Tech Showcase – Have You Googled Yourself Lately?

How do technology company founders, a frequent subject of the Tech Showcase on Handshake 2.0, get found? With 63.5 of the market share of all search queries, it's likely to be through Google.

First page Google search results for Anne Giles Clelland According to TechCrunch, "Of the 137 billion estimated total searches performed in the U.S. last year [2008], 85 billion were done on Google. What’s even more impressive is that nearly 90 percent of all the growth in search volume was also captured by Google. Most of that growth came from increasing the number of searches per person, rather than bringing more people to Google."

Almost a year ago, for the VT KnowledgeWorks blog, Inside VT KnowledgeWorks, I wrote Google Yourself, a post inspired by advice from Seth Godin. Ten months later, I wrote about what I found when Google opened a window on its archives and allowed searches from Google 2001.  While the Google 2001 search is over, I took a screenshot from a former life (.pdf).

Having Googled myself a year ago and retroactively ten years ago – I Googled myself – Anne Giles Clelland – and this site – Handshake 2.0 – this morning. 

First page Google search results for Handshake 2.0 My observations:

1) The top listing for each term is linked to sites, or to accounts on other sites, that we created.

2) Nine of the ten listings on the first page of results for my name are linked to sites, or to accounts on other sites, that we created.

3) Six of the ten listings on the first page of results for this site are linked to sites, or to accounts on other sites, that we created. 

I then Googled our client, Barry Welch, founder of FurnishWEB, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) order and inventory portal for the home furnishings industry.

My observations:

1) Although many share the name "Barry Welch," 4 of the top 10 search results linked to sites, or to accounts on other sites, that we created. All four linked to social media channels, including posts on two blogs, Handshake 2.0 and Inside VT KnowledgeWorks, Twitter, and YouTube.

2) Six of the ten listings on the first page of results for "FurnishWEB" linked to sites, or to accounts on other sites, that we created or assisted in creating.  Four of the six were social media channels, including posts on two blogs, Handshake 2.0 and Inside VT KnowledgeWorks, Twitter, and YouTube. Three of the remaining four results linked to our client's FurnishWEB site itself.

My conclusions:

In personal relationships, I know – and respect – the futility of attempting to control what others think and feel about me.

That said, do I wear professional attire to meetings with potential clients? Yes, I do. I mean business. 

Through conscious use of social media, we have established ourselves and our clients online as corporations and enterprises – with distinct brands – led by active, engaged people.

So, to answer my own question, yes, I've Googled myself lately. When someone else in that almost 64% market share finds me through Google, I've got on a very nice suit. And so do our clients.

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Z. Kelly Queijo contributed to this post.

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Venture Counsel - a law firm for entrepreneurs This edition of the Tech Showcase on Handshake 2.0 is sponsored by Venture Counsel, a law firm for entrepreneurs located at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia. Ken Maready, head of Venture Counsel, reviewed Handshake 2.0's Social Media Authenticity Policy – Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials, helping to create a document about which Mark Schaefer – author of the blog {grow} and the post The World's First "Authenticity Policy"? - stated, "As far as I know, this is the first published, legally-validated 'authenticity policy.'"

Ken Maready's "Legal Concerns for the Web 2.0 Business" was accepted for inclusion in volume one of the new series, Enterprise 2.0: How Technology, E-Commerce, and Web 2.0 Are Transforming Business Virtually, by Tracy Tuten, Ph.D.  The Enterprise 2.0 series is scheduled for publication by Praeger Publishers, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Company.

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