Desperately Seeking Susan Control how you appear on Google by claiming a Google Profile

Posted by maggie.hunsucker June 26, 2009

google_logoOn the first day of class, a professor in Journalism school asked us to google ourselves, because “you’d be surprised what your name is attached to”.  Of course, that was ten years ago, before social media profiles and Facebook usernames.  Heck, it was even before Merriam-Webster recognized “googling” as a proper verb.

Thing is, when someone googles your name (for business research, contact information, cyberstalking), you don’t know what they will get.  Sure, we can throw some SEO tips your way, but you’re still at the mercy of Google.  Will searchers get the best representation of you?  Will they even get you – or someone who shares your name?

Take control of your world wide self with Google Profiles. This is Google’s way of asserting some order in the process of searching for people online.   Here’s how it works: you fill out a profile form with information like where you live, work, and where you went to school.  You can add a short bio blurb and some fun facts about yourself (your superpower, interests, etc).   Then, attach links to your profile, like your website, blog, or even, your spanky new Facebook vanity URL.   If you want to, you can include photos and direct contact information.  When you’re finished, claim your profile page and personal URL (http://google.com/profiles/yourname).

Whether you’re looking to create an online presence or just solidify the one you got, Google Profiles is a smart move. If you’re reticent to put yourself out there, consider the alternatives.  Someone else’s online activity could be harmful to your reputation.

Google Profiles has automatic Flickr and Picasa integration, so you can grab and share photos from your personal photo album.

You may already have a Google Profile page. Google rolled out this functionality with certain services, like Google Maps, back in 2007. Currently, profile pages show up at the bottom of traditional search results.

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