If you’ve Googled your name in the past few weeks then you’ve likely seen the changes to the SERPs. Profiles with corresponding images are now shown at the bottom of search results; up to four profiles are shown. The search result includes your Google profile listing, and gives you a one-click search option to find the person in question on MySpace, Facebook, Classmates, and LinkedIn.
"When searching for yourself to see what others would find, results can be varied and aren’t always what you want people to see — whether it’s someone else with your name, or the finishing time from that 5K you ran back in 2002. We want to make that better and give you more of a voice," says Google’s Brian Stoler
Branding yourself, not only your business, has been made easier with Google’s recent change. Over night celebrities, like this fall’s Joe the Plumber, could have likely benefited from Google’s change. When curiosity seekers tried to find more about Joe the Plumber, they’d likely Google his name, and they would have probably come across his social networking pages. The voyeuristic tendencies we all have would have led us to peruse his social profiles, friend him, and maybe leave a joking remark on one of his pages. Overnight, Joe the Plumber could have feasibly had insta-celebrity status on Facebook, MySpace, Classmates, and LinkedIn. Before the change, he would have had to plan a full fledge social media marketing
campaign to provide the same results.
Wouldn’t you rather be prepared in advance for your one in a million chance at overnight internet stardom? Well, for some of you that is. Check out Barry Schwartz’s listing below. His profile only comes up when searching for "Barry Swartz", a misspelling of his name. This is because his name, spelled correctly, is shared with several others. So if you have a very common name, be forewarned that your insta-celebrity status might be compromised.
The constant shift in Google’s algorithms to allow for weighting of social media pages, like I wrote about a few weeks ago
, is proof positive that social media is where it’s at. It also tells me I should be a little more cautious with those comments and surveys I do on Facebook and MySpace!