Scan Me – Scan You Assignment

I must confess I was surprised by the results of my “Scan Me – Scan You” assignment, for which we were tasked to Google ourselves. It must have been over a year and a half ago since I have searched for myself on the internet, as I recall having to search by my maiden name, White. When I went by Kaitlin White there was also a well-known gymnast by the same name, and apparently a Miss Teen USA by that name as well.

Below are the search result for Kaitlin White.

Kaitlin White

Kaitlin White the gymnast, which was quite ironic because I did gymnastics when I was younger.

Kaitlin White the gymnast, which was quite ironic because I did gymnastics when I was younger.

While there are many spellings to the name Kaitlin, the word “white” serving as an adjective, noun and verb, affects the search results for my former name.


Although I have made an effort to brand my name since realizing the importance of search engine optimization, not only as a business, but as a marketer; I unfortunately cannot fully credit my search status to my stellar SEO tactics, but rather to my husband. Okay, okay – not really to my husband but to taking on a new last name, and a less common last name at that.

Kaitlin Gertner generates the results shown below. Four of the five images are headshots from various profiles/accounts, and the one image that is not a headshot of mine is a photo from my Pinterest account.

Kaitlin Gertner

The first page results for the Google search “Kaitlin Gertner” generates the following:

1: My LinkedIn Account

2: My Twitter Account

3 & 4: Pages affiliated with my employers website – my biography and one of the many blogs I have written.

5: My Pinterest Account

6: My Trulia Profile

7: My Google+ Profile

8: My personal WordPress blog – created for coursework pertaining to this program (Mass Communication Master’s with a Specialization in Social Media at the University of Florida).

9: A blog I wrote for my WordPress blog pertaining to Facebook advertisements.

I was somewhat surprised that all search results on the first page of Google were actually affiliated with me, and that those at the top of the results were some of my least active accounts.

For this assignment we were also instructed to search by our email address(es). I used to use my company email as my primary email for most all accounts; however, in recent years I have changed some to my personal Gmail account, but have not yet switched all accounts and some are easier than others (i.e. Google+). To eliminate publicising all of my emails, I will be using a description of each and general description of search results.

When I searched my company email address all first page results were affiliated with myself: Our companies team page and contact us information, blogs I have written for our website, guest blogs I have written for other websites and company accounts for which I am the primary account holder (and used my company email address for).

When I searched my Gmail address the results were less pertinent to me directly, and some were a bit puzzling. It’s during this search that I also began to wonder how my previous searches are effecting my results, as one of the results has my maiden name and my Gmail address contains my married name. Other results included organizations I am a member of, WordPress related results (including comments I’ve made on my peers blogs) and Google+ results (pages I manage and contacts, i.e. people in my circles).

When it came to searching for my University of Florida (UFL) email address, I was initially quite shocked; however, I then took into account the number of safety procedures put into place by the university in regard to email security. I don’t think I’ve ever searched Google and came up with less than a page of results. There were only three results, none of which listed my proper UF email in the meta description. I was so surprised by these results I couldn’t not include a screenshot. I’m curious if any of my peers searched their UF emails and received similar results.

KGertner UFL email search results

5 thoughts on “Scan Me – Scan You Assignment

  1. Hi Kaitlin!

    Very thorough search results. I have a niece named Kaitlyn… I love the name no matter how it is spelled. I had a unique madden name and traded it for a very common married name. (The spelling of Leia helps a bit, too) I mentioned in another reply that my results had actually shrank some in the last few years.

    How have you worked on branding yourself through SEO? I am thinking about creating a company and branding is becoming more and more important. I am lucky that I have been involved with public relations my entire career so most of my results associated with my work account were related to appearances and articles promoting events. I recently left that position, and those appearance for the mean time will be diminished. I don’t want to disappear. I’ll take any tips you are willing to share.
    Thank you for posting such an interesting blog. I really enjoyed it.

    • I wish I had a fool proof answer. It’s very similar to a business though. Again, I can’t credit the search result to my expertise. I’m a novice. Basically get on all social platforms – you do have to go crazy on the but have account and be consistent with your profile information. One of my bigger mistakes early on was not claiming authorship of my work. I would highly recommend writing by Leia Hill on anything and everything you generate content for.

  2. Hi Kaitlin,

    Can I get your autograph please?! You’re famous! It’s kind of exciting also to have the opportunity to be able to conduct searches for both maiden and married names. We guys don’t have that advantage, and it’s great that you included it as part of your search strategy. Interesting how vastly different the results were when comparing the two.

    In terms of some other searches, I didn’t search under my UF email address, so wouldn’t be able to offer my findings in that regard. I went with my work email and one of my gmail accounts. Amazing what those bring up as opposed to just your name. I was so glad we were asked to search this way as well, as the results showed a completely different set of online sources. With work email I came up almost entirely in the Top 10. With my gmail, because the account name does not include my name, and was actually connected to my network marketing company, the top results raised those Facebook pages and websites.

    Always a pleasure to read your blogs, including enjoying the visuals.

  3. Hey Kaitlin, this was an awesome post. Definitely your SEO tactics are paying out. I think it’s not easy to get to be in the main and top results of a Google search. That requires a lot of work on managing and developing a digital profile. In Colombia, where I live in, is considered old-fashioned for women to leave their maiden names and instead take up their husband’s. In your case it proved to be very helpful to do it. This assignment has helped me to understand how building a wide variety of contents around can raise all the awareness any topic (or person) can have digitally. By combining different kind of channels you can assure people to know about the messages you are trying to disseminate. Your post also put me to think on how to manage all the personal information that might end-up appearing on search sites, and what about deleting data you don’t want to keep disclosing about yourself on those sites. Surely, there is still a lot to say about this. Thank for sharing your perspectives.

  4. Hi Kaitlin!
    Great post. I guess I didn’t really have that many different results when I googled myself, then again my name is pretty unique. Leia has a great idea of branding yourself through SEO, in fact maybe we all should do that!
    A lot of the results that you had were similar to mine: social media account, employers, and several blogs.
    It is a bit weird to Google yourself and not know what’s going to show up!

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