It’s a known fact that most recruiters are most likely to perform a Google search for your name before they decide to hire you.
The question is: how do search engines decide which pages should be returned when someone is Googling for your name, email address, company site and so on. Two factors come into play here.
First, what you say about yourself. Your personal blog, Twitter profile, Google profile amongst other social sites are strong signals of your online identity. Second, what other people are saying about you, who is linking to your site’s about page, who is mentioning your name in comments, who is conversing with you on Twitter and so on.
Hence, it is really important to keep your eyes really wide open on online conversations that are related to you in some way or the other.
Google is at your rescue again, with the introduction of Me On the web- a personal reputation management tool available on your Google account dashboard.
Google’s Me On The Web
Google’s Me on the webtool lets you track online reactions which may be related to you in some way or the other. The tool is powered by Google alerts and lets you set up search alerts for your name email address, website or specific keywords which are directly associated with your brand, company, service and so on.
For me on the webto work, you must have an active Google profile. No wonder Google wants to push Google profilesto more and more people out there so that their socialsignal strength becomes more and more widespread. What I mean is that there is nothing new here, all the features are already available on Google Alerts. In fact, the overlay window itself claims that Me on the webis powered by Google alerts, so it’s clear that Google wants more and more people to create their Google profiles and use this service to track their online identity.
Some Downsides of Google’s Me On The Web
There are two downsides though.
First, there is no way to subscribe to these custom alerts using RSS. I get dozens of email every single day and I am a little skeptical on receiving stuff on my email inbox. I have some Google alerts working round the clock in Google reader, so there is no way I am going to use me on the web. Thumbs down.
Second, the results are not archived and you are shown only recent results. If someone linked to your site and it appeared as an alert four months back, you have to dig up that old email message. There is no way to find that old alert directly from your Google dashboard. It’s lost in time !
Overall, this is not really useful for power users but if you have never heard of Google alerts, you may want to try this out.