Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Google yourself

Do you google yourself? I do. This practice may seem narcissistic, though I just want to know what pops up when others google me. Sometime ago, when I google my name, some events/seminars that I have been part of show up. But two years ago my name wrongly appeared in a news item about raps filed against some NGO. And ever since I realized some elementary school classmates search for me in their attempts to reconnect with former batchmates, I wanted 'better' Google results for me.

A Google study says that people search for themselves because of their curiousity about what other people see when they search for their name.  But the problem is we don't have any control over the search results.
To give people a bit more control over search results, Google introduced a feature it calls a "Google profile," which users can create. Once users create a Google profile, their name, job and location (photo is optional) appears in a box on the first page of the search results for their name. Next to the thumbnail info, there's a link to a full Google profile page that resembles a Facebook page.

Google maybe jealous of the inroads made by Facebook. It fears it will suffer the same decline experience by e-Bay because of Facebook. By giving users a some control over the results that appear on a search for their name, Google hopes to take on Facebook and MySpace.

The Google profile lets you set up a personalized page on which you can include links to your blog, photos, videos, and personal website. You can include a brief bio, list your current interests, places you've lived and schools you've attended. There's also a space where you can list your "superpower", a curious attempt to be cute.

Unlike Facebook there is no feature that lets you "friend" another user. There is a "Send a message" where others with a Gmail account can send you e-mail without knowing your e-mail address. It's tight integration with Google maps enables your profile to locate you on a map, approximately.

Google says the more information you add to your profile, the higher your page is likely to be ranked on a Google search for your name and associated keywords, such as the name of your hometown, your job title or where you work or go to school. So I think my elementary school mates can find me easier on Google now and the I hope the results about the syndicated estafa raps filed against a client will be deep down in the results pages.

There may be a downside to this, however. The more richly detailed your Google profile is, the more Google knows about you. Already, Google has my photos, email, videos, blog, etc. What happens when Google suddenly goes down? It is possible, could be a problem when that happens. But I'll ponder about that later. So go and create your own profile. Meanwhile my Google profile is here.

2 comments:

  1. Pyugs - my Google profile is littered with links to the other social networks where I've staked my claim (nothing like sewing up your username to prevent someone else from posting as you). Something to think about when you consider that what we have now is sort of a land grab in cyberspace.

    Icky

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Icky, I saw your profile. You've covered a lot of ground. Nice, clean blogs, too. Cheers - Perry

    ReplyDelete

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