Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April Platform Challenge: Day 10

Wow! We're already a third of the way through April. If you've kept up with the challenge to this point, excellent job. Let's keep driving ahead!


You might be amazed at what turns up in a search.

For today's task, do a search on your name. First, see what results appear when you search your name on Google. Then, try searching on Bing. Finally, give Yahoo a try.

By searching your name, you'll receive insights into what others will find (and are already finding) when they do a search specifically for you. Of course, you'll want to make sure your blog and/or website is number one in the search results. If it isn't, we'll be covering SEO (or search engine optimization) topics later this month.

For those who want extra credit, here are some other search engines to try searching (for yourself):
What you find may surprise you.

(Note: It's worth checking out which images are related to your name as well. You may be surprised to find which images are connected to you.)

*****

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Plus, sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.


*****

Get Feedback on Your Picture Book Manuscript.

If you're a children's book writer working on a picture book manuscript, getting feedback on your writing has never been easier--or so cost effective! With the Writer's Digest 2nd Draft Critique Service, picture book writers can receive feedback on their picture book manuscripts from publishing professionals.

Click to continue.

*****

Need to catch up or re-visit earlier challenge tasks? Here the most recent:

151 comments:

Terri Hall said...

As suspected, the first "Terri Hall" that appears on virtually each search engine is the late porn star. yikes... need help on changing that! A new name?

sopphey said...

@Terri I can sympathize. Google usually substitutes "Sopphie" for "Sopphey" and if you're browsing Google Images it gets problematic.

Khara House said...

I know for Google I tend to search with my name in quotes--otherwise I get a lot of "khara" houses, which is not a good thing! This time around, I was happy to see my blog appear first, then mostly pages that actually had something to do with me (I will always have a few links to Indian/Middle Eastern restaurants, cities, and phrases).

Dogpile was where things started getting really interesting, including some links to real estate in Orlando and New Jersey. Youtube was, no surprise, the least related, though there's a video on there of a poem I entered into a contest in 2007--I always forget they posted it there, and it never ceases to be a source of both amusement and embarrassment!

Rowanwolf said...

Wow, using Stacy Bennett-Hoyt it comes right up. All my stuff fills the page. But when I drop the married name, I lose it. How can I fix this, or should I consider using this as my author name?

Rowanwolf said...

No images come up on Bing or Yahoo, but Google has them.

On further thinking, I probably should leave the hyphenation, there are far fewer Bennett-Hoyts than Bennetts. hmm

Anne Kimball said...

I remember when I was a little girl and grown-ups would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Looks like there were a lot of Anne Kimballs that went on to be a lot of things: lodge owner, B-film actor, forklift operator, clothing line designer, lawyer...

What - no astronaut or vet or princess?

Seriously, though, my name does come up, maybe not first on search engine lists, but up pretty high. My image, as well. Needs improvement, though.

Teach me all you can, oh wise one, on SEO optimization!

Susan K. Stewart said...

Even with a fairly common name, I get good Google results. There are two other "Susan K. Stewarts"who come up. One is also a writer.

Today all of the first page results, except one, were for me. Interestingly the one not me is in one of my target audiences.

I check my Google results often. I had never checked the other search engines.I got similar results in the other search engines.

Idid find today that the blog for my most recent book didn't show up. I now know that I need to do some work on it and get the rankings up.

Andrew Kreider said...

Done - fun to try using duckduckgo and dogpile!

Elizabeth Saunders said...

I tried this a couple of years ago and found out there's an author in Texas with my name - another writer!

A lot more variety today. Apparently I'm an opera singer, fashion designer, actress, and some famous widow in police news.

But when I add my middle initial A, I'm third on Google - yay! Hmm...

Elizabeth Saunders said...

p.s. Bing and Yahoo were not so nice. My middle initial and I are in an obituary. 'Wonder if I should go to work today?

Jennifer said...

Terri, I can sympathize - my name is Jennifer Saunders! The first 100 hits are the British actress! When I search Jennifer Saunders Switzerland (where I live), however, the first six hits are the real me. So that's cool.

Kirk said...

My name is fairly unique. And I have been surfing the web basically since its birth - about 20 years.

By now, the only engine where my name doesn't bring up pages of hits is YouTube.

I have never found anyone else out there with my name. That is, until today when, eight pages into Google results, I finally found a namesake!

He was born in 1902.

Rachel Z Cornell, The ProNagger said...

Oh oh. My name is not coming up first with some of these search engines. My old site is….Eeeeek! I know nothing about SEO but it sounds like I’m going to want to learn.

Erika D. said...

Wow, these comments are interesting! I did the first three--we'll see if I get to the extra-credit listings later. One thing I'd suggest: If your name is commonly misspelled, check those versions, too. I have a post about this back in my archives: http://www.erikadreifus.com/2007/05/the-importance-of-being-erika-dreifus/.

Lauren Miller said...

I'm not sure what to do.

In Google, there is Seth Rogan's wife, Lauren Miller, who comes up in all of the search engines. Then there's a stress-expert writer, a media director, a real estate broker, a devotional writer, a copywriter, etc.

Google: My blog link finally shows up on page 9.
Bing: Page 2.

I guess I don't understand how search engines rank blogs.

bolton carley said...

Well, the good news for me is that the right info came up in most every search engine,except there's someone out there named Carly Bolton that's getting more press than me! lol.

Images were another story. Google was fairly accurate, but Yahoo was bizarre.

Then, I hit YouTube where I have an account and none of my stuff even showed up. It was all Carly Bolton and you guessed it, Michael Bolton.

Very interesting stuff, Robert! Great idea!

Feeling for Terri though. Hard to be thought of an a porn star when trying to be a serious author!

Lauri Meyers said...

I did okay on google, but less so on the other sites. Non existent on duck duck go. I also found two other spelled-differently writers.

Susan P said...

