It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the web or if you’ve been online since the days of CompuServe. Odds are there is information online about you that can be accessed with a simple search engine query.

Go ahead and ‘google’ yourself. Do a search on google.com for your name. What shows up in the results? There might be pages that randomly contain your first and last name. Or perhaps you share a name with someone else, and results about that other person are showing up.

If that other person is somewhat famous (or infamous), there may be articles, blog posts or other content about that person. Another reason is that the person actually put information about themselves online. Search engines picked up that information and provide that content as search results.

As a candidate, you will want influence over what people see, hear and read about you on the web. To do that, you need an online identity. Creating an online identity is simple, and you can do it over time. To start, you need a clear purpose. If that purpose is for political reasons, then you want to create a personal brand. That means getting yourself – your history and goals – out on the web.

Another goal of building an online identity is search result page domination. This means that when someone searches your name, positive information about you appears in the top search results. This can be information created by others, or it can be information that you create yourself

The first step in creating an online identity is to create personal profiles on popular social networks and resume websites.

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