The New York Times recently allowed the public free access to its archives dating back 100 years. Google digitised them and now they are publicly available and readily accessible. It is not too hard to imagine The Australian and other newspapers following suit in the next few years.

Over the next several years its a reality we may have to face, whether we like it or not. So what is out there with your name on it? There may be many things want to pretend never happened, unfounded accusations, and past mistakes that you have spent twenty years making up for.

When someone Googles your name or brand name and they do, especially future prospects and employers what will they find?

It might seem hopeless. Once something is on the internet, it’s pretty much impossible to get it taken away. Although, on some occasions, a blogger may remove the content when you ask them nicely (or threaten them with a lawsuit if it counts as slander), it’s not common.

What you can do, however, is to render the offending material practically invisible. You do this by building up Search Optimised websites (assets) and positive, controlled content.

You should aim to push any unwanted search results to the third page at least. Over 60% of searchers never go beyond the first page, and almost 90% never go beyond the second. Even if they do make it to the negative content on the third page, they will have gone through two search pages full of carefully controlled content first.