I learned that there are quite a few lawyers with the name Susan Philpott. I also learned that on Google images I look a lot like Susan Sarandon and Susan Boyle - but none of my actual images show up. Neither does a link to my blog. I was able to find me on FB, LinkedIN, and Google + but that's it.

Given that I am going live with a professional blog later this month I am looking forward to finding out how to link all these things up.

Rebecca Barray said...

Yay! I'm the only Rebecca Barray that I could find!!
Boo! All the search engines tried to replace my search with Rebecca Barry, also a writer. Boo!

But otherwise, almost all the results on the first page for Rebecca Barray are me!! Woo Hoo!!

Oh, and Done. ;)

Meg Miller said...

Done. I had to put my state "mn" on the end, since my name is quite common. Nothing on DuckDuckGo or You Tube. Everything else pulled my LinkedIn profile and Twitter handle. So when I launch my blog, I will make sure I effectively use my LinkedIn connection to promote it as a good robust start. Then continue on from there. Great exercise.

Amanda Klimowicz said...

Apparently I tweet too much... My kids have been in the news for the fun stuff we do together (and adorably photographed!)

I found writing from dayse of old: NHCTE articles, newsletters, presentation notes for CEL, websites I forgot I'd created, and a modge-podge of other information.

Fortunately for the world, there is only one of me, only the names have changed. Well, the names and the hair...

Joe O. said...

I ran a search on myself on Google. The first result was an association to my current employer. My blog/personal site was the fourth result, so while I could improve my SEO, that's not too shabs, right?

Here's a question though. A name like mine is common enough that other results are bound to pop up. At what point does an author go for initials plus last name to try to distinguish oneself? I don't feel all that great about assuming a totally different identity, but I would like for my colleagues and associates to understand the difference between Joe the horror writer and Joe the professional. Eventually I want to write a series of nonfiction books, how-to guides sort of thing, but I was figuring I could keep the byline the same but brand the books with a specific tagline. I'd like to think I have more in me than just scary thrillers, but I don't necessarily have the time to maintain two identities.

If any of that makes sense, any ideas? If the above sounds like a lot of meandering, maybe I have much bigger issues. LOL

Twitter: js_orozco

Mary Bauer said...

Thank you for having us do this today. I just found my writing posted to someone else's site without my permission. It wasn't what I had hoped to find, but now I can address it.

Julia Tomiak said...

My blog popped up #1 in Google, but not Bing or Yahoo - guess that has a little to do with who owns my blog, huh? My comments on others people's blogs showed up on Bing and Yahoo, but not my blog! How can I fix that? Luckily, I I'm the only Julia Tomiak in the United States, although there is a JuliE out there (besides my sister-in-law). Very interesting exercise - thanks! I think we're all learning a lot - both good and bad (thanks for sharing Mary Bauer!)

Kiril Kundurazieff said...

I last Googled myself, in Nov. 2010.
It had been 6 years since the last time I had done so.

I didn't think to do the other search engines, but will now.

I am the only person on the planet with my name, Woo Hoo! :-D

I want to share some general thoughts I wrote at the time....

The last time I Online Searched myself was maybe 6 years ago.

There was the usual stuff, from blog posts, comments left on others blogs, and on message boards, mostly on genealogy websites, mentions of me in the blog posts of others, and there was stuff that I had no idea could be found.....

It was the first time I learned there were sites that offered access to info I though was private, such as addresses, phone numbers, credit history, and who knows what else, for free, or a fee, and I could do nothing about it.

Nothing to be ashamed of, but still...

Google doesn't know everything, though.

Many of the things I remember from before didn't show up this time.

However, Google turned up lots of new stuff simply because it had been put online, by someone, in the intervening years.

When I Googled Kiril Kundurazieff I got 289 results.

When I Googled Kiril Giorgio Kundurazieff (The name on my Birth Certificate) I got 163 results.

When I Googled Kiril George Kundurazieff I got 156 results.

For the curious, I detail what I found in this blog post...

http://bit.ly/dZsDpr

Oh, and here's why I eventually stopped using Twitter when I did...

According to faxo.com...

My Twitter was the 661,309th most popular Twit on Twitter! ;-D

Nikita_TwitPuss, for my Cat, was somewhere in the 800,000's, I just couldn't pin it down, hee, hee! ;-D

essay said...

That was an eye-opener. I thought comments made on facebook were between friends when you set it that way. Oh well.
Otherwise I was overwhelmed with "I Just Called to Say I Love You" and other Wonder and Libra stuff.
My new website/blog has clearly NOT gone viral!
Even facebook comments in three other languages were on the first page.

Veronica Roth said...

I'm first or second on all three because there is a young author who shares my name who is really popular right now. Actually I get friend requests on facebook for her and people have commented on my site thinking I am her. But isn't my search, from my pc, influenced by my popular choices? Doesn't it make sense than that my pc would predict my site in the first page anyway? I could be wrong.

Sierra Steele said...

Done. Using my name mostly gets steel and porn...

John Morris Benson said...

I cleared my recent history, and entered my ‘John Morris Benson’ on Google and got 23 of the first 30 hits. I got 7/30 on Bing and 6/30 on Yahoo. I also tried the other suggestions and got 6 on duckduckgo, 4 on ask, 6 on dogpile, 5 on yippy, and as I expected – none on YouTube. Each of the engines had a hit for my name in the first five listings and I had the first five on Google.
I had two images connected to my name.

AC Leming said...

I searched AC LEMING, and I found out that one of my poems posted at Wordgathering, a journal of disability poems & essays, has a whole lesson plan based around it. And yes, it was a PA prompt.
guess I should search myself more often. A lot of Poetic Asides hits came up, the Tappahannock artists guild link. Have't done more than the basic 3 suggested, but will do more later. my new blog didn't come up, even 9 pages into google search.

De said...

Done.

