It’s partly narcissistic and partly curiosity, but I Google myself a few times a month just to see where my name pops up on the Internet. My freelance work shows up, even articles I wrote more than five years ago, and my weight-loss site and this writing site have moved up the food chain, which I’m glad to see.
There’s a page under statistics in my TypePad management folder that shows the referring address to a particular blog entry. Sometimes it comes from a Google search. When I click on the address, it takes me to the results site from their search. If you type in “Skinny Bitch review,” for instance, you’ll get a link to the blog I wrote about that book. Some people have typed in “pink lacy thong” and found a link to “Ode To a Thong” that I wrote last year. These Googlers aren’t looking specifically for my site, of course, but it surprises me how many people find this blog through strange word searches.
In the last few months, due to my exposure on CNN, “The Today Show,” KDKA, and “Oprah,” and the article in People magazine, my name is popping up secondarily in other people’s blogs and on websites that link to stories from primary sources. The strangest place my name popped up recently was the Malaysian Sun newspaper.
I hadn’t thought about the practicality of Googling before, having merely Googled myself out of sheer curiosity, but blog writer Mariella from Desperate Curiosity makes several good points about why Googling our names is prudent: “Why You Should Google Yourself.”
On the site SearchEngineLand, Vanessa Fox wrote an article about self-Googling called “Pew Survey Finds Most People Don’t Google Themselves That Often, After All.” She included the following Simpson cartoon as well:
Marge Simpson “Googles” Herself
“All this time I thought ‘googling’ yourself meant the other thing’
Fox brings up a number of good points about privacy and how most of us have no idea what information about ourselves is circulating on the Internet. Is it accurate? Could it be slanderous or untrue?
Naïve me needs to do more homework. I want to protect, at least as best I can, my name and the information associated with my name. One more thing to worry about? Probably not, but it’s good to be aware of what’s out there.
What about you? Do you Google yourself? Old flames? Friends from high school? Former bosses? Last year, after a Google search for an old boyfriend, I discovered he was now the president and CEO of a major toy company. (To read the blog I wrote last February about him, click here). Most names I’ve Googled, though, don’t show up in the search, or if they do there are several people with the same name and I’m not sure which one is the person I know.
I’m curious about your own experiences with Google. Leave a comment or send me an email. You know I love mail!