Googling Yourself: Too Much of a Good Thing Are you one of those people that googles themselves every day? Then you might want to reconsider. Of course, googling yourself isn’t going to make you go blind or anything like that, but it can skew the results you see. That’s because Google is designed to provide each person with individual results. Factoring in things like search history, what particular search terms you favor, where you are searching from, and other data, Google search results are tailored specifically for you. So if you search for something, you’ll get different results than your next-door neighbor or even your coworkers. If you continually search for one term or keyword—say, your name or a service like “Hardwood Flooring in New York City”—and then don’t click on any of the results, Google will assume you did not like the listings it returned. The next time you perform the same search, Google will give you slightly different results. If you don’t click on any of the results again, it will again assume you don’t like the results and try another variation the next time. This cycle will just keep continuing and continuing… In your own, individualized Google results, you can drive your placement down in the listings by repeatedly searching for—and not clicking on—yourself. This certainly happens for your own personal search engine results, but if you do it enough, it’s also conceivable that you could impact your rankings when other people search as well! So while there are certainly valid reasons to occasionally search for yourself online, the key is to not get carried away! Constant searching for your name or company will ensure you don’t get a good representation of your actual placement on Google. Everything in Moderation So now you know why it’s important to not google yourself all the time, but there are some good reasons to search for yourself every once and a while… 1. Reputation management. For local companies, your reputation is everything. Bad PR can run off potential clients, so you need to know what’s being said about you online. Occasionally googling your company’s name or services can help you see what people are putting on the Internet about your business. At Prospect Genius, our lead generation service encompasses a lot of reputation management elements: by distributing press releases, articles, blog entries, and social networking posts about your local company online, we generate a positive buzz and make sure that prospective customers can see the great things that are being said about you on the web! If you’re interested in finding out more about reputation management online, check out this article about how to be both proactive and reactive. 2. Checking on the competition. Did you know that some unscrupulous companies use their competition’s names in their own advertising? That means that your competitors could be using YOUR company’s name as part of their PPC or AdWords advertising strategy. And according to this article, it doesn’t seem like Google is willing to do much about this nefarious practice! However, searching for your business’s name online every so often can help alert you to when your competition is using this underhanded tactic. If you do see this happening, you may wish to contact both us here at Prospect Genius for online advertising help as well as an attorney for legal assistance. Just like with so many other things, you’ll need to find the right balance when it comes to searching for your company online: too often can have negative effects, but too little can leave your business vulnerable. Occasional Google searches can help you stay on top of your online reputation and competitors without causing any major setbacks. For more information on how Prospect Genius can help your company navigate the treacherous waters of online advertising, give us a call at 1-800-689-1273 or visit our website today.