The bad news: my name is common, and spelled funky, so yahoo, bing, et all had trouble with me. Google wasn't so bad...fourth entry was my blog, which was a pleasant surprise. Looking forward to improving that later in this challenge.

The good news: Whimsy Gizmo (my blog name) was the FIRST entry, on ALL search engines, including the extra credits. And the second, third, etc. entries were often mentions of my blog on someone else's blog.

So while I was given a name combination at birth that doesn't necessarily stand out, apparently I've at least chosen one that does. I've been signing off on most poetry sites as both, and now I'm glad of that.

Thank you, Robert. :)
de

Melanie Cole said...

Done! Well, my twitter account came up fairly early, but not my blog. Still haven't found it on google. And as it turns out, there's a Melanie Cole who's a figure skater and another who murdered a man with a bottle. Yikes! Not a thing came up for Bing or Yahoo. Now I'm sad.

SaraV said...

Wow, that was interesting! And now I know why this woman named Sabela "friended" me on facebook! There is a latin singer named "Sara Vi(tilde on the "n")as LOL!

Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) said...

Well, that was depressing. At least the Google results were fine...

Dr. Pearl Ketover Prilik (PKP) said...

Done

http://www.stepfamilies.info/book-reviews/becoming-an-adult-stepchild.php

Well I've searched in past... But was surprised to find a review published today on an old book of mine....

Thanks RLB will continue more searching later and think about ways to maximize :)

Connie L. Peters said...

Done. No, I'm not the porn star for the Little French Maid. Adding writer or poet into the search yields different results. I found me on all of them, the most with Google.

Dr. Pearl Ketover Prilik (PKP) said...

If I didn't know myself and the repetition listed on these searches I would think I might actually be somebody ...LOL pages and pages...and many many PA posts! I am bored with myself already.. :)

Kasie Whitener said...

Done. No worries about what I found. Reputation safe!

Surprisingly, the obituary for my husband's grandmother showed up on Yippy.

Cameron said...

Pretty much what I expected. It's me versus the amateur wrestler Cameron Mathews on almost every one of those search engines trading #1 and #2. But Youtube is all about wrestling videos. (Same with pics).

Though I will say seeing my main site (CameronMathews.com) and not my blog (Truckpoetry.net) come up as the top spot makes me think about reprioritizing how/where I update content. Then again, I think I may just redo CameronMathews.com to feed from all my subsites and that might fix it. We shall see.

Thanks again!

Donna said...

What a great exercise! More Donna Sisler's in this world than suspected, but they all seemed to be decent women! LOL And am linked to George and Dave Sisler (which I actually am by marriage), so that was cool too. My blog name came up early in most searches too...just not google. The images on my blog came up early on google though, so that was good...just didn't link to my blog. Thanks again!

Beth Stilborn said...

I always search my name in quotation marks, because otherwise I get a long list of stillborn babies. They ain't me.

On all the search engines (including the bonus ones) my blog comes up first, followed by at least 3 pages of my blog posts, or mentions of me on other people's blogs, or comments I've made on other people's blogs.

I found a blog where one of my posts had been linked as a "link of the week" -- that was an unexpected delight!

Nothing on Youtube, which is fine with me. Images turned up nothing surprising, all sensible things to do with me or kids' books.

I'd never even heard of most of the bonus search engines!

Poor and Gluten Free said...

This might be a little pick up for those who don't come up right away on searches. If you keep at it, you'll climb the ranks quickly. My blog, which I only started in January is on the first page of most searches now.

My personal name, on the other hand, is almost non-existant. This is, until now, how I wanted it to be.

I've had a hard time getting over privacy issues on the internet and wasn't actually sure I wanted people to know exactly how to find me!! Does anyone else have these concerns?? Does anyone write or post under a pseudonym? I know I need to come to terms with this... like really soon...

Joy Weese Moll said...

Using three names for pretty much everything I do since I got married 20 years ago has helped me a lot in the Internet age. Who knew that would be such a wise decision? Search engines pull up my blog and other social media sites first.

One secret was to "sign" most of my posts with a graphic "Joy" -- the alternate text for that graphic is "Joy Weese Moll." That really helped the search engines make the shift from my older blogs to my new one.

I also, today, realized that I accidentally discovered a good trick to getting good results in the Images searches -- put photos on Flickr using my own name on the account. My image search produces images of me and lots of images that I've taken (mostly flowers at the Missouri Botanical Garden). I'm also starting to get images that I've pinned in Pinterest, so I may want to be a bit more thoughtful about that activity.

So, I was doing really well until I got to You Tube. I've never done anything with videos, so in You Tube's confusion on what to do with my name, they come up with Pee-Wee Herman. Lovely.

Mariya Koleva said...

Wow, I make first pages:-) If not at the top place, my name appears in top 5 and my site, comments, profiles etc, come up several times before the end of page 1. Amazing!

Romelle Broas said...

Hmmm...The name I use most often when submitting to pubs is "Romelle Guittap." So, that' s probably the name editors will look for if they want to research me. Google search results show all my athletic achievements and other personal stuff.

But my pen name is "Romelle Broas." That shows all my writing stuff and blogging activities. This can create a tiny problem. I'd prefer editors/pubs to see my writing credentials.

Since I started blogging and commenting, my name appears many times more! Note to self and others...be careful what you say in your comments. It'll be documented forever!

Ramona said...

Done! My blog is moving higher up, which is good, my "day job" stuff is always the highest up.

Evelyn said...

With the last name Miracle, I get some interesting stuff when I search. My Facebook page shows up, but another Evelyn Miracle "Killa" is right under it. A guest-blogger posting also appears, so that is good since that is my writing. I saw a lot of Evelyn's Miracle type of thing, not related to my name but to a miracle event. The images surprised me. There are some pictures of me from a Women's event I attended. My newly-formed blog is not there, and I wonder if I did something wrong in setting it up. I did use my name. Any advice?

caryl said...

