Have you ever googled your own name to see what comes up?  Go do it now, we’ll wait.  Did you get some unexpected or irrelevant search results?  That’s why it’s so important to maintain your online reputation, especially if you are wealthy or influential.

If you do any philanthropic work, you’ll want to make sure you are getting credit for that online.  Those search results weigh heavily in your online reputation.  That’s often the first thing people see about you online.  It all breaks down to digital karma: when you give charitably, your reputation becomes more favorable.

Start by learning which sites come up first in search results and focus your efforts there.  Wikipedia, corporate and philanthropic biographies, and social media sites are often on the top of the list.  This is great news because you can easily manage all of these.  All but 2 or 3 of the top 200 wealthiest Americans have a WikiPedia page about themselves, their families, or their businesses, which makes monitoring search results critical but manageable.

It’s important to monitor social media, and it helps to have a social media presence.  You can certainly pay someone to manage that for you, though it might make your online presence less authentic.  But a less authentic online presence is better than none at all, and it’s an easy way to have an online presence that is completely within your control.

Owning search result pages and philanthropic endeavors seem to have the most pull in your online reputation, but social media presence is also really important if you want to have control of your online reputation.  The first step is understanding the importance, and the second step is checking to see how you are represented online.  Learn more about the importance of managing your digital reputation and search results from this infographic.