Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Web-search YOU ;)

My last post was about web presence. This took me onto self-googling, now a verb. But in proper lingo, it could be any search engine.


Why do it? I think it would convince you of the value of your own website. It really is the only place where you control the content and look of your face in the digital world.


If you have a horror of looking at what a search would uncover, there must be deeper issues involved that a good therapist or a close friend may help you sort out. But for most of us, checking on what pops up when we insert our own name is not so bad.


Because, for most of us, there will be something but not a lot.
I have two close friends who informed me I would find nothing whatsoever if I searched them. Both are proud to not be on any social network, have no websites, and no arrest records. Yup, any of the above will bring up something, and they assured me there shouldn’t be anything that pertains to them. So I took the dare.


WRONG.


If you have a common name and surname combination, you will have to wade through many links to find the right you. Both of my not-on-Facebook-etc. friends have distinctive names, and oh-mama, I found them right off the bat. I found where they live, what they paid for their home(s), names of people in their immediate families, and more that I will not list because they chose not to be searchable, so why make it more grating than it is.


There are ways to eliminate some of these finds by opting out, but more info aggregators constantly pop up. It a game of whack-a-mole, or whack-em-all, which is exhausting and unachievable.


This bring me back to those who want (or need for professional reasons) to be found on the net, but would like the finds to be accurate representations. Self-googling has shown me that my age was confused with my husband’s, thus aging me prematurely. (Though my age was given to him, which he thought rather nifty.) I supposedly lived in the past in cities I never did, (but lived near them in a shared zip code) and a few more inaccuracies. Thus, I know the “facts” aren’t right.


The social networks provide free exposure, but they determine the aesthetic. If your place of employment has your name and photograph, this, too, is graphically a reflection of their sensibilities.

And so the only place where you are really you, or the public you that you care to be, is your own site.


And if you really don’t care who sees what wherever, have no external reason to care, count yourself off the grid and happily so, then this is of no relevance to you.
But maybe think about it after self-googling.

17 comments:

  1. Another reason to google yourself occasionally is to find pirated stuff.

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    1. This, also. Though I must admit I have had little success in mitigating it.

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  2. Actually, self-googling (my son would probably not be happy with that being lower-case, since he works for Google :)) likely won't give you an accurate picture of what other people get when they google you. Google's algorithm for what shows up in your search results is based on your past internet activity. Your past internet activity is different from those other people who might be searching for you.

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    1. There's always the public library's computer...

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  3. I haven't googled myself in a while. Eek. Maybe I should.

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    1. I think you'll like what you'll see, Kelly. But I do get that "eeky" feeling about this.

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  4. I wondered about that, Ev. Hmmm, I might try the library one of these days. Thanks

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    1. I actually did that when I traveled to a different state last April , and went into a branch library for an unrelated reason. I was given thirty minutes on the computer, and after I took care of what I needed to, I did the self-googling. For me, the results were identical.

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  5. Sometimes this brings happy surprises, such as being a bibliographic reference for a non-fiction topic. And sometimes, there are references to your family that you would rather be kept private (from an obituary notice).

    But it's good to know what is out there...

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    1. "...sometimes, there are references to your family that you would rather be kept private (from an obituary notice)"
      As a storyteller, I found this^ an intriguing comment.:O
      I hope you use it in your writing. ;)

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  6. "It a game of whack-a-mole, or whack-em-all, which is exhausting and unachievable." This is especially true with all the geology enthusiasts posting their finds, which are frequently inaccurate. A Google search may reveal you are your own grandmother!

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    1. :D I'd be happy to be YOUR grandmother, Vonna, or anybody's!

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  7. Interesting to think about and to self-google ourselves. Sometimes an online friend will turn up under our own names because we've shared comments or whatever, which is fun to see. And yes, I've noticed informational mistakes, as well.

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    1. A close friend told me two days ago that a site that reports your income range had her swimming in $$$ when she's post bankruptcy and unemployed.

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  8. I hadn't self-googled in a long while, so your post prompted a new search. It's mind-boggling indeed to see oneself online in detail--13,700 sites in just seconds. And I don't do FB or tweet. Sometimes it feels as though someone's looking in the window and there's no drapery!

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