I've done this before and even though my name has an unusual spelling there are other Caryl Zimmermans out there. Still, I'm happy to see my articles and my humor award come up. woot!

Rhonda Parrish said...

Done.

silverlakereservoir said...

Done all the tasks so far. This is so very do-able. Thank you thank you thank you for keeping this challenge challenging but not onerous. There are so many wonderful colleagues to meet here too.

Skipperhammond@gmail.com said...

Learned I cannot hide from Google. Knowing that is liberating, frees me to be truthful in my writing.
@Romelle-It's too late to be careful. Might as well be free.
Yahoo had little beyond my presence on Facebook and Twitter. Bing came up with a few interesting bits Google missed.
YouTube had nothing, as I expected.
I've consistently used the nickname my parents gave me, which will work fine as my author name, and it's surprisingly not common. So I don't have to compete with others for top place on Google.

Kristen said...

Unfortunately, I share a name with some girl who plays basketball professionally. So she comes up before all of my stuff in searches for my name! When I finally get to my listings, though, I find photos I've posted on my blog, my twitter profile, my linkedin profile, and my facebook profile (in that order). Looks like I'll have to work on getting my blog equipped with better SEO!

Claudette Young said...

This has been interesting. Ask.com had the most info, then Google, then Yahoo, followed by the rest as to numbers of citations.

I found some confusing/alarming elements, however. Some of the work/probably all I did for SuperTeachers Worksheets website is now available from various other sites. Some is used for advertising, some for PDF download and the like. I was paid a pittance for my work originally, and now everyone is using it? Somehow, that doesn't seem right. I know there's little I can do about the situation.

I understand now just how important keeping tabs on the search engines and one's name really is. Thank you, Robert, for making this a regular part of my routine now.

Also, have you ever heard of PDF Search Engine. I found it this morning. It lists all the free PDF's available for download.

The one thing that I liked more than the rest was the citations for my poetry. Looks impressive whether it is or not. Had to laugh at that.

Thanks again, Robert.

the whatnot shop said...

When I searched "Linda Hatton" (a common name!) in Google, the first item was a LinkedIn link to a page of 20 profiles. My Suite101 site link came up 2nd (I have links to my blogs, etc there).

When I searched "Linda G. Hatton," my "whatnot shop" blog was the third item listed.

When I add in "Mouse Tales Press," my Mouse Tales Press blog was first. Take out the "G." and my website was first!

So now I'm thinking it might be wise for me to add the "G." into my name.

Gail Kushner said...

Done. Thank goodness this was an easy one!

Last night, I had dreams that Twitter had taken over my computer and there were Tweets all over the screen. Am I too invested in this Challenge? :)

Gail
www.MyPsychicSearch.com

Misky said...

Mine comes up number 2 mostly, after a building and construction company of the same name. Misk Cooks comes up 1st; Miskmask 2nd. Miskmask is apparently also a rather questionable rock group.

That DuckDuckGo site is a good one. I've stuck that one in my fav folder.

Michelle said...

Done...I had never used some of your extra credit ones, so that was interesting to see what came up.

Brooke Ryter said...

I check Google and Bing on a regular basis (several times a week). Didn't know about the other ones. I just checked those and was pleasantly surprised!

BTW-Thanks for all the Tweets yesterday guys!! Made for a fantastic day of sharing and smiles.

Stephanie Puckett said...

Done. Interesting.

TheDaughter said...

Done...good thing I am building my platform! I'm not popping up very much! I did find that adding Massachusetts helped out a little.

J. B. Everett said...

This does raise the issue of consistency - Jeannine Everett vs. Jeannine B. Everett, versus J. B. Everett. I was using J. B. to maintain some anonymity on the internet, but I guess that's antithetical to the process. Any thoughts on the issue?

Gerry said...

Wow! This one was an eye-opener! On Google, I'm an engineer, I'm dead, and there's a screenwriter/script doctor who shares my name. Lots of images of Gerry Wilson, all male. (I an NOT one of those guys, if you Google me!) On Bing, I fared better, but there's still a mix. Ditto Yahoo. Interesting that I got my best results on Bing. I haven't tried the other five yet, but I will.

Obviously, I need to make my profile more distinctive, but I'm not sure how to do that.

Something on SEO, Robert, please?

Claudia Karabaic Sargent said...

There is SO MUCH on all of my (now out-of-print) books! I found a lovely comment on my paintings for An Awakening Spirit, and a pan ofr Confucius:The Wisdom where the poster hated the ext but loved my art. That kind of cracked me up. :)
I also found an illegal download of my illustrated Tao Te Ching that I emailed a ceast-and-desist for. All my blogposts and posts from this April Platform challenge are up as well, even my "Today's Best" Awards from my Zazzle shop.

My LinkedIn profile was first most of the time, which is great. So, I'm happy~ thanks for all the new search engines, RLB~ that was FUN!!

saturnbull said...

Am excited for SEO coverage!

Gerry said...

Who knew there were so many Gerry Wilsons? Adding my middle initial didn't help much; I got much better results when I added "writer" after my name.

Kirra said...

I've googled myself before so I wasn't surprised by much, except how often my name comes up with twitter. I was surprised, though, at how much less showed up with yahoo and bing.

Andee Zomerman said...

I guess I'm lucky my name is unique - "Andee Zomerman" my articles and blog are what show. Interesting what Google shows and how it's different than Bing or Yahoo. Of course, everything else I do comes up too - PTA stuff for school, etc..

Lara Schiffbauer said...

That was interesting! I've never done that before - but my blog was in the top three on Google, bing, and yahoo, so that's good!

Lynn said...

Done. I was always a little scared to do this, but it wasn't so bad after all! Thanks! Interesting those extra sites and what popped up.

Jen McPeek said...

