Though it may seem a little silly to Google yourself (and your company), you really should do it. Why? People who are considering doing business with you have been doing it for years! And, because Google constantly changes their ranking algorithm, what you saw on the search engines results page last month, may look different from what is there today.
When you are small business owner, your name is your brand. You need to be able to see what other people have to say about you—and what people are seeing when they look for you. The same can be said if you are part of a larger business.
Even if you are not a small business owner, it is important to know what comes up in the search engines for your name. If you are on the job market, your prospective employers are going to see what they can find about you.
The more common your name, the less likely you’ll find results about yourself within the first few pages of results. Use a middle initial or a nickname to help you distinguish between the results pertaining to you and the results that pertain to other people with your first and last name.
How Often Should You Google Yourself?
It is easy to become obsessed with Googling yourself, because you want to see if new results are added. But, even if people are talking about you, you may not see them because they won’t necessarily make it to the top pages right away.
Google yourself at least once a month. Monitor changes. Remember, highly popular websites such as: Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and LinkedIn are likely to be among the top results. If you have a website that uses your name as the domain, it will rank high as well, because it matches your search query. If you run a business that gets reviews on sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, etc., those will rank high as well.
How Many Results Matter?
Most people who use search engines do not bother with going beyond the end of page two of the search engine results. If you’d like, you can take time to go through the first three pages, but going beyond that is not necessary.
If you see a lot of negative comments within those first few pages, then it may be time to invest in online reputation management (ORM). This will help you adjust what comes up under a search of your name or business, so you can look good to customers. When customers have a negative opinion of you, you’re likely going to see a decline in sales. Your online reputation matters!
Google Alerts Tutorial
Google Alerts is a wonderful tool. You can set an alert for any search query you want—be it your name, or your favorite subject. Google will alert you, either as it happens, every day, or once a week when a new result comes up for your query. You can also choose between seeing all results, or only the best. All results will be more effective in seeing all the Internet chatter.
This is an excellent way to track when someone online mentions:
- Your name
- Your brand
- Your product or service
Google Alerts are a valuable ORM tool. By paying attention to new results, you can determine whether it is a negative issue that must be addressed immediately, or a positive issue that is worth press.
Whether you do it for fun or for educational purposes, taking time to Google yourself is more important than you may think!