It’s a rarity today when someone meets you IRL—a date, a job interviewer, a potential roommate—without conducting a thorough Web stalking and “getting to know you” digitally. Trouble is, we have little control over what comes up in our top Google search results. With more of our social lives chronicled across multiple online platforms, it’s increasingly difficult to regulate our digital image.
Keen to the anxiety around this, online security firm Norton created Top Results, a free app that allows users to determine what pops up first in searches for their name. The app, currently available only in Scandinavia, helps users create a personal Google AdWords ad that links to the URL of their choice, which becomes the top search result. “We believe that you should have control over your search results. … Next time someone Googles your name, you’ll decide what their first impression will be,” says this video. Norton is smartly giving consumers a tool to actively and easily manage their online reputation as more people grow concerned about the repercussions of unsettling search results.