Assess the damage. “Now there’s a reason to spend hours Googling yourself” or, better yet, to plug your name into 123people.com, “which digs up harder-to-find info.” You can tackle minor stains yourself, but if there’s “a lot to bury,” hire a pro like Reputation.com or ElixirInteractive.com.
Start cleaning. Scour your Twitter, Facebook, and other online accounts and delete any “dodgy” photos or comments you’ve posted. “If necessary, close down questionable accounts.”
Push the positives. “Blogs rank high in Google’s algorithms,” so consider starting a blog about your interests. If you don’t have time to post regularly, start a personal website instead, using a template from Wix.com or Webs.com. To find free, comprehensive advice on building a positive online presence, consult BrandYourself.com.