How would you like it if Gawker or TMZ performed one of their infamous exposes of you?
Guess what? They don’t need to. Google is already doing just that. Anyone with an internet connection can find pretty much all there is to know about you. And boy, are they doing it. With 3.5 billion searches conducted every day, Google is everyone’s front door – and your front door is probably unlocked.
It’s hard to remember life before Google, but the company doesn’t even turn 18 until Sept. 15. And it only went public 11 years ago, this very month. In that remarkably short time, Google single-handedly turned the personal computer from a combination word processor and adding machine into an instantaneous and all-encompassing knowledge machine. Google further demonstrated its maturity this month with the creation of Alphabet, so that the company’s other initiatives – Nest and self-driving car technology, for example – will move forward without distracting search engine engineers from continuing their own innovations.
The history of search engines actually dates back to 1947. But they only came into common use in 1996 when Lycos and AltaVista were launched. However, the day that Larry Page met Sergey Brin, the world changed. More searches were conducted on Google in the last 24 hours than in all 365 days of 1998, the first year of Google’s existence. Google’s growth has been, well, astronomical.
Source: Google Official History, Comscore, Statistic Brain Research Institute
To some, Google has been the ultimate high-tech solution, while others are eerily reminded of George Orwell’s “1984.” But wherever you lie on that spectrum, you must respect, if not hold in awe, the fact that Google has turned every computer, tablet and smartphone into a microscope and video camera that hovers above your business, colleagues, employees and, ultimately, you.
To keep your business protected, you must employ the highest level of digital reputation management (DRM). Negative rumors, whether true or false, can spread like wildfire. A proper DRM strategy not only provides a firewall against bad news, it also helps promote positive news and images.
Since you began reading this story, more than 3 million Google searches have been conducted. How many led to information about you and your business? Are you comfortable with your DRM strategy? Have you built a “digital fortress” to protect your firm and another to protect you?
Google has unlocked the knowledge of the universe. It has also unlocked your front door. When the neighbors walk by, you should ensure you are proud of your digital home.