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Adapted from Huddle Productions article:  http://www.huddleproductions.com/?p=290

GOOGLE Yourself

Original article by Chris Yates on September 11, 2009; Keith’s version … November 10, 2009

Several months ago, my friend Chris asked, “Have you ever Googled yourself?”  Most of us, would not readily admit it to this as it might make you seem very conceited.  And, in this day of the “brandividual,” I think it plays an important role.

Having earned my MBA many years ago, my identify has been closely associated with my employers or clients.  This list includes Nortel Networks, The Princeton Review, Sabre Holdings (formerly The Sabre Group), Nokia, Expedia.com, Hilton Hotels, FedEx, Chevron, Infosys, and LexisNexis.  If you Googled any one of those companies, you wouldn’t find me (unless you’re on Linked-In, then you might find me), but you will find a lot about them.

So, back to my questions:  What happens when you Google yourself?  Are you on the first page of search results?   If so, what are you doing to get there?  If your nowhere on the site do you think that matters?

Personally, I think we have to move past thinking that Googling yourself is tied to being vain.  You should not think of it as bragging or vanity because it’s really about measuring what you are doing to market yourself and determining what is working.  I know it has helped me and Chris tremendously understand how to be more effective online.

Two years ago, Chris Googled himself and had only one mention on the first page of Google results (and this was after 20 years in broadcast journalism).  For me, it was zero.  Turns out there are quite a few people named “Keith Knox” in the world and many of them seem to be leading very interesting lives:  race car driver, professional soccer player, professional boxer, professional table tennis player, scientist, musician, etc.

Chris and I then shifted our focus to marketing his company and brand online.  The results have been interesting for both of us.  Now when you Google Chris or myself the majority of mentions on the first page of Google are for us (and not the other Chris’ or Keith’s from two years ago)!

Please don’t feel odd about Googling yourself.  You should feel worse if your name is all over the front page and it’s NOT YOU.  Personally, I believe in a few years that business cards will become obsolete.  Everyone instead will say, “Just Google me!”