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Google vs. The Pope

Insights February 25, 2013

A Vatican Tragedy, An Opportunity for Reputation Management

He’s infallible. He’s known as “Your Holiness” or “Holy Father.” He has 1.2 billion followers. But right now, he faces an enemy rising from the shadows. It’s a powerful, but murky figure of darkness known by many, but understood by few.

That enemy?


That’s right. Google. The powerhouse technology company is threatening the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI. Why would Google do this? Why go after an 85 year old holy man with all the power and might of the Roman Catholic Church behind him? How has this infallible man become, well, fallible?

OK. So maybe Google isn’t doing this purposely. But it is happening. As speculation runs rampant over the reasons why the Pope made the decision to resign, the Google search results for “Pope Benedict” turn up a suite of negative results that threaten the legacy and reputation of the Pope.

One wouldn’t expect to see “The Dark Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI” as an upper search result. Nor would one expect to see allegations of blackmail in search results for the infallible Pope. This isn’t the Crusades.

This, however, is reality. With mass media and the world connected like never before, rumors and speculation stemming from a single report, or a blog, could provide long-term damage to the reputation of the Pope. So let’s ask ourselves. If a modern Pope can’t have a good reputation in Google, what does that mean for those with checkered pasts or the falsely accused? Every person, and especially every public figure should realize that one event could provide a long-term threat to their own reputation.

The Pope should have a variety of brand assets that would give his search results a long-term and sustainable level of positivity. He could be a social media rockstar, yet he only recently joined Twitter. This Twitter account has given him 1.5 million followers, yet it is not even a top result as of yet due to it being somewhat newly established. To make matters worse, the Vatican said last week that the Pope would no longer Tweet, and indicated the account will be taken over by the new pope.  Social media accounts like Twitter are one way for someone, even the Pope, to directly control their reputation. The Pope could be using these to advocate on his own behalf, giving him a direct platform to share ideas, and keep controlled content in the search results, even while facing an intense reputation threat, such as his current situation.

I wrote that Google is known by many, but understood by few. Fortunately, it is understood at Terakeet. And the Reputation Management division works with those that have been in the public eye and experienced a reputation issue, to clean their results and promote positive, sustainable content that will not only improve the reputation of the individual, but highlight the accomplishments, contributions and assets unique to that individual.

Mr. Pope, you may contact Terakeet, for a complete list of our Reputation Management services. Our Sales Engineer, Dan Russell, and I would also like to know why God hates the Buffalo Bills. I can only assume it is because they are a rival of Tim Tebow. I hear he might be elected as your replacement.

Godspeed, Pope. Without Terakeet’s help, you will most definitely need some divine intervention.

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