Because I’m so obsessed with how the search engines work and how they evolve over time, I happen to google my name pretty frequently. OK, well that and because I’m writing a book on digital reputation.
Today I dropped my name into Google and noticed that I am indexing with 347,000 results.
Did you catch the size of that number? You’d think I’d be pleased.
At first I figured that something shifted in Google’s algorithm. I usually have about 10 pages of results and that’s just because I’ve been busy commenting on blogs and writing content about lawyers and social media for a few years.
As I was scrolling through the first 20 pages (and before I saw the 347,000 number), I was smirking just a little. I was still seeing mostly entries that I recognized.
Then I started to notice my name turning up on page after page after page in connection with legal information that has nothing to do with me. And I know there is not another attorney named Tracy Thrower Conyers.
I slogged through a few more dozen pages before I realized what is probably happening.
I recently submitted myself to a law directory (that shall remain nameless pending my formal inquiry) and it appears that they are practicing a little bit of the black arts with their SEO, attaching member names to information belonging to other members.
Or at least I presume that’s where that @*%$ comes from. I know the entries have nothing to do with me.
What’s the big deal, you might ask? For me, it’s not – yet. I own enough good entries that I have the first 20-ish pages or so and nobody researching me would typically go deeper.
But what if you haven’t been busy lighting up the blogosphere for four years with witty repartee? It’s not outside the realm of possibilities that your good name could get swamped with this stuff.
And for me, I still don’t know how this story ends because I only just joined this directory a week or so ago. Maybe I’m not done watching the bad guys overtake my good digital name.
Maybe I can still stop this because I caught it early. Maybe I’ll luck out because I’m strong for the first 10+ pages.
Maybe I’m in big trouble.
What about you? Are you monitoring your good name?