talk to a human.
The internet is a wild animal and it is fascinating just what is allowed on it. I can say with almost 100% certainty that in the next 20 years we will see a protected/safe internet emerging from the mess and a more murky, untrusted one being left behind, except for those who want that content. I would imagine that the need for an SSL certificate is a tiny step in that journey, but more of those steps will become mandatory over time. As a wannabe webmaster, I trust I will keep up with these things and ideally be one step ahead, for both me and my clients.
A safer web will be better for us (especially children, and those bad with passwords, and with people hiding their important data) and if we’re lucky it will give us handles for managing our own “reputation management”.
Bonus info: On a side, if you have ever wanted to know how to prevent dodgy links that are super unhelpful from being linked to your website, here is a great article from the guys at Moz on how to do that. It won’t stop the link itself (you’d need to control that website, obviously) but it will stop Google attributing it to your website. Then you need to go here on your Google Search Console to implement it.