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.
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.
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.