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Have you ‘googled’ yourself lately?

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Next time you are at a loose end, try googling yourself. For those who do not know, you google yourself by searching for your own name on the Google search engine site (www.google.com). You might be amazed at how much information there is available about you out there on the internet.

Knowing what information is available about yourself on the Internet is important. Google is the world’s most popular search engine. It is used by several hundred million people each day, and the chances of someone googling you, if they haven’t already done so, are great. {{more}}

Business people google clients and competitors, clients google lawyers, doctors or accountants and men and women google persons they are interested in a personal relationship with to see if what they have been told is true or what is the perception out there of that individual or entity.

Hopefully, the information you find on the internet about yourself is true and portrays you in a positive light. If there is erroneous information about you out there, you can and should take corrective measures to change this.

Also, while it may be amusing to find out you have a web presence, let’s hope that too much of your personal information is not available to those who may wish you ill. Having information on the internet like your date of birth, home address, children’s names and schools, etc. may not be a good idea.

Google as an entity does not have much information outside of what they collect when searches are done. It is the web sites/databases that have the information. You should, if you can, therefore contact the owner of the website that has the incorrect information about you and see if you can have it changed or removed. This however, is easier said than done.

On the other hand, many business people want to be found and take measures to ensure that when searches are done, their name or that of their business, along with informative, flattering content appears in the first ten results. For them, not being found at all is tantamount to being invisible on the web. Since many persons use the internet as their primary source of information, not being found can cost them business. There are measures that can be taken to increase the chances that when a search is done on you or your business, you can be easily found.

So how do you google yourself?

Enter your name in the search box at www.google.com and then hit the enter key. Make sure you use double quotes around your name, eg. “Mary Jones” so that the search engine only returns “hits” with your exact name, and not sites with just your first name or your last name. Let me know what you find.

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