It’s not a matter of if you are googled (or binged or yahooooooooood!) it’s a matter of when. Let’s be real; someone, an employer, a client, a potential client and the NSA ( 😉 ) has already used a search engine to research you. So the question that needs to be asked; what did they see?
If you are job hunting, search engine results could (and increasingly do) determine if you get a job. It’s no secret that companies are using social media as part of the recruitment process. As Fox points out:
“It used to be that job candidates were judged on their resume, cover letter and references before the in-person interview. But now with social media, job candidates are being fully examined before even stepping foot into a human resources department”
It’s also no secret that résumés are less effective. In a January 2012 Wall Street Journal article Christina Cacioppo (of Union Square Ventures) stated:
“A résumé doesn’t provide much depth about a candidate. We are most interested in what people are like, what they are like to work with, how they think.”
How do Union Square Ventures find out “what people are like” and “how they think”? They “asked applicants to send links representing their ‘Web presence’, such as a Twitter account or Tumbler blog.”
An important fact to consider is that opinions about your professionally ability and personal character are being formed using your Web presence. How can you protect yourself? Some people simply opt out. They have decided that not engaging in the social Web will somehow protect them. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as that. Google’s own Chairman Eric Schmidt points out in his April 2013 book “The New Digital Age”:
“The true cost of remaining anonymous might be irrelevance.”
The good news is that you can protect yourself and shape those opinions. Here’s the proof; search for me and you will see my Follr Digital Identity Website is top of Google, number one organically. I’m OK with LinkedIn and Facebook coming in second and third because they represent part of my story (albeit a siloed portion of the whole thing). The important thing though is that you, Christina Cacioppo, Eric Schmidt and everyone else sees my version of my story:
Still don’t think this is important? Schmidt has been very public on just how important this subject is:
“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results”
“The shift from having one’s identity shaped off‐line and projected online to an identity that is fashioned online and experienced off‐line will have implications for citizen, states and companies as they navigate the new digital world.  Your online identity in the future is unlikely to be a simple Facebook page; instead it will be a constellation of profiles, from every online activity.”
Cacioppo was hired “After she complied a profile comprising her personal blog, Twitter feed, LinkedIn profile, and links to social-media sites Delicious and Dopplr, which showed places where she had traveled.” so let’s be really real. If you haven’t searched for your name online you need to now! And no matter what you find start telling your story today with Follr.