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Marketing

The power of unique names in the age of Google

The Wall Street Journal has published an article recently titled “You’re a Nobody Unless Your Name Googles Well” that’s been making the rounds on various popular blogs. Reminds me of what I found when I Googled myself a short while ago. I took a screen shot of it and put it on my Flickr.

In the age of Google, being special increasingly requires standing out from the crowd online. Many people aspire for themselves — or their offspring — to command prominent placement in the top few links on search engines or social networking sites’ member lookup functions.

So, instead of doing it the hard way by starting a blog and building up enough inbound links to climb to the top on merit, people are resorting to assigning their kids very unique names in what is clearly black hat search engine optimization!

As for making sure people know Neil McIntyre means me, I’ve done the proactive thing and set up my identity at ClaimID and Wink. My ClaimID page also lists links to other Neil McIntyres, under the heading “Not Me”. Everyone should be setting up their own ClaimID and claiming things online that they’ve done or are about them.

ClaimID’s blog even has an entry related to the above article.

The approach that seems to be popular in identity search is a hybrid of search + claiming. Knowing that models will never fully disambiguate or find any one individual, the search engines allow individuals to claim related results, creating a dossier of sorts. Of course, this is the approach we’ve always taken in ClaimID – you know yourself, and we’re not going to try to design an algorithm that knows you better than you do.

Making a name for yourself has never been easier. At the same time, it is only going to get more difficult maintaining your name as the Web continues to grow.

Indeed, it’s such a challenge that there are blogs dedicated to the idea and art of personal branding, such as QuickSprout, which written by a fellow Neil. He blogs about branding through social networks like Facebook, provides some quick and dirty ways to brand yourself, and explains a key reason for taking control of your personal brand.

What are you doing to set yourself apart from the crowd? Will you do anything to ensure your kids are Google-able?

Categories
Marketing

Are recruiters really using the internet?

A long time ago, before I bought this domain and set up this blog, I Googled myself to see what came up. What came up, was Neil McIntyre Photography, at neilmcintyre.com. It’s taken about a year, but I’m now the #1 result when you Google me. Great success!

On a related note, I keep reading that recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly using the internet to search about their candidates. Most articles focus on these inquisitive people finding embarrassing pictures which result in the candidate not getting the job (which I guess makes for a juicier story from a readership standpoint), but this post on Web Worker Daily focuses on improving your online “brand” and using it positively to get jobs.

So why is it that of the many recruiters I’ve talked to since passing the UFE, precisely none of them have mentioned that they’ve seen my blog? As noted in the first paragraph, it’s easily found. The whole thing is very puzzling.

Update: Here’s another interesting take on the recruiting industry: “I’ve been increasingly annoyed by the spammy, mail-merged, sugar-laced drivel that passes for “personalized” contact these days.” Read the rest, it’s gold!

Categories
Marketing

Google Analytics is open to all

I’ve been using Google Analytics for a little while now to track my blog’s vital statistics, and it’s a pretty well-rounded package, not that I have anything to compare it to.

But to sign up for it, you had to submit your application and then wait for them to let you in, presumably because they were trying to slow down the rollout and not overload their servers.

Well the floodgates are open now, as it has been announced on the Google Analytics Blog and verified by yours truly, you can sign up immediately for the service and reap the benefits of getting to know your site’s visitors in greater depth.