2008-08-24

Google Twins & How to be Number 1

Ever do some "Echo Surfing" (search your own name in Google or another search engine) only to find another person with the exact name. While finding a Google Twin may more common for some than others, what happens if that other you represents something you're not and has the potential to damage your reputation. What if a potential employer or client Googles your name and finds them instead and thinks you are them and there are some not nice things out there about them.

This is something that all of us and not just those of us who choose to be in the public eye (like myself) have to start addressing. Think your name is so unique, try Googling yourself with both the correct spelling and common misspellings of your name. I might be the only "Alan K'necht", but there is at least one other "Alan Knecht" out there.

Perhaps, these are some of the reasons that the Canada's National Post reporter Brianna Goldberg, decided to see what happened when she Googled herself and her subsequent drive to dominate the top 10 results for her name on Google.

Her journey to Google domination including quotes and advice from myself and another expert are contained in her article entitled "Google Twins: I want to be number 1" (http://www.nationalpost.com/life/story.html?id=743136).


This article makes a great read and provides lots of useful information. Let's help show the world the power of links by adding the article to your Stumble Upon, Digg, etc. account or better yet, blog about it and link to it with the words "Google Twins"” in the link text.

2 comments:

Gustav Thinks said...

Hi, Allan
You are so right. From my own experience, I can testify that a search result of your own name, that brings up some else in the first page of results, can cause problems in incontinences. People on the net can assume about any name they want, and if your unlucky, you find yourself with a very doughty web twin.
One partial solution is to assume your own unique web name whom you reveal only to people who should know it.
Of course, this will not work when you have to go by your own name, who happens to be someone else's favorite.
I wonder, how is this solved on much older services. I mean, in Israel's phone book, there must be more than 200 people called “Moshe Cohen”. I don't know hoe the phone company sorts them and in what order (probably by address ?) but they sure don't use Google for it.
Anyway, I'll read the article and maybe it'll make me wiser.
Gusta.Thinks
http://gustavthinks.blogspot.com/

Alan K'necht said...

Gustav,

I agree, it doesn't have to be an Israeli phone book, how many John Smiths are in the UK, US or Canada phone books. I think is every society this is a problem. When it comes to phone books, I've noticed they generally go to a second sort of street name. This way someone looking for your phone number has a secondary reference.

The problem with the web is people just type in a name and perhaps a city. If information about you doesn't have your city then it is very possible that your twin will show up. What if you have Google Twins in the same city as yourself, how can someone figure out who's who?

I remember years ago working for a company and we had 3 Robert Johnstons working there. The original got to keep his name, one became Bob and another was Rob (not by choice). Back then we still had a central person answering the phones and she always had to ask when someone called asking for "Robert Johnston" or "Bob Johnston" etc. - "With which department are you looking for?". She couldn't rely on the outside world calling the individuals by the same version we did internally.

So goes life.