World Wide You

You shouldn’t feel privileged just because a Google search of your name actually results in websites that refer to you, that’s what Google’s search algorithm is designed to do. However, when you can control the content on those results…that is powerful.

Now don’t lie. Surely, somewhere in the corners of a dull afternoon, you typed your name into Google to see what happened. If you did, you’re not alone. Millions of people Google themselves every day. This ego phenomenon is so pervasive that a slew of businesses are providing services to help people control how and what comes up during a search for their name (see: Qalias, Reputation Defender, etc.) Recently I came across THIS VIDEO that plays off this aspect of vanity so commonplace for those of us who live online with frequency (Warning: crude language).

The internet has undoubtedly forever altered the way we do business. It used to be that a referral from a trusted source was all that was needed before going into a meeting. Today, before almost every single new meeting I’ll perform a quick “due diligence” search based on the person’s name. If nothing comes back, I have this knee jerk reaction that the person may not actually exist. I’m certain that other people do the same type of pre-meeting searches that I do.

If you’re like me, one of the critical items I look for is number of results that come back in Google. For example, if you Google my name “Lief Larson” you’ll find about 250,000 results. If you Google my friend “Dan Schawbel”, publisher of the wildly popular Personal Branding Blog, you’ll get about 84,000 results. A search on “Michael Arrington”, the publisher of TechCrunch, will net you about 700,000 results. Of course this isn’t a barometer for your reputation significance on the web, but it does indicate your reach, which may be interpreted as good or bad by those wanting to learn more about you.

More important are the Top 10 search results. Although you could create a bunch of websites, diligently contribute to your blog every day, you may have little if any control over the top results if the other websites that reference you have better search relevancy. This can be a problem when you want to control those Top 10 results to make sure people see you the way you want to be seen.

If you’re looking to put some effort into controlling how others see you online, take a gander at Pete Kistler’s article “How to Interlink Your Web Presence“. Pete does a great job of providing some practical tactics that can be employed over a weekend to ensure you are giving yourself the best shot at having control over the way others see you, and getting those results to take over the Top 10 spots.


2 Responses to “World Wide You”

  1. 1 Pete Kistler September 18, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Great post! The relevance of your Google results is becoming more and more important as we abandon traditional research methods in favor of the web. Spot on, Lief.

    Thanks linking to my “How to Interlink Your Web Presence” post about controlling your Google results!

    – Pete Kistler

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