Understanding SEO and the Ranking of Personal Identifying Information

When Google first started to expand its basic search tools, web users could type in an address and sometimes the name and phone number of the occupant would pop up. Google Maps had to edit its Street View tool so that license plate numbers and faces were blurred out for the purpose of privacy and safety. The long story short is that there has been a clash between people and internet search companies about the importance of having accurate data available versus privacy concerns. There is much that you need to understand how SEO works in relation to the ranking and visibility of personally identifying information on the web and how you can protect your private data. Read below to become fully informed.

SEO can be Used to Increase or Decrease the Prominence of Any Link

Basic information can be obtained on an individual via the web by way of a couple of different means. First, you can type in a person’s full name into a search engine and review all of the links that appear. Generally, information including their name, address, age, and possibly their social media accounts will be among the first few results. A deeper search may reveal information relating to their employment history, public records, voter registry records, and even relatives are often revealed. Search engine optimization can be employed to manipulate the order in which these links appear. In a nutshell, almost every person who has set up home telephone services has opened a social media account, registered to vote, or has been summoned to court will find personally identifying information about themselves online.

Public Records are Often Readily Available Via the Web

Beyond being able to find links that include your name and address, public records can contain a wealth of information to anyone who searches for you. For instance, many states not only list criminal court cases and convictions online but newspapers also routinely publish a list of the charges as well as the accused’s mugshot. Bankruptcy records also fall into this category, as state court systems are increasingly publishing the names of individuals and companies that file for bankruptcy as well as all cases that are successfully discharged. Use the search tool from Public Records Reviews to reduce time by offering a centralized search engine for bankruptcy listing; they also stand behind the accuracy of all records produced. With Public Records Reviews, users can quickly locate all bankruptcy filings for any company or individual they search for.

Search Engine Optimization and Reputation Management

In many cases, people are concerned about what personal information becomes publicly available as they are concerned about their reputations. An older individual might not want arrest records from 20 years ago to be the first results that pop up when someone searches up their full name. A person who operates in the corporate world would be understandably concerned if information relating to their immediate family and neighbors came up in the search results under their name, particularly if they were a public figure. SEO is often used in conjunction with reputation management, aiding individuals in the suppression of private, embarrassing, or identifying information.

Requesting the Removal of Personal Information

There are many reasons why a person would want to have their personal information removed from search engine results as well as individual websites. For example, survivors of domestic violence who have fled dangerous homes would not want their current address to be available publicly. Many public records aggregators have procedures in place that enable people in various protected classes to submit a request for removal. All results may not be able to be removed this way, but there is also the option of contacting search engines and filing DMC requests if the information contained violates copyright laws.

Why Having Personal Records Online Isn’t Such a Bad Thing

Upon searching up your own name, you might be very surprised to see exactly what comes up. People simply do not realize that they create a digital footprint each time they do mundane things such as create a YouTube account under their legal names, sign up for freelancer websites, or even update their voter registry information. Consider the fact that it is likely that similar records exist online for your co-workers, schoolmates, neighbors, and family. In the future, more detailed information on individuals is likely to become available online. As long as the information that you find on the web about yourself will not damage your reputation, preclude you from employment, or jeopardize your safety, you can feel comfortable in knowing that this is the norm

When you do search for your name, know that the most often clicked on links are the ones that will generally appear first. Sometimes, the websites that are considered to be the most authoritative will appear in the first few slots. Searching for your name will often always result in links appearing, whether they contain accurate and up to date information or not.

The post Understanding SEO and the Ranking of Personal Identifying Information appeared first on Phoenix FM.

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