Google Yourself

D   Edgar Degas   Madame Jeantaud in the mirror

We’ve all done it. It’s the narcissistic indulgence of the information age. But googling yourself may be more than an ego-gratifying glance in the online mirror. What people see when they google you might just play some role in whether someone picks up the phone to contact you, or someone else.

People expect to be able to find information about lawyers online.

Currently, and for the foreseeable future, the most likely place they go to find this information is Google. And what they find there, at least in some part, matters to them in their hiring decision.

What to search

Go to Google. Actually go to Google’s homepage, as opposed to, entering your name into your browser’s address bar. Start by searching for your name (I’ll pick-on Sam for purposes of this example):

sam glover Google Search 640x113 Google Yourself

Notice that Google begins to suggest queries before I even complete Sam’s name. These predictive queries can have an impact on searcher behavior, especially if you’re, say, the President:

obama search 640x107 Google Yourself

If your name triggers auto-complete options, you should write them down and google those too. They may turn up very different results.

In addition to searching on auto-complete terms, you should also search on Google’s related search queries. These can typically be found at the bottom of the search results page:

search related to sam glover Google Search Google Yourself

Finally, you should also brainstorm other permutations of your name. These might include queries like:

  • sam glover attorney
  • sam glover law firm
  • sam glover reviews
  • sam glover testimonials
  • sam glover minneapolis

Think about keywords that people who are looking for information about you might use in addition to your name.

Better yet, have a friend google you

With Google’s addition of a social layer, search results are becoming more and more personalized and localized. Which means that what you see when you google yourself, can be much different from what other people see when they search for you. For example, when perform an unpersonalized search for Sam, I see:

unpersonalized search sam glover Google Yourself

And when I perform a personalized search (logged into my Google account):

personalized search for sam glover e1359138279431 640x375 Google Yourself
As you can see, the results have been “socially modified” and include Google+ results. This is an example of why having Google+ profiles and pages will become more important in terms of search results.

Obviously, you can’t emulate other people’s unique search experiences. However, you can see what people who know you (and are connected with you online) can see when they search.

Don’t like what you see?

We’ve previously discussed how you can manage and monitor your reputation online. This is yet another reason why using your real name online matters.

You can also help to put your best foot forward by encouraging people who hold you in high regard to express themselves on rating sites.

It’s also a reason claim various profiles, like Avvo, Yelp and LinkedIn that have high domain authority and are likely to appear for searches on your name.

View your online footprint from the vantage point of those that might look for you online. Take a good look. If you were researching yourself, would you be impressed? Would you be motivated to contact you?

(Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/centralasian/5758911285/)

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