Thursday, July 30, 2009

What Would Happen If I Googled You?

I Googled my name "paula naugle" today and Google returned 2,070 results in 0.23 seconds. I had to go to the fourth page to find a result that was about a different Paula Naugle than me. So what you might ask. Am I being egotistical? a narcissist? a braggart? Who cares?

I have to admit the first time I ever Googled myself I was being egotistical. I wanted to see my name in that famous of all search engines - Google. And there I was about 3 or 4 pages in. Today I did it for an entirely different reason. I'm checking my digital footprint. What trail am I leaving behind that can forever be pulled up by someone else's search of me?

Please read this post that I borrowed from Seth Godin's Blog. It is short but delivers a huge message.

A friend advertised on Craigslist for a housekeeper.
Three interesting resumes came to the top. She googled each person's name.
The first search turned up a MySpace page. There was a picture of the applicant, drinking beer from a funnel. Under hobbies, the first entry was, "binge drinking."
The second search turned up a personal blog (a good one, actually). The most recent entry said something like, "I am applying for some menial jobs that are below me, and I'm annoyed by it. I'll certainly quit the minute I sell a few paintings."
And the third? There were only six matches, and the sixth was from the local police department, indicating that the applicant had been arrested for shoplifting two years earlier.
Three for three.
Google never forgets.
Of course, you don't have to be a drunk, a thief or a bitter failure for this to backfire. Everything you do now ends up in your permanent record. The best plan is to overload Google with a long tail of good stuff and to always act as if you're on Candid Camera, because you are.