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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Have You Googled Yourself Lately?

Guest Article by Marijo Tinlin, Principal, Sunrise Business Consulting.

If you are currently looking for a job, chances are very good anyone who considers hiring you (or even interviewing you) is going to do a search for you on the web. Have you Googled yourself lately to see what they’re going to find? Are you happy with what they may find?
In this post, I’ll give you an idea of what to expect based on the searches I did for myself.

I searched for myself this morning and was amazed at the things I found. The first 85 Google entries – approximately 8 pages in – were relevant to me. The sites it found were numerous – search sites, Jigsaw, blog posts and blogger sites, a lot of Twitter-related links and my website and my business’s website as well as comments I’ve left on other sites. Surprisingly, my Facebook profile and LinkedIn profile were not on the first page.
A year and half ago, before I got really active in social media, the first 5 Google entries were me and then it fell apart, so you can see what kind of wide footprint you may have on-line. Also, check other search engines like Yahoo and Bing. The first 5 results on Yahoo were similar to Google but then it was much different and not always relevant to me. On Bing, my LinkedIn and Facebook profiles were at the top of the page, so you can see the algorithms are quite different on all these engines.

The very first site to appear was 123People which is basically a conglomerate of all the things they can find about people on-line – pictures, email, Twitter id, public records, criminal check (I was clean, thankfully), even my Amazon wish list! The next site was something called Whuffie, which is basically a “points system” site based on Twitter activities. Does anyone know why that ranks so high in organic search?
Then came the Jigsaw listing from my last full-time position, a ton of blogger sites that I belong to as well as links to my own blog and a guest blog post I recently wrote for Hubspot’s Mike Volpe. Also listed were comments I’ve left on other blog posts; luckily, they’re all business-appropriate and G-rated.

The most surprising listings were all the Twitter-related posts. Not only was my personal Twitter (@mnewtontinlin) account listed there, but also my appearance on many other people’s list of followers. Likewise, there were many Twitter-related sites listed such as Twiscouter, Twellow and Listorious, the last of which is basically lists that individuals put

together of people they follow.

So, be aware of the electronic trail you are leaving with any activities you do on-line. If you are looking for a job, or will be someday (as pretty much everyone reading this will be), think before you leave a curse-filled rant on someone’s blog post, or before you upload those blurry phone-cam photos from last night’s trip to the pub. There’s a lot about you out there, and your next potential employer will see it. Do a search now so you’ll know what to expect.

If you do find something you aren’t happy about, see about deleting it, although that’s not always going to erase it permanently. Also, generate other content that’s positive and of course, more recent. The more good stuff you get out there about yourself now will weigh heavier in the search engines since they’re looking for recency as well as relevancy.

Marijo Tinlin is the principal at Sunrise Business Consulting, which helps small and emerging businesses and entrepreneurs get traction in business, sales and marketing. Her specialities include all facets of marketing including inbound/content marketing, database marketing and search engine optimization. Marijo can be reached at or 303-807-9790.

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