In case you haven’t noticed, anonymity is coming to a close in the internet space. Facebook API’s for websites increased the number of people signing up with their own names. Social liking, sharing and commenting has linked a name and a face to each action. Future SEO predictions indicate that content publishing will only be effective when author attributed by linking articles and blog posts to the writer’s Google Plus account. We’re also seeing DNS errors in webmaster tools when the Who is data information is not accurate. Webmasters often hide their identities because they own multiple sites in the same niche to game the search engines. With privacy issues constantly being debated and accountability for one’s behavior online becoming more important, the days of people pretending to be something they are not are coming to an end.
There hasn’t been a complete conversion from usernames to real names, but when real names are used, people are much more careful about what they say. People enjoy ranting when no one knows who they really are. They had no remorse for criticizing and slandering others or spreading lies to get revenge. Now that we are seeing Facebook profiles coming into the court system, everyone has to be thinking about what they say and do on the internet as though anyone can view it at any time. Just when you think you’re comments are private, privacy policies change and the government can get a hold of anything it wants at any time. It’s time to consider what we do online the same way we consider a piece of paper with our signature on it. If we don’t change our thinking, we may have regrets or lawsuits on our hands down the line.
One of the major factors impacting a website’s ranking is trust. The Who is information plays a part of the algorithm determining the trust of any particular website. The length of time the domain has been registered in the past and its expiration date also play a role. If you only register one year at a time, you should think about upping that to 10 when you renew.
If your website doesn’t have an about page, it should. Many websites do not and have no contact information. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a contact form.
If you plan to start a blog or a website, today you should be thinking about your reputation. Write content you feel comfortable standing behind that is factual and informative. That’s not saying you can’t be controversial, but if controversy is created by spreading rumors (as often happens on Twitter) be prepared for consequences. Freedom of speech still comes with responsibilities.