If there’s one person you’d expect to be able to dominate online, it’s Barack Obama. His ground-breaking online presidential campaign in 2008 caught the imagination of the federal government of the world’s largest economy – and he’s now hitting the headlines and filling up online spaces with his recently launched Obama 2012 re-election campaign.
And yet, search his name online and you’ll see a picture of search results significantly outside of his control. News stories pop up near the top most days (meaning, ahem, that his public relations has a much bigger impact on his search results than many details of search engine optimisation work).
His Wikipedia biography – which anyone can contribute to – also comes out high up, as do photos from a myriad of websites, blogs and news outlets.
So there are two lessons from this for those outside politics. First, as Obama has done with his Facebook page, a strong presence on social networks can help fill up the first page of search results for you with sources largely under your control. But second, even with all that and with more than one official website, there is plenty of content that Google will throw up driven by the media and the public. Getting your online reputation right means mixing all those different channels into one effective strategy.
Cross-posted from the Engine Group blog.