Let’s all admit it, privately if that makes you feel better, that we’ve googled ourselves– ‘ego-surfing’ its been called. If you own a business and want to be well-known, then you probably want to be found when someone googles your name. Get yours here.
In April, 2009, Google infused its profile services with the option to ‘claim’ your name. The greatest advantage to doing this is that Google promises that if you fill out a profile, when someone does a name search on you, it will appear at the bottom of the first page in a Google search. This could be a huge benefit for the small business trying to be found on-line. Have your business name show up right under your name – you choose how to fill it out and how much to reveal about yourself. This is another free service from Google – the only requirement is that you have a Google account and email address.
Filling out the profile form is a bit like Facebook, but much quicker. You can list places you’ve lived, places you’ve worked, schools you’ve attended and your interests, There’s a bio form where you can do an ‘about me’ section. There is an option to put links in this form to direct your friends and associates to a particular site or announcement you may have.
It might be good to set up a Picasa or Flickr account, if you don’t have one, as there is a section to display pictures right under your name when people look at your profile. Pictures enhance your profile and you can use it as a business tool, or just for fun.
There is a contact information section for listing your email address, phone number, address. By default, this information is private. You control who can see this information. This is accomplished by either setting up some groups, or using the groups you may already have set up – for instance your contacts are considered a group. If you want to post your IM handle, you can do it here.
After the information about you is filled out and tweaked to your privacy requirements, then you can start adding links to all your social networking, blog and websites. If you’re a heavy Google user, you’ll see these fields pre-populated for you, but you can choose to show them or not. Add Facebook, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, Twitter – anything you can link to, you can have show up here.
If you choose to make your contact information private, (and I did), be sure you check the ‘allow’ box below so people can get in touch with you somehow without revealing your email address.
If you wish to delve deeper into Google Profiles, check out Danny Sullivan’s post in Search Engine Land as he has more detail, including more screenshots and information on how to verify your profile.
Privacy Concerns? Here is one article on this subject from…wired.com – “Google Wants You To Profile Yourself”.
Curious about who has filled out a profile – check out the Google Profiles page and do a search! I filled mine out just yesterday and it showed up right away at the bottom of the first page. What are some of your experiences?