On Google, I'm links 4 and 9. I'm on the list on link 3 (it's all the LinkedIn people named Jennifer McPeek). Type in 'author' or 'writer' after it, and I'm the majority of the links, though.
I have a couple links on Bing, and my website is the first link if you put 'author' after my name.
Even typing 'author' in after my name, I still only have maybe one link on Yahoo.

Lynn Daue said...

This was illuminating. I come up on a LOT of searches dealing with Jamie Lynn Spears' pregnancy and due date.

Dana Dampier said...

I'm all over the place on Google!Every social networking site I'm on and my blog are listed.

On Yahoo only my facebook page came up. Apparently someone named Dana Dampier has a mug shot available to view... LOL!

On Bing, again it was only my facebook page.

imunuri said...

done. Interesting to find that Daniel Ari competes with Dan-Air with flights out of the U.K.

Paul Ellis said...

Apparently, I'm not really here ... details here.

Diana said...

Well that was fun. Two sites put my blog right up top, but the rest put my facebook page first. I thought for sure I would see that cocktail recipe I invented in the 90s.

Kendra Merritt said...

On Google I'm the first to pop up but on Yahoo and Bing I'm replaced by a well known softball player from Fort Lupton and a woman from Myrtle Beach who was arrested for prostitution. Huh.

Evelyn said...

My website is the first link on all the searches, except YouTube. (I did all the extra credit ones as well as the original three.) I'm not on YouTube because I've never posted there and as far as I know, nobody has ever posted anything about me there.

There's another well-known Christian author with my same name--Evelyn Christensen (although she sometimes spells it differently)--so her best known book is usually second in all the searches.

What are the various searches good for? Do many people use any of them other than Google?

Jo Ann J. A. Jordan said...

Done... My results are not great so will be grateful for SEO tips.

F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer said...

I couldn't believe how many references there were on all the sites. I even had something on the You Tube site based on an interview I did with an author that she then post on her website and as a You Tube audio. Amazing... and troubling? I don't know. The images that come up aren't of me be associated with blogs I've written. Hmmmm...

Melanie Cole said...

Hey, good news! If I type in "Melanie Cole, writer", I own the search results! I'm everywhere! Hooray!

April Galloway said...

The past few days have been hectic. I've done the challenges, (actually some of them were already in place) but I'm not sure I've commented on all of them. I thought I'd search the comments of previous days to be sure. It's very difficult to scan comments for your name when it's the same as the dates though. So, I'm just going on from here.

Day 10 is done. A very interesting experiment. Searching for Melody Pearson, which is my intended writing name, my blog put me up high on all the ones I checked. Google was the most, probably because I have a Google+ account and share my blog posts there. Yahoo was lowest, with only one listing, but it was still at #3.

Then I went back and searched for April Galloway, which is, currently, my legal name. (Melody Pearson is my middle and maiden name which I intend to use as a pen name.) Searching for that name there were not nearly as many hits. The most surprising one was on ASK where my new Twitter account showed up. I stared dumbfounded at it because it's the first time I realized I had merged the two IDs there. @AMelodyGalloway
It just didn't strike me before.

Under images, there's nothing for Melody Pearson but, when I looked for April Galloway, 38 of the first 150 results were either by me or of me.

Diana said...

I thought my real name Diana Lyles was unique, then about twelve years ago I started getting emails: Praise the Lord! Reverend Lyles... Huh? So I searched back then and found Diana Lyles ministries. She owns the domain name and is an African American minister in New Jersey. I'm caucasian, a buddhist, and now live in Florida.

While I have decided on a pen name, advice on what to do when you share a name with someone famous or who has bigger name recognition than you do would be helpful to me and others in similar situations.

Pat Walsh said...

This was kind of fun, and in some cases, funny…

- I found that my own website, www.echoesamongthestars.com, showed up most regularly in the "image" category;

- My two "most-found" pages (which turned up on pretty much every search engine, even the "extra credit" ones) were:

...my Author page on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Patrick-J.-Walsh/e/B001H9PDTG)

…and the product page for my newest published work at my publisher's site (http://www.abc-clio.com/product.aspx?id=53653)…

which in both cases is probably a really good thing, since my Amazon page lists my books and has links to my blog, and the product page showcases my latest work.

- Finally, my YouTube search was a truly beautiful thing: it was 100% of my own work (I have a monthly video series, "Five Minutes in Space," that I post at YouTube, and just last week I posted a mini-documentary about baseball). Even better, my YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/patwalshvideo?ob=0&feature=results_main), which acts as sort of a Table of Contents for all my videos, was right at the top of the results! Very nice…

On the other hand, the "funny" part came in with results like a Facebook page for a different "Patrick J. Walsh" that features a guy in a mask, and a Dr. PJW who specializes in 'surgery free vasectomies' -- really, not my area in either case :)

Laura Diane said...

Day 10 completed. My former name was 1st on Google and Bing, 3rd on Yahoo and 1st on DuckDuckGO. My current name--just changed within the past few weeks didn't show anything alhough my Twitter and LinkedIN accounts are under that name.

Interesting to see who else shares my name and what they're up to!

Tina Marie McGrevy said...

Some of these comments are VERY funny. Google does not read my name as anything other than me, but I am amused that my most "famous" work was 13 words on a yard sign. It was election time and I sent my handiwork into Rachel Maddow and she posted it on her blog. It was re-tweeted many, many times. My blog does show up way down the list.

Ironically, I've yet to do yesterday's assingment because I am still afraid to tweet...

Sil said...

I did it! I did it! I caught up with all the previous days of the April Challenge :)

Thank you for organizing it.
I'll add my twitter handle and my blog name to the relative posts.

Onward! :)

Raychelle Muhammad said...

This was a good exercise. I learned of a few new search engines to check out. I didn't get much in images of me per se, besides my blogger profile. This reminded me of some networks I joined some time ago...

Jane Ann McLachlan said...

