It’s Not Vain to Google Yourself

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Not too long ago I wrote a guest blog post for an acting website. In the post, I joked about how, whenever you’re about to go on a first date with someone, you should Google them first (it would be silly not to!). Along that same train of thought, I talked about why it’s important to Google yourself so you know what kinds of things come up when someone types your name in the search bar.

Google Yourself

Not surprisingly, there were a few scoffing remarks about how vain it is to Google yourself. I’m not sure why, but it seems like people still think that searching for yourself online is vain. It’s not. Instead, it’s actually a really good way to measure your reputation and see yourself as others see you. It’s also an important way to monitor what sort of information about you is public – for instance, a few years ago I searched my name and found my street address and phone number listed. Yikes! That came down as soon as possible!

Blog For Your Reputation

These days, it’s inevitable that at some point there will be information about yourself posted online that you don’t want public. It could be an image of you getting a little tipsy at the company picnic last year, or some remarks that you just really wish weren’t online.

The good news is, when you blog regularly, you have control over the content that comes up first if someone Google searches your name. Search engines prioritize the more frequently updated websites, so if you post every week, that photo from your high school reunion will quickly be buried in the countless pages of internet information.

This is why I believe blogging is so important!

Set Up Your Google Alerts

It’s really easy to have a running Google search on yourself when you set up a Google Alert. This essentially means that Google will continually search for your name in all its data, and every time your name comes up, you will receive an email. I recommend setting alerts for your name, your company name, and several commonly misspelled variations of both.

I also have alerts set for my theater company, The City Shakespeare Company, so I can capitalize on any articles that are written about us in the local papers or blogs.

Go to www.google.com/alerts. Type in the names you wish to monitor. If it’s more than one word, put quotation marks around the phrase to make sure you only receive the most relevant results.

I’m curious to see what you’ll find. Drop me a line in the comments area below to share what comes up.

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2 thoughts on “It’s Not Vain to Google Yourself

  1. Hi Allison,
    Thank you for writing this is valuable post. I really enjoyed reading it and I too agree with you 100% that everybody should google themselves, not for vain purposes, but to see what potential employers, business partners, clients, significant others…will see when they google you and to make sure false information isn’t circulating about you. Two true supporting stories I’ll quickly share. Story 1: Just this past Sunday, I attended a comedy show here in NYC in support of one of my comedy students/friends (I’m a Pro Comedienne & teach Stand-up Comedy), he met a producer/filmmaker at Starbucks…long story short, after reviewing my friend’s reel, the producer offered him a role in his film now in pre-production. Excited and a genuine desire to help other actors, my friend invited this producer/filmmaker to his acting class that a local B-list celebrity teaches. The filmmaker was thrilled to meet the celeb and other talented actors, he offered the celeb teacher and other actors in the class roles in the film. During a business meeting with the celeb, my friend, and another student, the student decided to google this filmmaker and discovered he was a wanted sex offender who had already served time, but was wanted for questioning in another offense…talk about WHOOOAA! I won’t go into what happened after that, but let’s just say the celeb backed out. In story 2, a friend who’s a screenwriter and successful published author, is also in pre-production of his first film (which I’m in yaaay 🙂 when actors and a few investors backed out of his project, he was stomped, didn’t know why…I googled him and discovered that he has the same name as an Ex-con with a long rap sheet…talk about WHOOOAA! He had never googled himself and learned a valuable lesson. As you stated Allison, to thy own self GOOGLE!

    • WOW! Those are crazy stories – and really important lessons! I met with a camera guy not too long ago who told me that he’d lost jobs because he had the same name as a man who produced porn. It took him a long time to figure out why people were responding so negatively to him, but when he finally Googled himself he realized what was going on. Now every time he sits down in a meeting, he states right off the bat, “Look, I have the same name as this person, but that’s not me!”

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