Scandal, douchebag, KeepKenOut: McAuliffe, Cuccinelli and their reputations online

Talk about damaging to your reputation. It’s one thing to be arrested for embezzling money or looking at child porn. But try running for governor.

Running for governor, long term, might actually be worse, reputationally speaking.

“Searchers will simply be looking to find out information about a candidate and when Google suggests ‘scandal’ after their name, most people are going to click on that suggestion. It’s only natural to be curious,” said Brian Patterson, the co-founder at Go Fish Digital, which performs online reputation management for companies and individuals.

Go Fish Digital highlighted the damage done to the reputations of Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli revealed in standard, run-of-the-mill Google searches of their names.

Search for Terry McAuliffe in Google. What does the search engine helpfully suggest? Scandal.

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Then scroll down the page for “searches related to Terry McAuliffe.” Douchebag? Seriously?

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Now try the same for Ken Cuccinelli. Above the fold in the search results is the link to www.KeepKenOut.org, which as you might guess isn’t maintained by fans of the GOP standard-bearer.

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The moral of the story, from Patterson:

“Journalists and PR folks are going to speak out about candidates and have strong opinions – that’s a given – but these candidates need to be a part of that conversation online,” Patterson said. “Being active on YouTube, Google+, and Instagram – not just Twitter and Facebook – would help them control the content on the first page of Google.”

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