As someone who blogs often, tweets a lot, and can often be found at conferences and other large social gatherings, I’m curious to know who mentions me and in what context on the Internet. It’s a bit narcissistic, but also important in case I need to quickly manage my reputation in case my name is mentioned in negative context. Google alerts has always been one of the easiest ways to automatically scan the Internet for mentions of my name in the news and throughout the rest of media 2.0. As social networking sites proliferate the Internet, and everybody else can write their own thoughts about anything — including friends and family — on their blog, there is a heightened need for the average consumer to have the same power to watch what people are saying about them.
Recognizing this, Google has added a new tool to the Google Dashboard for users to receive alerts when others on the Internet post things about you. This tool, called “Me on the Web,” functions like Google Alerts. Under the Me on the Web module, simply “Set up search alerts for your data” and Google will suggest alerts related to your identity, such as your name, email address, and offer room for you to add your own terms, such as a secondary email address or your Twitter handle. You can choose how often you want alerts, ranging from as it happens, to once a day, to once a week.
While the social-media and tech savvy are skilled in content and reputation management, the average consumer striving to watch and protect their identity may not be armed with the knowledge to react in the event their name or associated content is used inappropriately. Me on the Web not only alerts users to use of their identity on the Web, but provides resources for Google users to assist if content needs to be removed, and provides guidance on how users can publishing additional information on your own to help make less relevant Web sites appear farther down in search results.
Check out the new Me on the Web tool in your Google Dashboard, and let us know what you think of it in the comments.