What Do People Find When They Search Your Name?

    By Zac Johnson | Small Business

    Have you ever “Googled” yourself? Sure… it sounds funny when you say it, but it can definitely be a serious matter if you don’t know what people are going to find!

    Let’s look at it this way… everything on the internet is tracked, posted and pretty much accessible to anyone who has enough time to put in to find it. This is especially true with social networks and blogs. Whatever you put out there is going to get indexed into the major search engines like Google, and it’s only a matter of time before someone finds it.

    So the question again… what comes up when you Google yourself?

    What Do People Find When They Search Your Name? image Depositphotos 22574615 xsWhat Do People Find When They Search Your Name?

    Go ahead and try it right now. If you don’t like what you see on the first page then there are plenty of things you can do about it, but first let’s cover a few reasons why knowing what comes up in the search results is important.

    Jobs are Now Searching Google Before Hiring

    With the economy the way it is, it’s now harder than ever to get a great job. Throw in how easy it is for anyone to get on the internet and do some quick history on someone, now it’s even harder. A simple search of your name can easily display all of your social pages, pictures on flickr and lots of other content.

    If you are applying for a job the last thing you want is for your potential employer to come across your silly blog or even worse, your Twitter and Facebook updates. The best way to avoid these problems is to think about what you post before you post it. Also be sure to set your privacy settings when possible.

    What’s in a Name Anyway?

    In this next example you can either be lucky or quite unlucky. The ability for someone to find a lot of information on you also has a lot to do with what your name is and how it’s spelled.

    Let’s look at two different examples, yet very similar at the time.

    The first set of search results will be for “Jane Smith”.

    You will notice that a wide range of results are shown, ranging from individuals, doctors, actors and more. If your name was “Jane Smith” you could actually be appearing on the first page of Google if you had some personal social networking profiles out there.

    What Do People Find When They Search Your Name? image Jane Smith Google ResultsWhat Do People Find When They Search Your Name?

    Now let’s take another fun twist and see what would happen if your name was “Joe Smith” instead.

    In this case you really have no chance of ranking because you would have the same name as a popular basketball player! This could be good or bad for you. Good if you really don’t want anyone to find you in the search results, bad if you do want to be found.

    What Do People Find When They Search Your Name? image Joe Smith Google ResultsWhat Do People Find When They Search Your Name?

    Just another example of how things play out when you Google yourself! You never know how else might be out there with the same name as you!

    Search Results Are NOT Forever

    The good news is that the search results that Google provides aren’t forever and they are changing on a daily basis. If you would like to improve your rankings for your name in the search results or even remove content that you necessarily don’t want other people to see, there are plenty of ways this can be done.

    The important thing to remember is that anything you put on the internet will be out there forever and it’s much easier to get new and positive content to rank in it’s place than actually trying to get content removed from the internet.

    No matter your name or your current job status… it’s always good to know what comes up in the search results for your name, so take a few seconds and go Google yourself!

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