Vanity Search

Google, Yahoo!, and Bing your name and see what shows up. Make sure to use quotes around your name (e.g., "Torrey Trust"). You may need to use an identifying keyword if you have a popular name (e.g., "Torrey Trust" +ucsb").

People often click on the first 3-5 search results, so take a close look at those results...Do they reflect you as a professional? If not, here are some things you can do: 
  1. Build a digital portfolio
  2. Create a professional social media profile (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter usually show up in the top 5 search results)
  3. Request a link removal (you have to submit a request for each search engine)
The free version of BrandYourself is a good tool for tracking your top 10 Google search results. It also allows you to submit links that you would like to show up higher in your search results. 

People Search Tools

There are a lot of websites popping up that aggregate data from public records, websites, and social media tools to build a profile of you without your permission (i.e., Spokeo, Pipl, Intelius). These websites state that you have to register (and usually pay a fee) to have your public profile deleted. These sites might show information that you thought was otherwise private (i.e., home address, phone number, family members). Anyone can use these people search tools to find more information about you for a small fee. If you want to have your information taken down from these websites, you need to opt-out. You can do this by emailing the companies or filling out contact forms. Here are some helpful resources for dealing with people search tools: 


The Google Yourself Challenge

(Infographic designed by BackgroundCheck.org )
The Google Yourself Challenge