7 Mar 2011

Google Me, Google You! (Part 1)

Here's the $10,000 question: who amongst you guys will be honest enough to admit that they have "googled" themselves at some point in their lives, preferably on a long solitary night, when confidence levels were low, or on the contrary to boost an already-boosted ego? Don't be ashamed and get closer to the screen because I can't hear you... Me? Hands up, I have... several times in fact! It's no big deal and if you haven't given it a whirl yet, you should, it's all fun! Whether it's good fun or not is another matter of course as we'll find out later on...

The Commodore PET 2001 PC (1977), from Old Computers - naturally!

Let's start at the beginning. Go into your favourite search engine and type in your name in the search bar. The search engine (1) needn't have to be Google of course, and (2) no, this post wasn't sponsored by said Mountain View corporation, although for the purpose of the exercise we'll just stick to the aforementioned. Now if your name is - say - John Smith or Lisa Miller - you might need to enter more than just your name on Google in order to scale down the result pages.

In my case I found out that I had a few homonyms around - always good to have homonyms as they make things a bit more anonymous on the identity side and act as some sort of a buffer zone, a protection shield like some big anti-virus software. Coz the web, man, is riddled with danger, cyberstalkers and that... So Mr John Smith or Ms Lisa Miller, you may count your blessings after all, as you can hide in peace in the realms of the cyberworld (unless you happen to be famous, like this John Smith, or this one or that one!). Point taken!

Here's Johnny (Smith)! This one's from The Dead Zone (1983)

If you have a blog or website, you can google it too and gauge its visibility on the search engine results. If you need to scroll page after page to find it, or if you need to add a long string of search words to locate it, it's not good news. Perhaps you need to give more thought to SEO (especially if you thought it's new spelling for CEO), or revisit those meta tags, even change your site's name into something shorter, snappier, easier to spell or remember... And of course publicity in all its forms will help drive traffic and your blog's popularity will increase as a result, taking it right to the top of the league!

Talking of blog names, you may get a surprise or two when doing your Google search, especially if your carefully-thought blog name (or so you thought at the time!) happens to be some double-entendre (unbeknown to you!). I don't have a better example to illustrate this than by referring you to my humble blog, La Baguette Magique and I think a little digression on the subject might be worthwhile while we're at it.

Ready for my close-up? Not if it's bigger than life!

So then why did I choose La Baguette Magique? That's another $10,000 question by the way (I may well make you a millionnaire by the end of this article)! Well, the answer is that the original name I had in mind wasn't that original after all as it had already been taken, same story with second best name and third best name and so on, you get the picture.

As we all know too well, it is getting increasingly difficult to find original blog or website names as time goes, as all the best ones have already been snapped (a bit like the smart, cute and trendy guys at them school parties back in the day, remember?)... Even our John Smith guitar hero from earlier had to repeat his name twice for his URL. It just goes to show that we are seriously running out of URLs! (to be continued)

1 comment:

  1. I Google myself on a regular basis, and I think everyone should, especially if they think they might be applying for a job anytime in the near or distant future. You want to know what that prospective employer is going to see when they Google you.
    I even had a former employer who told me he had done a Google search on me after I had been working there for years. He made fun of some comments I had posted on forums. This stuff can take decades to go away - if it ever does. I haven't done anything to be ashamed of, but I have stopped signing any forum posts with my whole name.