Google Launches Useful Tool for State Leaders

Google has launched a new service called "Me on the Web."  It's a collection of Google's resources that help you 1.) monitor you and/or your agency's online identity and 2.) remove certain content from Google's search results.

To access the service, you need a Google account, which you already have if you use Gmail or sign in for any other Google service, including YouTube.  If you don't have an account, it's simple to sign up.

The following is the link to Google Dashboard, in which you can find "Me on the Web" located just under Account info (it will be the second item in the list):  Click here for Google Dashboard/"Me on the Web"

As noted earlier, you will need to sign in with a Google account to access the feature.

"Me on the Web" basically lets you do two things:

1.  Monitoring you and/or your agency's online identity

This section of the "Me on the Web" directs you to sign up for a service called Google Alerts.  If you attended CSG's National Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, you may already know how to use Google Alerts.  CSG offered a boot camp explaining how to set up this service, even without a Google Account.  For those of you who did not attend this boot camp, Google Alerts works by sending you an email any time you are mentioned on the web.  If it turns out that a negative and/or inaccurate story or comment about you and/or your agency appears on the web, you'll be the first to know.

2.  The second part of "Me on the Web" instructs you how to remove unwanted content.  This knowledge could come in especially handy if you've accidently published private information to the web, and it is now showing up in Google search results.  For example, as was the case in Ohio, perhaps social security numbers were placed online and later needed to be removed.  In the event such numbers could still be found on Google in its search reults and/or cache, Google explains the process for removing that information.

"Me on the Web" is a new feature worth checking out, especially in an online environment where anyone can post information about you and/or yoru agency.  If you have any questions regarding this new Google feature, please don't hesitate to contact me at ndickerson@csg.org.