Hey, Terri,turn that into a positive. Write a Memoir (from the Other Side). It'll sell like crazy!
Welcome Sil, and congrats! I'm still catching up, so I know what you've been through. I only have the Blog to do, and should be done by tonight.
My name, Jane Ann McLachlan, fills the first page of Google, and it's me, not someone else. Yeah!

Anne Marie said...

Done! My author site is first on all three.

Melanie Marttila said...

Kind of underwhelming. I got pretty much what I expected to. Then again, I'm no John Smith :P
Google yielded my poetry chapbook NEOVerse (north eastern Ontario is where I live) first, then FB, my blog, google+, LinkedIn, Twitter. Yahoo put Writerly Goodness first, then several mentions on the Your Scrivener Press (the publisher of above mentioned poetry chapbook) Web site, a comment I made on CBC's Spark blog, and article I wrote for a journal called Earthsongs, and a comment I made last week on Mommy Writers.
Bing was the same as Yahoo, so I tried Dogpile and got the usual suspects plus a comment I made on Michael Hyatt's blog, my profile on Poets.ca (League of Canadian Poets), and another comment I made on A Trainer's Life (related to my day job).
Not bad ... at least my name doesn't result in porn :) Sorry Terri, that's just too funny!
Cheers and looking forward to another 20 days!

Jane Ann McLachlan said...

No images of me come up. I just added images on my facebook and twitter accounts last week, doing this challenge, and always have had images on my website, so I don't know why no images come up on any search engines. Anyone else know why?

Ann-Margret Hovsepian said...

Thankfully, I seem to be the only Ann-Margret Hovsepian in the world so I definitely own any searches for my full name. :)

Also, since I've been freelancing for over 16 years and have a couple of books published, quite a few results come up.

But I've always only used Google to search for results so thanks for the other site suggestions. I will try those out, too.

Cerece Rennie Murphy said...

Done. This was a little creepy... thinking about people looking me up on the internet. I am having such a hard time with this whole challenge. I know its good for me, but the bottom line is that I am a hermit through and through.

Beth said...

The first google result is my blog--yay! But a picture that is of me doesn't show up until page 6. However, a photo I took is on page 1.

On Bing, I don't show up at all until page 2, and my blog is there, but with the old name. Google got my new name change already. Bing images only had a photo of an item I knitted on assignment for a designer.

Yahoo's results were identical to Bing, even for images.

DuckDuckGo has my twitter account as the second item, but nothing until further down the list.

YouTube didn't find me, although I have a channel.

Dogpile: my blog is second.

Ask.com: my blog (updated) is #1.

Yippy doesn't know who I am--not there at all.

I learned that my blog SEO must be semi-OK to actually show up near the front on My image database is nonexistent. And apparently I;m dead--lots of obituaries for me!

hcfbutton said...

well, i really have to coordinate my names better. Getting married 6 months ago really messed things up!

The current surprise was looking at my images and finding pictures of me helping out on a Habitat for Humanity build in 2006.

JRWoodward said...

Found a Dr. lawyer, screenwriter and computer sic researcher over and over again, plus a dead guy's obit.

These were my results:
Google: two of me on second page
Bing: one of me on page 3
Yahoo: not in first ten; gave up
Ask: not in first five; gave up
DuckduckGo: Twitter acct on first page
Dogpile: Twitter acct on second page
Yippy: nothing
YouTube: nothing

Google and Bing had my Twitter page highest.

Boohoo me. #NotWinning!(yet)

Claudine Jaboro said...

Done! Had to do this a lot in Grad school for CVs and journal articles. For some reason my LinkedIn account comes up first with Facebook and Twitter down the line. But most of the links were for my graduate work and my dissertation.

As far as images not one was of me and I have plenty on Facebook. Very strange.

Nicole said...

Hey nicole here. Done.
Until tomorrow

Susan Craig said...

Interesting. Apparently I don't exist. Done.

Mona Hill said...

I'm one of 11 on LinkedIn, 220 on PeekYou which covers Facebook and Twitter, nonexistant on YouTube. The ubiquitous "We found Mona Hill" and Mona Lisa also popped up, as well as Sam Hill (I did think what in the ...). I also found that a woman with my name died almost two years ago, happily rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. I thought about Drowning Mona when I saw Teta Mona Hill of Sage.

The genuine article is pretty hard to pick out in a crowd: no blogs, websites, nada, zip. However, to prove I'm not a robot, I'll now type the two magic words.

PaulaJHowell said...

This was an interesting task - I actually learned that Bing and Yahoo had my blog and FB page at the top while Google did not (someone who died was listed instead). It is something to work on. Had fun writing about this task on my blog too, due to other results I found.

AlvaradoFrazier said...

All searches resulted in a few pages of my name, just the way i wanted them to do. Someone had advised me to use my name when I label my posts. Looks like it worked.
No 'funny' photos but some pretty cool songs on YouTube (based on my first name).

Beth (Elizabeth) LaMie said...

It's surprising how much difference there is between the information selected by the various sites. Some of it is much older than I expected, too.

beatrix said...

Lori Tian Sailiata shows that I was a Human Relations Commissioner for the City of Carbondale. All sites also showed a YouTube clip posted to sites all around the world...who knew...of an interview I did on my old radio show.

Lara Britt shows my blogging. It also shows Laura Britt's design business...which is not a bad association.

Muddy said...

Done! Didn't realize all my comments on other people's blogs would come up! Interesting...

Brandi Daniels said...

Done. Bad news for me I don't show up. There's some really good soccer player with my name apparently though.

Monique Liddle said...

This was more frustrating than I thought. It was as if I did not have a website/ blog at all. Most of what appeared in the beginning of my sites were FB, twitter, LinkedIn, G+. Second, were my comments on other people's blogs, and then academic papers/chapters in bks. I keep forgetting to complete the SEO portion of wordpress (not that I really know how to do it). Can we learn SEO ASAP, please?

Renee LaTulippe said...

