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Who's Googling You?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- How often do you Google something on your phone or computer?

The tech giant processes 3.5 billion searches every day. It's a good reminder that we live in a digital age.

Online expert David Erickson shares who's Googling you, and how you can better control what pops up first.

People use Google for all sorts of reasons.

"If you're going out on a date, first date, that person's going to Google you," Erickson said. "Your exes will Google you."

Erickson, vice president of online marketing for Karwoski Courage, says it's important to know what shows up when you type in your own name.

That's especially true if you're trying to get into college, move into a new place or are hunting for a job.

A prospective employer will likely Google you before they hire. Our social footprint is everywhere. So what shows up in a search?

"If you've ... been in the news for any reason. You've got images from your social profiles, those can show up. YouTube videos that you've uploaded. Think about your social media profiles and everything that you have online in the sense of how you want to present yourself to the world," Erickson said.

If you want to put your best foot forward -- that includes controlling what's online, says Erickson.

People typically look at the first thee results. If you Google yourself and see something you don't like, Erickson says to add more content.

"You need to fight content that you don't like with more content that you do like. Starting a blog, having a website where you control the content," Erickson said. "If there's images you don't like, then adding more images that counteract that, having active social media profile, so Twitter will show up in Google search results. I always tell people '' themselves, buy your own domain name and put some content up there."

If you don't like what you see from social media, modify or delete a post, or ask a friend to untag you or remove a post or photo. You can contact a website that has unwanted content.

Google will only consider removing sensitive information, like a bank account number.

"They don't want to police the internet, they don't want to police content," Erickson said. "It's on you to do that."

You can set up a Google alert for yourself, which lets you know when someone posted something with your name.

Just go to the set-up page, put your name in, set your options and create the alert.

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