Do You Google Yourself?

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_2   

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!

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12 thoughts on “Do You Google Yourself?

  1. I swear to you I don’t exist. If I google myself nothing about me comes up. If I google my first name (Cherice) together with my maiden name and married name the seventh thingy on Google is the alumni page for the Catholic middle school I went to from 1973 to 1976. My maiden name is very very common (but it’s not Smith), but my first name and married name are just odd enough that I’m pretty well unknown.
    Neither of my siblings show up on a google search either. Pretty odd huh?

  2. How funny is this? I totally was sitting here googling people and then I went to your blog and saw “Do you Google Yourself?” I was like OMG! How random that was! We’re totally related!
    (and I SO sound like the valley girl I’m NOT!)

  3. I always google myself, moreso lately than ever- because since I started the blog, I’ve wanted to remain ‘somewhat’ nameless….but, then again, that’s silly because people will know the face eventually- since I’ve posted pictures. I guess it gives the self-esteem a little boost too because it means that you really do exist in that large world of cables, wires and gadgets (otherwise known as the internet).
    I read your story on CNN and I am inspired. I started blogging back in August 2007 and failed miserably and then, two weeks ago, I jumped back on that ol’ wagon. To to date (in two weeks) I’ve lost 11 pounds already! Imagine, its a matter of mind over matter eh?
    Cheers to you on your success, if you can offer me one piece of advice- it would be another wise word to lead me in the right direction.
    Did you realize that when you starting this journey- that you would be a mentor and role model for thousands?

  4. I always google myself, moreso lately than ever- because since I started the blog, I’ve wanted to remain ‘somewhat’ nameless….but, then again, that’s silly because people will know the face eventually- since I’ve posted pictures. I guess it gives the self-esteem a little boost too because it means that you really do exist in that large world of cables, wires and gadgets (otherwise known as the internet).
    I read your story on CNN and I am inspired. I started blogging back in August 2007 and failed miserably and then, two weeks ago, I jumped back on that ol’ wagon. To to date (in two weeks) I’ve lost 11 pounds already! Imagine, its a matter of mind over matter eh?
    Cheers to you on your success, if you can offer me one piece of advice- it would be another wise word to lead me in the right direction.
    Did you realize that when you starting this journey- that you would be a mentor and role model for thousands?

  5. You’ve been quite an inspiration…
    I’ve sent your story to all of my friends…
    you are quite amazing… I am so happy to have your blog to keep me motivated.
    Truly amazing .. I’m having a hard enough time dropping 20 lbs! I am a total “stress eater”.
    I am curious..
    how in the world did you get on Oprah?
    I/WE/my family tried for a couple years to get our story out, but she was not interested …
    but CNN took our story… and gave us a voice. I love CNN!
    I met you on Sanjay Gupta’s blog.
    He is now my hero.

  6. That’s funny about the strange searches that bring people in. That’s the thing that always surprises me. People get to my blog with the weirdest combination of words. I can’t help but think that they are disappointed when they get there.

  7. Hi Lynn, saw your story on CNN.com and thought it was incredible! Congrats on such a rewarding accomplishment; your story’s very encouraging!

  8. Hi,
    Your blog is quite inspiring, and congratulations on losing so much weight. I was wondering whether you had any issues with loose skin after losing so much weight? I am 5’4″ and weight around 17 st (240lb or so). I would like to loose weight but am paranoid about ending up with saggy flesh.

  9. Hi,
    Your blog is quite inspiring, and congratulations on losing so much weight. I was wondering whether you had any issues with loose skin after losing so much weight? I am 5’4″ and weight around 17 st (240lb or so). I would like to loose weight but am paranoid about ending up with saggy flesh.

  10. The first time I googled myself, it was at the end of a google sessuib that included a lot of my more successful friends. None of them showed up on the first 15 pages of postings under their name. I did my name last – and I came up on the first page (for my participation in a trade e-newsletter). I have to admit – I felt a bit smug. But recently I have been relegated to google oblivion by a central PA artist. But I like her work, so it’s all good!

  11. I google my real name, but also my “loafingcactus” alias, which has a life of it’s own. On google at least. I keep tabs on a few people. I have a friend who committed a crime and has to wear it on his forehead– it has to be a first point of discussion with anyone he meets because it is the #1 entry that comes up on google. There’s no moving to a new town to get away from youthful indiscretion these days.

  12. Hi Lynn, thanks for the link love for Desperate Curiosity. What’s ironic is that I found your blog while Googling myself. Heh. Add that to the benefits of self-Googling. =D

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