The web can be a pretty unsettling place. Although you have total control over your own content, you cannot control content published by others. Even Google does not remove all the content which is reported as slanderous, which suggests that nearly everyone can get away with posting content which might harm the other party.
Although you cannot always ask webmasters to remove slanderous content, knowing who is writing about you wins half this battle. Using Google Alerts, you can know exactly who has put the spotlight on you - all for free!
Using Google Alerts, you can receive alerts when people write about you, your company or your website. It is very simply to set Google Alerts up. The main issue is how to correctly use it.
Although Google Alerts can be used to spy on your competition, I feel it is much better to use it to “track” your publicity. A good idea would be to create alerts for the following:
1. Your full name
2. Your full company name
3. Your website URL
4. Product and services name that you offer.
Doing this will make sure that if someone talks about you, you will be one of the first people to know. And because you know who is writing about you, you can use this tool to engage in conversation with the writer in order to influence him/her.
For example, if someone degrades your website or services, you cannot really force the webmaster to delete the slanderous material. What you can however do it talk to them nicely, explain your point of view and clear out any misconceptions. If someone writes positive stuff about you, it is a good idea to send them a personal thank you email.
Using Google Alerts can provide you with the right information at the right time. Sure, you might receive some alerts which are not directly related to you, but the power of this tool is huge.
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