I read the book, Google Bomb in 2009, and wrote this review at that time. I have reread my words a year later and find that I wouldn’t change a one. I would add, however, that the need for online reputation management will only grow and investing your time is, as I mentioned, table stakes.
You may download a copy of the book review in PDF form here: [download id=”8″]
- Who should purchase Google Bomb?
Every person with a name and reputation which they wish to protect should purchase this book. You don’t have to be a technological titan to understand the examples provided. The take-away knowledge provides you a fighting chance to protect, and when necessary, reclaim your reputation. My adage re family online safety is: “Invest in your family’s online safety, commensurate with the value of your family.” This book’s modest price is asymmetrical to the increased value you’ll experience in your reputation safety quotient.
- Why you should purchase Google Bomb
Google Bomb is road-map clear, no missed exits, nor wrong turns, no questionable advice. It is an arrow in your quiver, so that you may defend yourself and/or prepare yourself should you have the unfortunate experience of receiving the vile ill-will of another via the social media environment in which we collectively exist – you do have a fighting chance.
- How Google Bomb touched me
Only infrequently does a book cause a reader to experience a personal visceral reaction; for me, it’s happened only once before. Google Bomb, the telling of Sue Scheff’s personal story in the recovery of her good name and reputation, is such a book, it moved me, and it will move you. Allow me to explain.
Those who know me well will have immediate understanding why a book which charts the Herculean efforts required to reclaim your good name, reputation and professional stature following the actions of a few to destroy, such resonated with me. You see, once you’ve traversed that road of false accusations, you never wish to replicate the journey again, and you’d wish it upon no one.
When it’s happening it’s surreal and unbelievable. Once the realization you aren’t dreaming hits home, you are either overwhelmed and capitulate, in effect self-declared road-kill or you take inventory of all your resources and deduce your good name and honorable reputation are the only remnants of your life worth protecting. You then take these remnants and use them to form the foundation of your reclamation efforts. Even if your first steps may feel a bit like Don Quixote tilting at windmills, persevere, what journey ever started off with every experience preordained?
I appreciated the description of the pivotal moment when Sue described the last straw, the straw which caused her to stand up and say, “Enough already.” I had complete visualization of her reaction when the miscreants who had been attacking her persona and her company, began attacking her children. I had no doubt her “mother bear” instinct to fight and protect her offspring was fully awake and it was game-on!
Unfortunately, bad things do happen to good people. You strive, perhaps seemingly altruistically to bring goodness to this world and awaken one day to find yourself surrounded by vile and unconscionable accusations. Your mindset describes the event as “stupefying,” you are now seemingly being punished for your good works. Google Bomb describes such an experience, Sue’s experience.
- What to do and how to do it
John Dozier’s insightful discussion of events, throughout the book, is clear and concise – the reader can easily understand the, “why” behind each of Sue’s actions. I found myself rereading and noting the legal and technical strategy employed as Sue’s reputation was reclaimed. I was nodding my head with great satisfaction as those wishing ill will upon Sue and her family were identified, held accountable and brought before the courts where they were ultimately held responsible and duly punished.
- Applicability for businesses and intellectual property
John’s extrapolation of his methodologies to the realm of a small, medium, or large company’s reputation and intellectual property protection is spot-on. My own book “Secrets Stolen, Fortunes Lost” was stolen within 60 days of publication from my publisher, and then shared via peer-to-peer networks (see my article Secrets Stolen, No Just the Intellectual Property which describes the experience). Plainly spoken, if you have intellectual property, “Have a strategy!” to protect it.
- Reputation Defense
Highlighting the good works of Michael Fertik’s Reputation Defender, was personally appreciated, as it reoriented my compass with respect to his firm – I’ll be re-engaging the company to learn more about their capabilities. My first encounter with Reputation Defender can only be described as “going sideways” and I have no doubt it was an anomalous event – I look forward to learning more from Michael or his staff, as Sue’s experiences described in Google Bomb, clearly show them to be effective. [Note: December 24, 2010: I’ve met with Michael Fertik since writing this review in 2009 and found him to be a most professional and engaging individual creating an innovated company to help individuals keep their online reputation in order. CB]
- Google Bomb’s call to action
I agree with and wish to associate myself with the call-to-action contained in the book. We are all responsible for keeping our shared online community safe. When self-policing and self-control fail, then we do require meaningful laws availed to law enforcement and prosecutors. Laws having backbone and are easily understood and are flexible enough to anticipate evolution of technology are required. In essence our current situation is analogous to having a population center of millions without a “time-out” corner.
In my opinion, we need alignment of state and federal statutes which will hold accountable those engaging in cyber stalking, invasion of our privacy, personal impersonation and character defamation. In the United States, well meaning legislators are acting individually and from the optic of their constituent states – we need federal action. Furthermore, restraining orders need to have appropriate meat attached to their bones, with a need to integrate 21st century technologies – in the physical world 100 feet is measurable, in the virtual world, geographic borders are obscured – lets bring technological audit trails, access controlled environments and filtering into play.
It is no small task to fill the international voids which provide haven for both domestic and international criminal or malevolent individuals to operate with impunity, but instead of describing the difficulty, let’s get started. I’m all in! If we don’t all step up and contribute, then Sue’s story will be the first of many more to come.
- My personal thank you
In closing, I’d like Sue to know I’ve great personal empathy for the angst which she and her family experienced and I commend her for her display of personal courage and fortitude, from her decision to stand up and not take it any more, all the way through the sharing of her story so that others may learn from her experiences. For John, your work speaks for itself, nicely done sir. Thank you Sue also for your good works both individually and through your Parents Universal Resource Experts (Pure); it is clear you are one of the good people, and many families no doubt are grateful beyond their ability to articulate for the assistance you provided. Thank you John for your clear explanations of the legal strategy and steps one can take to protect oneself, you’ve empowered many.
This reviewer paid for this book