I have a fairly unique name and always complete the SEO fields on my posts, so I pretty much fill the first two or three pages of all of these search engines (including YouTube, since I do video blogs). The weakest were Yahoo and Yippy, but that's fine with me. Images are also all related.

The one thing that surprised me was that my comments on other blogs came up. For some reason, I thought comments weren't searchable...

Kyle Robinson said...

Every one of the sites gives Kyle Robinson's Custom Action Figures. I'd like that to say Kyle Robinson Author haha.

Donna said...

WOW. There are a lot of Donna Nichols out there. I found myself on most of them, but I wasn't on some. Weird.

Gail at Gail-Friends said...

Lots of Gail Goldens out there, but only one Gail Griner Golden (me). Maybe I should work with that. Interested in learning more about optimization.

Diane said...

done.... i come up with ease on those three but am interested in seo and will look forward to that post! It's interesting where they pull from. I had things from 2008 to current stuff to even my brother's obituary which made me just a tad sad. busy day, no time for brownie points ;)

Sheila Good said...

Did this yesterday and to my dismay, Sheila Good is plentiful on the web! Ugh. Any suggestions?

Pamela Toler said...

I Google myself about once a month, but I'd never tried the other search engines. Although there are several Pamela Tolers around the webs, my blog, social media presence and books came up at the top of every search.

Fred Shrum, III said...

I am happy to see that, though I am aware of a lot of stuff in my name out there, fredshrum.com was the first hit on Dogpile.com. Woo hoo! I even found something about Fred Shrum Road in TN. Interesting.

Joe Lalonde said...

My blog appears at the first or second spot of every search engine I searched. Seems I'm competing with a doctor who has the same name.

Sarah Negovetich said...

Negovetich is not a common name so my searches are pretty clean, but looking forward to your SEO tips so I can get my blog closer to the top.

Janann Giles said...

All the searches pretty much the same - except Google added my Picassa photos - which I thought were marked private. I'll check into this.

Kris Swanguarin said...

Learned a few things from my search. My Facebook profile is the first on all searches. Webb sites with pictures rate. If your name is somehow associated with a big name author or high traffic Webb site you are rated high. For instance, an article I wrote in 1990 was third on every search engine because it was reprinted by Chevron Corporation.
My hobby postcard blog rates way higher than my writer blog. I bet I can change that if I put pictures with my writing.

Kathy Sterndahl said...

Wow! I've never heard of half those search engines but they've all heard of me! Pages, and pages, and pages. All except YouTube, which I expected.

Sarah said...

I have to say, the image search was amusing. Many from my personal website; and lot of related images (eg seaside scenes) that are NOT mine; and both my cat and dog, so sweet!!

ALL the search engines showed me filling at least half the first page. One hugely misleading bit of info referred to zoominfo.com - a kind of odd conglomerate of old info that comes out mismatched and out of date.

Nothing hugely alarming - although there's a professor at RI whose ex-wife of the same name apparently was involved in fraud . . . no relation at all! I was aghast at the public records hanging out online like that. Plus some sweet references - to gifts of artwork and my father's papers.

All in all a most interesting task. Thanks again, Robert. Not at all clear how you are managing all this simultaneously. Hats off to you!!

Brandi Amara Skyy said...

This one was fun!! My results were rather interesting! thanks again Rob!

Sabrina said...

No one else has my name yet. Nothing too embarrassing. A couple of things I wrote in university, my Linkedin profile and some things I "like" on facebook.

Jennifer said...

My name is very popular, but since I have a website I did come up on the first page of most of my searches. However, when I typed in keywords associated with my website I didn't show up at all. I guess I need to start paying attention to SEO. I'd love for my website to show up where people will click on it. This was an informative challenge. Thanks.

Madeline Sharples said...

Wow. I found lots of stuff about me on all the search engines - some I had never heard of. Thanks for all the URLs.

Cecilia Gunther said...

Well my life in the film industry (under my old name) as a PA, certainly pops up first and then i will have to look further.. Kitchen's Garden does well.. nice exercise! c

Jane Newhagen said...

I was pleased to see I come up in all those search engines, but I think it could use some tweaking. I'll be interested to learn more about SEOs. There are a bunch of pictures I took, but I'm not in them. I don't know how to remove them. They're all kept in Picassa. If anyone can help, I'll be obliged.

Elissa Field said...

I did this yesterday, but am just getting time to post a reply. I google myself every quarter-to-6 mos., and was pleased to see that some of the activity I've done in the past 6 months has my writing activity hitting as the top half dozen things found in a search -- an increase from the past.

My website has told me, over time, that the most common thing people use to search for me is my name + fiction. I don't know if it was the perfect idea, but, because of this, when I set up a facebook for my writing I called it "Elissa Field fiction," which may help cut down on inaccurate searches. I originally did something like this on my blogsite by including my name in the tabs, so the pages are named "Elissa Field blog," etc. It looks clunky, but maybe helped increase the correct hits?

Blyth McManus said...

Wow, my brand new blog which I started for this project is in the top 5 for each search engine, even the extra credit ones. Gives me a good idea where I need allocate my attention!

E. B. Pike said...

Google is my friend. Seriously. If I search for any of my name combinations E.B.Pike E. B. Pike or Erin Brady Pike in Google, I get a page full of results that all link to my blog, my Linked In profile, or my Twitter account. Perfect!

But wtf on Bing?! I haven't had much luck Googling how to improve Bing visibility. I guess it doesn't help that Google feels Bing's just copying it anyway. If they are, they aren't doing it well. Yahoo only comes up with my Twitter handle on the first page of search results. Meh.

Have resolved to figure out how to get my name to fill the hits on the first page of Bing...

Charley said...

1st lesson learned: Bing and Yahoo suck. Yahoo is nearly a mirror image of Bing. One wonders if it is worth the attempt to learn their algorithms.

