Mr Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall on August 19th, 2015 at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH by Michael Vadon

Can Donald Trump Ruin Your Online Reputation?

It may seem a bit odd and maybe even farfetched, but can Donald Trump–or any presidential candidate, celebrity, or infamous person–actually impact your online reputation? Well, the answer is yes. Here’s how.

See Related Article: 25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools

First, this is not a political discussion. It’s not meant to be a comment or disparagement about any political candidate or party. This actually a very serious look at online reputation management, what can go wrong and how it can be damaged.

We’ll turn to mostly to recent developments in the news. Is this applicable to you? Well, maybe not not, but any person or news event could impact your online reputation in unintended ways.

Billy Bush

Recently, Billy Bush’s accompaniment and involvement in the 2005 Access Hollywood video with Donald Trump speaks for itself and generally is seen as reprehensible by many in the media, news outlets and political parties. But again, this discussion is not about any of that. Rather, it’s about how an event years earlier, made seemingly offhanded and off mic, can come back and hurt both your online and “offline” reputation.

While Billy Bush in the video could be seen as culpable and vulgar in his own right, it’s really been compounded by “guilt by association” with Trump. This has really impacted his career and his web presence, which has been damaged severely.

Today Show

Next in line is the Today show. Because Billy Bush, now tainted by Trump and his own comments, just joined the show, the NBC morning Today show is now impacted negatively. Online, they are getting hurt, and both Bush and the Today show are showing up negatively on the first page of Google searches. Further, by extension, the NBC network is being pulled into this.

Similar Names

What if your name happens to be Trump? Heard of Trump Travel? Trump Tobacco? Trump Direct?

See Also, “Solutions to Online Reputation Management Name Doppelgangers

Well, probably not, and you are not likely to hear of them, especially now. Conducting a search for “Trump” in Google reveals mostly negative or presidential campaign-related articles on about the first ten pages, meaning that a business with “Trump” in it will not be easily online, and more importantly, it could be associated negatively with Donald Trump. Through no fault of their own, these businesses could have their online reputation ruined, at least temporarily.

Ancillary Mentions

What if Donald Trump mentions your name, seemingly in passing, or an event is held in a venue where he is attending? This could impact your reputation. For example, my alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis is site of the second presidential debate. But is seems to be, again unintentionally, impacted by his visit and this impacts their online reputation (see Washington University responds to Trump video as campus braces for Sunday debate).

The main point is that Donald Trump, and other famous people and even news events, can inadvertently impact your online reputation.

The best way to combat this if you become associated with negative articles is to constantly publish unique, excellent content such as blog posts; share it online, and be active on industry specific platforms.

Originally published at