Cross-posted from popsci.com[by Whitson Gordon]
When was the last time you googled yourself? It’s not just about vanity: Potential employers, dates, and even friends may search for your name from time to time—and what they see can really affect their first impression of you.
Unfortunately, despite what some people think, you can’t really control what the search engine says.
“Google is just reflecting the web,” says Vanessa Fox, a search engine optimization (SEO) expert and author of Marketing in the Age of Google. Fox should know—she used to work at the tech behemoth, and even helped launch some of the tools we’ll be talking about later. “If you want to get something taken off of Google,” she says, “you’re really thinking about removing it from the web entirely.”
However, that doesn’t mean you’re completely at the mercy of the search giant. Here are a few steps you can take to curate your image on Google.