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September 08, 2006

What I Found When I Googled Myself

I'm back from an extended vacation from the blogosphere. Anyway I like to keep up with what the web has to say about me so I google my name every few days. It's a good practice to follow as you can best believe anytime you meet someone socially or professionally they are googling you to see if you're legit.  And believe me when I tell you that people have lost business by what was (or was not) found in search results.  As an aside, if you are a small business owner and your name and bio aren't listed on your corporate website, you're making a big mistake.  On most small business the second most popular page on the site is the "About Us" page.  Basically YOU ARE YOUR BUSINESS...and not having your experience somewhere on the site is bad.  Plus how does it look when you meet someone at a networking event and they do a search on your name and your own site doesn't even show up?  But I digress..... 

I wasn't surprised to see 1,200 links returned, but something else I found this time was really interesting. I knew Google was smart but this is getting ridiculous. Typically when I google "brent leary" I don't see any sponsored links at the top or on the right column. But check out the image below to see what I got back this time (click on the image to see the full image):

BL_Google_Search.gif

What gets me about this is that just from my name the featured sponsored link at the top is promoting the Destination CRM 2006 conference. Now I know the fine folks at CRM Magazine didn't bid on my name so they capture all the thousands of daily searchers who plug in "brent leary". Outside of my mother, I'm the only person doing that. I'm guessing that because there is quite a bit of links to CRM articles I've written, CRM speaking engagements, the CRM award I received with my partner Michael Thomas, from CRM magazine, etc., Google figured that it would be nice to folks bidding on CRM-related search terms and pop some sponsored links up for them. What really got me was the sponsored link on the right (circled in red) with the title of "Michael Thomas". That got first of all because Google recognized that many of the links with "brent leary" also tend to have "Michael Thomas" in there somewhere and thought it was a good bet for the folks bidding on "Michael Thomas" to show up here. I know Michael Thomas is a common name but no one wants to bid .10 cents on "Brent Leary"???

Anyway it just goes to show how sophisticated Google's search algorithms are and their ability to mine the mountainous piles of data they have at their disposal to deliver potential business to their AdWords customers. Or it all could be just a mistake, since I just re-googled myself and no sponsored links came up at all!

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