It’s a strange question, I know. It all started with this blog. I’ve been so excited about getting this set up and I’m determined to get as much exposure as possible, therefore I’ve been researching how to get my blog noticed by all the major search engines. While researching these search engines I also thought it’d be interesting to see what currently comes up when I type in my name (don’t laugh, you know you’ve done it at least once too!). It’s kind of amusing seeing all the hits that appear.
At the top of the list was Twitter, and not just my Twitter page, but also links to friends who follow me on Twitter. Then there’s Facebook, again not just my Facebook but also several people who are friends with me. Facebook is followed by MySpace, which I find amusing since I barely even use MySpace anymore (I have even considered shutting it down). And the hits just get weirder from there.
There are links to articles I wrote in college. Some aren’t bad. Then there’s the link to the website I had to make for a class junior year, and which they told us repeatedly before graduation we had to backup the files because everything would be deleted from the server within a year of graduating (so either they lied to us, or whoever was supposed to take down all those websites is just too lazy to do their job). There’s my grandfather’s obituary, online petitions I’ve signed and sites that seem to have appropriated my tweets. Plus a few random sites that just crawl the internet looking for information about people and post it in some kind of directory.
Ever hear of Zoominfo? They have me listed as two separate people, one who was “employed” (Ha! Employed. That’s funny) as a light technician (they also make me sound a lot more competent than I feel) by Shining Light Ministries and one who once contributed to The Etownian (“contributed?” I was freaking News Editor for 3 years!).
There were 10 pages of hits from Google. I think Webcrawler brought up 39 hits. I can’t remember how many I found through Ask.com. Several years ago when searching my name (yes, I have done this before and no, I still do not believe that you never have) I was lucky to find one full page of hits. This increase just goes to show how much more readily available information is than it was even just a few years ago; and there’s so much more information out there now.
All these blogs and social networking sites really put a lot of information out there on the web. I even found variations of my Twitter account in other languages! It’s almost scary how easily it is for people to find information on me. Even my plurk page (yes, I also plurk), which is set to private, comes up in a search (although you can’t see anything I’ve posted unless I friend you).
So if you haven’t Googled yourself lately, give it a try. You might be surprised by what comes up. If your name is as unique as mine it will be even more interesting because almost every hit actually does have to do with you, not someone else with your name. I now understand why people are always going on about being careful what information you put on the internet. Too bad my #1 goal right now is to get more exposure online. Censuring myself doesn’t really mesh well with increasing blog traffic. Besides, I didn’t find anything bad about me … at least I don’t think I did.