Image Reputation Management:
What It Is, And Why You Should Care
A long lost image of you raising a stein of beer surfaces on the web. Back in college it seemed rather innocuous, but now, when going on interviews, HR departments seem to frown on such actives, especially when it shows up first in a Google search.
Or has that award winning landscape photograph suddenly appeared in a Google search? Which is great, except you never gave permission for it to be published — it was swiped and posted on another blog.
This is where image reputation management comes in. Online reputation management helps to build, boost and repair online presences; image reputation management does the same but focuses only on images.
Why Does It Matter?
Having an embarrassing or wrong image show up at the top of Google search results can be a problem, and worse — it can lead to lost job opportunities, missed consulting gigs or result in reduced income.
Also, your images might be used illegally if they show up on someone else’s website or used for commercial purposes without your permission.
Finally, they simply might not be showing you in the best light, and there are better or more appropriate photos which represent you or your business.
Look at What’s Out There
First, review all your images online.
This is easy enough: just do a Google search for your name or business and see what turns up in “Images”. Look through each image to make sure it is posted on a site that you approve of and be sure there are no unauthorized images.
Repairing an Image Reputation
Once articles and blog posts are published, they are extremely hard if not impossible to remove. Fortunately images have a higher chance of being removed. This is because they were probably published without permission and likely violate copyright infringement.
If that is the case, politely and professionally reach out to the site’s webmaster or blog author requesting the image to be removed. Most of the time, this works. However, there are some cases where an indirect or even direct threats must be used.
Ways to Build and Boost a Good Image Reputation
If an image can’t be deleted, the best option is to suppress the negative image by inundating the web with good images. Adding photos that show you in a positive light eventually push down the bad ones from the the top of search results. Once buried, they are as good as removed, especially if they are moved to the second or third pages.
There are several ways to construct a good image reputation.
1. Review all Images
Look at all photographs, but also review graphics, presentations, illustration, PDFs, infographics, video stills, screen grabs, or anything else that can be converted to a jpg. In some cases, take a photograph of a hard copy source, such as a magazine, book or publication that mentions you.
2. Make New Images
Take new shots of you at work, events, lectures or at perhaps home, and initiate a process for continually adding images. For example, at every presentation you give, be sure to have photos taken so it can be easily uploaded.
3. Add All Types of Images To Posts
When blogging — and you should be — add various types of images to your posts and be sure to attach your or company’s name to each.
4. Be Creative
All the images don’t necessarily have to be of you. They should help illustrate the article, topic or subject. Be creative, and come up with the best image possible.
5. Name Image File
To help get the images found by search engines, make sure to include your name in the JPEG file itself. For example, name the file something descriptive like, “jane-jones-financial-presentation-new-york.jpg”.
Now What? Post Images
You can add images in a variety of places. Most importantly, start with your website and create or update blog posts.
Besides these, use:
Other micro-blogging sites for your field. Behance is excellent for creative images and graphics.
Finally, continue to review your image online reputation weekly or monthly to make sure you are being shown in the possible best light.
Final Tech Tip
You might need help from a webmaster, but when adding images, be sure to include your name or business in the Title, Alt Text and Description meta-data fields. This information is crucial in helping the image get found by search engines like Google.
If you’ve any questions about image reputation management, feel free to reach out to Recover Reputation.