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Is your on-line reputation being smeared?

Cleaning up your on-line reputation

For those of you that know me, you know that I’m as non-geek as they get. But fortunately for me, I am surrounded by very patient and smart people who take the time to teach me and help me out. Hopefully you are as lucky as me, if not, what are you doing to monitor your on-line reputation?

I recently received a Google-alert of someone linking our Trulia profile to a pornographic website. When you clicked on the link there were a series of redirects and funky links associated with spam, spyware and viruses and these ended up on a youtube porn video. When you Googled “Rick and Ines Miami Realtors” this site would appear 6th!!

Obviously, although concerned, I wasn’t too worried because my bodyguards quickly got to work. There have been instances of competitors sending nasty e-mails on the back-end of the blogosphere to spread rumors. Again, lucky for me, I have friends who watch my back and have never made much of it. Now porn? Do these people have anything better to do?

When I mentioned this in Twitter, the response was that Miami had some rough competition. As far as I’m concerned, I feel bad for those people that have to resort to EVIL means. I truly believe in the Law of Intention and know that this will come back to them. I wish them luck, send them good wishes and hope they can put that energy into something productive some day.

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What are you doing to monitor your on-line reputation?

(feel free to leave the tools you are using on the comment section to help our colleagues that may be going through similar issues)

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Written By

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors,, and and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.



  1. Toby & Sadie

    March 18, 2008 at 9:08 am

    I’m using it to enhance my reputation, by selling special pills on my site. 🙂

    Acutally, using Google Search most of all. Fortunately, I’m not pretty enough to be linked to porn sites — other than — and most of my Delaware competition only know enough about the Web to look at porn.

  2. Ines

    March 18, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Toby, you may not be pretty enough, but Sadie is! 🙂

  3. Hi! I'm Rudy from Trulia. Weird...

    March 18, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Hi Ines!

    Well, that’s not nice. I googled that phrase and did not find the porn link. Your body guards work fast 🙂


  4. Mariana Wagner

    March 18, 2008 at 9:44 am

    The risk we run for being online is the possibility of being smeared. I am glad that you resolved!

  5. Ines

    March 18, 2008 at 10:07 am

    you are absolutely right Mariana, and the smearing may not be too pleasant —-> sad we need to be ready for this, no?

  6. Bill Lublin

    March 18, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Ines – What a great post – Thanks for sharing – Amazing how people can find ways to subvert your marketing efforts – But as the old saw says “Your friends won;t need any explanation and your enemies won’t accept any!” I can’t wait to see what tools are available to track down those people who use technology for that kind of nonsense.

  7. Ponte Vedra Beach Real Estate

    March 18, 2008 at 10:48 am


    So is there any other tools you can use besides Google Alerts?

    And when using google alerts does your alert term have to be exact in order to pick up such a link?

    For example was your alert set for Ines Hegedus-Garcia, Rick Hegedus-Garcia, Ines and Rick Hegedus-Garcia or Rick and Ines Miami Realtors?

    It is a shame that you have to worry about another Realtor’s dirty tricks instead of focusing on serving your clients.

  8. Jim Duncan

    March 18, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Have you seen this site/service?


    It looks very interesting.

  9. North Judson real estate

    March 18, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I have just been using Google alerts! I was unaware of other tools. Thanks for the post to inform the rest of us.

  10. Ines

    March 18, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Bill – I’m with you there! Let’s hope those tracking tools come out soon to be able to stop the madness!

    Carey (I hope that’s you) – I know there are other tools other than google alerts, even tools you can pay for to keep that reputation in-line. I’m hoping someone will come in here and let us know.

    I have all kinds of different searches saved on Google alerts and I know they don’t have to be in the exact order. But from Rick and Ines to our full names, to miamism……etc.

  11. Jeannette Neerpat

    March 18, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Sorry to hear what happen, but am glad it was cleared out. Obviously whoever did it knows you outdo them in every way that they have to do evil things. The nerve!

  12. Ines

    March 18, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    All these comments just popped up!

    Hello Rudy from Trulia – they work at amazing speed….that’s what I call protection!

    Jim – I had not heard of FaveBot, but you better believe I will take a look at it (in depth) – thanks for the heads up.

    North Judson real estate – it’s good to add Google Alerts to your competition as well to see what they are up to. None of my local ones are up to anything on-line, so it’s a bit boring.

    Jeannette – like Mariana said, it’s a risk we take by having our profile on-line. A shame someone would do it, but to understand human nature is almost impossible.

    Of to read @tyr’s (I mean Dustin’s) response.

