Repair Your Personal Search Results Page

Those of us who have been involved in the criminal justice system understand there are consequences that extend far beyond the courtroom, and perhaps none is as damaging as the impact legal issues can have on your personal online search results page.

In 2023, the importance of your personal online search results page cannot be overstated. More than 65% of all internet traffic starts with a search query, more than 90% of recruiters report Googling a candidate before interviewing them for a position, and around 70% of people will perform an online search before a first date. These search results pages matter and their maintenance can be a key component of finding success after prison.

Fortunately, our friends at Founder Online Reputation Management have shared this resource to help the justice-impacted repair their search results page following legal trouble without breaking the bank.

1. Keep Your Social Media Profiles Open

In the wake of legal issues, many people’s first reaction is to withdraw from public view, often privatizing or deleting their social media accounts. However, this approach can be counterproductive. Search engines like Google assign significant authority to social media profiles, frequently placing them high in search results. Maintaining a presence on these platforms, therefore, becomes crucial in managing your online reputation.

Google likes to index these on the first and second pages of an individuals search results page so it’s advisable to at least keep your profiles on key social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, and TikTok, even if minimally active.

The best strategy, though, is to actively engage in reshaping your online image. This involves keeping your profiles public, regularly updating them, and actively participating in online conversations. By sharing news articles, commenting on posts, and ensuring your profile pages are fully optimized, you can exert greater control over your online presence. This proactive stance not only helps in retaining high-authority spots on search engines but also in positively influencing your digital reputation.

2. Build a Personal Website

Google’s algorithm prioritizes comprehensive, authoritative content in its search results. A personal website that hosts your biography and resume directly can significantly bolster your online credibility. And while this may seem like a difficult technical undertaking, it’s easier than ever thanks to easy-to-use content management platforms like WordPress.

And in doing so, you should have no problem reclaiming the #1 spot on your search results page.

To start, choose a domain name that reflects your name, considering variants with a middle initial or different top-level domains if needed. Popular domain registrars like GoDaddy offer varied options. Then, select a dependable web hosting service, such as Hostinger, to store your website’s data and link it to your domain.

Once your domain and hosting are in place, employ a content management system like WordPress for website construction. Your site should prominently feature your name, a concise introduction, and your professional background. Utilizing strategic keywords and SEO techniques will aid in enhancing your visibility in search engine rankings.

3. Create Content

If you’re in a position to do so, it’s a winning strategy to diversify your digital footprint through various mediums like guest blogging, creating YouTube videos, hosting podcasts, or authoring books can significantly influence how search engines perceive and rank your content. Notably, Google often gives higher priority to video content, making YouTube a strategic platform to utilize.

By consistently producing content in your areas of expertise or interest, you effectively increase your digital real estate on search engine results pages. It’s also essential to link these contents back to your main website and social profiles, thereby bolstering your online authority with strategic backlinks.

4. Remove Your Case from Legal Aggregation Websites

Numerous websites aggregate publicly available legal filings, which search engines often index. Fortunately, most of these websites are willing to de-index your legal content upon request as their mission is providing legal research tools, not involving themselves in your personal reputation. 

By contacting these legal aggregators directly, you can make your case invisible to searchers. In a matter of a week or two, you can ensure your case listings on sites like Casetext, Law360, DocketBird, Justia, and CaseMine are invisible to Google, minimizing the negative impact of your legal trouble on your search results.

A full guide to having these legal aggregators removed from your search results page is available here.

For more information about repairing your online search results, speak to an online reputation management professional.