Admit it - you have Googled your own name. It's okay. Me too. And other people have Googled you. I really mean Googled, not just searched online.
Now, Google has released something called Google Me that allows you to set up an "official" profile for yourself that will turn up when someone uses Google to search for you.
If you have a Google account (Gmail etc.) and you just enter the word "me" in the search box and submit, you will be given a link to set up (or edit) your Google Profile. If you do that, next time someone searches for your name that profile should be displayed at the bottom of the search results page. (You also have to select to display your full name on the edit profile page.
A few years ago, I tried to "claim" my online identity using a site called ClaimID where I created an official page about me
that actually linked to my sites and blogs etc.
Like that site, Google Profiles is free - but they still have a price. The price is that you are giving some more of your private information to the world. The profiles are connected to online accounts and websites that contain information about you. For example, mine shows you my recent Flickr photo uploads. Of course, no one forced me to upload those photos or to make them public. That was my decision.
Wouldn't you want
to change the Google results for your name? That is what Profiles is allowing - to a degree. I can't remove Google's links to things that I might wish would go away online.
For people like my friend Steve Smith, multiple profiles are going to show up at the bottom of the page. (I read that up to 4 profiles might appear.) Adding more information to your profile probably makes it more likely that your
actual profile will be displayed. Also, people are still going to pay the most attention to the things at the TOP of the search results, not at the bottom.
Here are some tips that Google offers to make your profile more "useful":
- Add information about yourself on the Edit profile
page so people can find you when they search by keywords associated with your profile. For example, include details such as the name of your hometown, your job title, where you work or go to school.
- Link to your profile on another website (for instance, your blog or online photo album).
- If you have a common name, add enough information about you to distinguish your profile from similar ones. Photos are especially useful.
- Verify your name
, and get a "Verified" badge on your profile. Verify alternate addresses
on your account.
Below is a sample of what my profile looked like when I finished the process. (Chances are that I have already changed it.)
Does everyone need a Google Profile? No. You also don't need a cell phone, email, 60 inch HDTV, a car, NetFlix or wine at lunch. There are wants and needs, and then there are those tricky relative
wants and needs.Your online identity probably falls somewhere in that second group.