  13. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Oops, my bad… you didn’t want your name to come up in a variety of searches? Thought that was a goal of blogging… I thought I was doing you a favor when I put your name in a comment on that S&M site. Sorry ’bout that 😉

  14. Ines

    March 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Oh Yeah Lani – THAT’s what happened!! You are too funny. Do you know that people in Miami ask me what the S&M stand for in Miamism? (thought you would get a kick out of that)

  15. toby & sadie

    March 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    ouch Ines, here I was lOoking for an ego boost & get a cold dose of reality.

  16. Ines

    March 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Awww! poor Toby, you are cute too! 😉

  17. monika

    March 18, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    I am so glad you got that cleaned up. I hope somehow you can find out who did that to you. What a shame that people resort to this type of crap!

  18. Matthew Rathbun

    March 18, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    ….is wasn’t me…. 🙂 I am sorry that his happened to you, but good thing you were able to catch it early!

  19. Ponte Vedra Beach Real Estate

    March 18, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Found this post. List a number of tools and services to monitor your reputation online:

    The website has a weird name but she is a seo expert and the site is PG.

  20. Ines

    March 18, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Moni – there’s still a couple of lingering posts, but I’m surprised how quickly Google responded and so did Lycos……and it seems they can get to the root of it.

    Matthew – LOL! It may not be the end, but goes to show we have to be on top of it.

  21. Ann Cummings

    March 19, 2008 at 3:44 am

    What a shame that we even have to think about stuff like this. But I’m glad you were able to resolve it as quickly as you did. I’ve heard stories of others taking what seems like forever to get that kind junk removed and/or stopped. If it ever happens to me, I know just who I’m going to for help…… 😉

    Guess I best get busy tweaking my alerts!

  22. Missy Caulk

    March 19, 2008 at 5:05 am

    Ouch, I do Google my name, and I will check out this other site. Yikes glad you found it and it was resolved quickly.

  23. Blue Ridge Cabin Rentals

    March 19, 2008 at 5:16 am

    I am relatively new to blogging and have never checked into this but I will. Thanks for the update.

  24. Cyndee Haydon

    March 19, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Ines – thanks for the reminder to stay vigilant – I do have google alerts but we all know of instances where they don’t “go off” for whatever reason and checking through search is something to add.

    Glad yours was cleaned up!

  25. Ines

    March 19, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Ann – I feel like the cat in the hat, “what a shame, what a shame, what a shame! ” you know I’m here to help 😉

    Missy – get bussy! (oooh- that has a ring to it)!

    Blue Ridge Cabin Rentals – we learn things every day – it’s not easy to stay on top of everything, but on-line reputation is an important one.

    Cyndee – make sure you do all types of combinations with your alerts and include your competition (frinedly or not)

  26. Wade Young

    March 19, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    I would say to make sure that your blog comments are showing up. I recently found out that I had been reported as spam to Askimet, thus my blog comments were not showing up. I have to thank the Bloodhound Boss for dropping me a polite email to let me know that I needed to ask Askimet to whitlelist me, as my comments are obviously not spam. I have to wonder if someone who doesn’t like me in the blogosphere reported me to Askimet. I will never know, though.

  27. Toby & Saide

    March 19, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Wade – It can happen in a lot of ways. I had that problem a while back with Akismet and mine was because I commented on too many blogs in a 24-hour period. Honestly.

  28. Ines

    March 19, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Wade, funny you say that – there is a particular blog of someone I really like where my comments don’t appear. I’ve told them several times about it and they apologize and tell me they will look into it and they still don’t appear……….dang this whole on-line rep thing is not easy!

    Toby – commenting on too many blogs??? YOU??? I don’t believe it!

  29. Toby Boyce

    March 19, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    I know. It shocked me as well. I am so quiet and shy. :p

  30. Mary Pope-Handy

    March 20, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Hi Ines,

    That’s awful! I have google alerts for my name, so see when it pops up anywhere. So far, I have not had any problems with the nasty kind of thing you experienced.

  31. Ines

    March 20, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Toby – 🙂

    Mary – and hopefully you won’t EVER have to deal with it, but keep on top of it because there are a lot of automated systems out there that grab well-ranked sites for their benefit.

  32. ARDELL

    March 20, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Given my first name is the last name of a famous porn queen, I don’t subscribe to Google Alerts 🙂

    What I can’t figure out is how all of Jeff Corbett of posts show when you search Ardell in Technorati? Is he using my name somewhere as a search term? Should I care?

  33. Ines

    March 22, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Ardell – you manage to crack me up every time! I have no clue what X is doing, I would ask him.

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