In Google, however, if I separate my name with spaces, I get a lot of search results for the ancient book of Hebrew mysticism, known as the Kabala, or Kaballah, or whatever. If I just use my wordpress moniker, cakabala, I get results directly linked to my fledgling blog-child. But I was surprised to find several links to songs I have written, some performed by my son in a local cafe, and some posted by me on Soundcloud. Also found links to my Picasa web albums.

When I googled Stormfields2, I also found first page results to another blog, on Blogger, that I started at the same time as my WordPress blog.

2nd lesson learned: It pays to try to "brand" something people are searching for. Now I have to learn how to use metatags to pull things together when people don't know they are searching for me. :)

Marian O'Brien Paul said...

Yep, you need to use quotes around your name (I learned that a long time ago) to filter out odd spellings or abbreviations of your name. Here are my results, some of which are genealogy-search related, many related to my writing:
8 pp on Google
4 pp on Bing
4 pp on Yahoo
13 entries on DuckDuckGo
4 pp on Ask.com
7pp on Dogpile.com
2 pp on Yippy.com
Nothing on YouTube.com

R. Kojetin said...

The first time I did a search for my name was a couple of years ago when I had some of my high school students say that they had Googled my name. I panicked because I wasn’t sure what they found. Thank goodness, I’ve never put negativity out there in cyber space.

Each search engine had at least 1 page where every entry had my work. I found some of my lost articles, current articles, awards, memberships, and profile pages. I also found that one of my “lost articles” has been cited in other people’s works, but I can’t access the article.

On an additional note, if you put quotation marks before and after your name, you will eliminate where the first and last name are separated in the link explanation.

GoingVeggie said...

Whoa! This was surprising indeed, Robert! I checked for Veggie Val (my online persona for my GoingVeggie.com efforts) and found all my usual haunts EXCEPT one strange entry jumped out. Some other Val has trademarked Veggie Val™ or at least she's using the symbol on her private blog. Ow! I've had this name for years, but don't mind sharing. Looks like she doesn't want to.

Well, at least it's not like poor @Terri Hall's issue -- having the same name as a late porn star. Good luck with that, Girl!

Ivy said...

I'm a little behind because my recent road trip. I'm now caught up on this one!

Barbara Morrison said...

I have a regular Google search set up for my name and the name of my book, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother. One unexpected pleasure is following the adventures of some people with the same name--a jazz singer, an NHL player, a man who competes in sheepdog trials with his dog Maggie. I feel like I'm living all these alternate lives. Sadly, no porn stars . . .

allysonyj said...

Rats - I finally show up as the last item on the second page - seems there is an Allyson Johnson that writes fantasy fiction and another Allyson Johnson that does screen-writing and has credits on IMDB. Looking forward to SEO tips

Mary said...

205 women with my name and half seem to be writers. Yikes! Like another commenter, the obituary gets my attention. Got to get more images of myself--different ones--out there. Of course, that would require having a good photo (sigh!). Bring on the SEO info.

Norma Huss said...

I guess my plain name is an advantage. On Google, Bing, and Yahoo, out of the top ten names, I have nine of them - under various pages on my website, guest blogs I've done, blogs on my Goodreads page, my books. I discovered that smashwords has distributed them to itunes and an e-book store in Canada. (So far, no royalties.) I had a lot of mentions in the extra credit urls too. The only one I missed out on was Youtube.

Norma Huss said...

Oops, I dropped my mouse and my comment went up without my live name. Try again.

Dianne said...

done! I'm happy to say that my name (Hot Mess Princess) appears as the first 5 - 10 search results...even on the "extra credit" search engines. YouTube excluded, because I haven't put anything on YouTube. There were a couple of the smaller search engines that picked up what I call a "dead blog" (last post written in November of 2010). Her blog had a hyphen between Hot and Mess. Other than that, it's ALL ME!!

Penny said...

Done. I have photos of me on the internet. Also my linkedin comes up. Also a whole bunch of Penny Tennants come up. YIPES!!! So many people with MY name.lol. Penny isn't exactly a common name.

Sarah Mäkelä said...

Done! I appear in but one of the first page results.

Kerry said...

That was interesting. My book's blog, Three Sisters Exclusive, came up on the first 2 pages on all of them except YouTube, Dogpile, and Yippy. One of them showed the tags for my latest post and I'd misspelled a tag, so went back and corrected that.

Shirley is not my name said...

My LinkeIn profile tops the list the blog shows up and the link for my book appears to be number 5 or 6 after some people with the same name (that's weird, thought I was the only one!) I guess I really need to "optimize" my LIn to build my platform.

Denise Stanley said...

Done.
I made the first page of Ask.com for an author page that 3 of my children's stories were on, but that was all I was listed on.
My photo came up on Yahoo, Bing, and Yippy.
I can't wait for the SEO topics.

Carol A Stephen said...

Done. What was really neat was the links on Youtube to poetry readings I had done as I'll be able to bookmark those.

Carol A Stephen
@carolstephen2
http://www.quillfyre.wordpress.com

Rena J. Traxel said...

I've done this before but this was a good reminder to do it again. I found out a couple of people had mentioned by blog in a post! I had to stop by and thank them for the mention.

Anonymous said...

Cool that is ;)
http://www.technosupers.com/

Monica Miller said...

There are a lot of Monica Millers (1047 in the U.S. according to the white pages listings that kept showing up on the searches). Apparently, today I am one of the less prominent ones in the internet world. A page that links to my book showed up as #12 on the Google search. That was terrific compared to the other searches I did. On Bing, one of my WordPress blog posts was the first hint of me, and it showed up at #274. On Yahoo, the first time I appeared was for the same WordPress blog post, on the bottom of page 24, so who knows what number that was? Looking forward to SEO help soon!

Pennie De Witt said...

Done! Once again, I'm running behind, but that's okay because it's pushing me to really get things done and, because of this challenge, I'm making tremendous progress on my books.