The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article called You're a Nobody Unless Your Name Googles Well that published on May 8th. It provides a lot of good information on why your name can impact your career as well as dating (my words) and how some parents will go to lengths to make their child's name search friendly. Now, I have to be honest, I didn't Google my child's names before we gave them one, but in the scheme of how people go through the naming process it probably is a good checkoff to look at.
Personally (and my former Harrisdirect colleagues will attest to it) I've always been cognizant of what my Google results looked like. It used to be that I always made sure my resume changed from year to year, but now I need to make sure my Google results are in great shape. The reason I always kept a focus on my search results? Simple. For perspective employers and this was before it became vogue. There were several successful interviews that I've had in the past when I told the interviewee to just Google me to see what I've been up to. Also, as of late it has been very helpful in gaining new business leads as well as meeting with people who I haven't spoken to in a while.
About a year back I helped a person with starting their new blog. I tried to dig through my emails to come up with their blog and/or name but I switched PCs and couldn't find it. He was an old agency executive and claims he made up the term G-Cred. G-cred was short for Google Credibility and looked out how your search results boosted your image or didn't. He quizzed me when he first mentioned it proudly and as I recall I thought I answered it as having something to with Google. Anyway, he was quite proud of the term G-Cred especially because he believed he coined the phrase. So what's my secret tips for boosting your own G-Cred?
- Start early and focus on your results now; don't wait so that the 2 reviews you've done on Amazon end up being your #1 search results.
- If you work for a major corporation, try and get your name published in any corporate newsletters. For a while one of my top results was an in-house interview I did for an article on AT&T's Personal Network.
- Focus on official public relations releases. See if your own internet PR department can put you in any releases. Anything you can get from your own releases will be gravy. However, I got more play out of partners, especially web publishers that wanted to put out case studies or press releases on projects. #3 on my own results is a case study I did with Google while at Harrisdirect.
- Get your own URL and make sure it is a good one. I have www.ericfrenchman.com as well as pardonmyfrench.typepad.com and www.pardonmyfrench.net. So when people Google me those websites show up at the top of the search results.
- Blog because Google loves indexing blogs and you get to control your own spin so people can see how you think. If you don't have the time to blog, try and visit your favorite blogs and leave comments. If the blog is popular enough, your comment will get indexed too.
There you go. My top 5 tips for upping your own G-Cred. It is very important now to make sure that your results reflect how you want to be seen by the community. Otherwise, you'll lose control of your own spin and perhaps your credibility in front of people you care about.