Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You're So Vain -- You Probably Think This Search Is About You

Google Me

Today Google rolled out profiles for people to provide personal information to Google that, in turn, is displayed on search results pages for their names. A post on the Google blog explains away the new feature as a way "to give you greater control over what people find when they search for your name."

Of course, being the vanity searcher that I am, I immediately filled out a profile and here's what shows up at the bottom of page 1 now when you search for "Aaron Goldman" on Google...

Aaron Goldman Google

I suspect there's something more in play here than mere SERP control for individuals. Methinks this is Google's first attempt to create a real social network (all apologies to Orkut). The type of data collected in the profile goes beyond mere identification. It allows people to create a personal portal complete with specified interests. This info will be quite valuable as a targeting mechanism for advertisers. Imagine overlaying keyword queries with profile data?

In the near future, look for a Twitter-line status box to grace the profile pages and maybe even the SERPs in short order. And also the ability to link profiles to friends, co-workers, etc.

By the way, how about Classmates snagging that valuable real-estate? Surprised not to see Twitter there? That, folks, is what we call leverage.

Update 4/22: Looks like I'm not the only Aaron Goldman that likes to Google himself. Today I noticed another listing for an Aaron Goldman in Georgia (see screenshot below). Thankfully I got the premium left rail position and the image thumbnail. Wonder why I outranked the other Aaron? Is it because my profile is more complete? Does it have to do with the link-juice I have for the sites listed in my profile? Is there a human element in play here assigning quality score based on looks? :)

Aaron Goldman Google x2


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the heads up on this Aaron. Google may be huge, but they can move quickly into a space.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but when that space is filled by a site bigger than facebook in germany (recently launched worldwide) like http://www.yasni.com, they'll have to do better than this

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