Have You Googled You Lately? Why you should!

Have You Googled You Lately? Why you should!

Asking if you have Googled you often brings odd looks. Maybe you just never thought of the concept.

Why would you want to “Google yourself?”

In today’s world, you want to know what other people who Google you will find. You want to assure yourself that you have no “digital dirt” on your good name.

What’s digital dirt? According to NetLingo:

Unflattering information or opinions that you may have written on blogs or in chat rooms that could come back to haunt you, for example in a job interview. “Digital dirt” also refers to unflattering information that someone else has correctly or incorrectly written about you that can be found on the Internet, usually on social networking sites.

I developed the practice of Googling myself, partially to check on what is out there on me. As I speak or teach that concept to a new client or group, I want to have new information to report to my audience.

Testing for this post, I “Googled” me, Julie Walraven, and find that there are solid references to me on the first 16 pages and then after that I still find that I dominate the listings through page 28. (Post originally written in 2010)

How did I reach that many references?

As a resume writer and career marketing strategist with Design Resumes, my visibility grew with every blog post, tweet, and online reference or connection. My former role as Kiwanis Administrative Coordinator still shows my name in online newsletters and information referencing me as the contact person. As Wausau Whitewater’s Operations Manager from 1997 to 2009, my name still comes up on the website, the blog, the multiple places I posted information as well as news articles when I was the spokesperson.

LinkedIn Impact

My LinkedIn profile is often the top entry on Google which is why you want a LinkedIn profile as part of your career arsenal. Career professionals know that you want to control your online reputation and maximize how you are perceived by prospective employers.

Blog Comments

I deliberately impacted my online presence from the early days of my involvement in social media by commenting on blogs. I read my share of career colleagues posts and comment, but you will also see me visit marketing blogs such as: Jim Connolly’s and Danny Brown’s blog. Jason Alba’s blog introduced me to what a blog was way back when.

Commenting on blogs affects your Google ranking and allows you to have control of what people see when they Google your name. In my case, I have no unsightly information hiding in my past but some people do.

I’ve started doing much more Googling than before. I Googled the new ENT doctor before my appointment. He graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine 19 years ago, that school ranks #4 out of 144 for his specialty. I also know where he did his residency and internship. You think that people aren’t Googling you? Think again!

Your assignment:

If you have not Googled yourself lately, go give it a try. I don’t do anything more than my name but some people suggest putting quotes around your name. Let me know what you find in the comments.

If you need help with your job search, learn more here.


  1. Cindy Kraft on May 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Great points, Julie. You can either choose to proactively manage your reputation and control your message … or, react to the information (including inaccurate, incomplete, or misinformation) others choose to disseminate on or about you. Today, every professional has a reputation to manage.
    .-= Cindy Kraft´s last blog ..CFOs, Gen Y’s, and SMAGs =-.

    • Julie Walraven on May 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm

      And guess who I was thinking about when I wrote this, Cindy? Your presentations at CTL definitely had an impact in how I look at things.

  2. Ari Herzog on May 29, 2010 at 11:08 am

    You can save time searching Google by setting up boolean keyword and link searches via http://google.com/alerts to receive real-time or delayed results by email. You can use boolean language and quotations in your search queries. Here are two examples:

    “Ari Herzog”

    You can also set alerts for your competitors and friends and product names, etc.
    .-= Ari Herzog´s last blog ..How a Book Can Increase Your Productivity =-.

    • Julie Walraven on May 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

      Good Point, Ari! I neglected to say that I already have those set up for Julie Walraven, Design Resumes, and designresumes.com. That really helps when someone uses your information without your knowledge, too!

  3. Jim Connolly on May 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

    You make some great points here Julie.

    Google has indeed becoming a BIG part of the purchase / hiring process for a lot of people.

    In some industries, I’ve heard suggestions that well over 90% of people check out prospective service providers via search, before calling them. I always do.

    Thanks for the post!
    .-= Jim Connolly´s last blog ..2 steps to improve your marketing messages! =-.

    • Julie Walraven on May 29, 2010 at 10:31 am

      Thank you for coming to visit, Jim! I think Googling the person and the business make sense. It does seem that many businesses have still not gotten to the first step of a good website yet. And many make that harder than it has to be.

      I know my clients are checking me out and I welcome that, it helps if they stop at my site first before calling because then we are already on the same page.

  4. Danny Brown on May 29, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I often smile when people tell you that you’re being egotistical by Googling yourself.


    But then (like you say) how will you know what you’re doing right as opposed to what people are perceiving you to be doing wrong?

    You might be on a path to self-destruction without even knowing it; Googling can help.

    It’s also a great way to gauge how far you’ve come on any plan, and how far you still need to go.

    Great advice, Julie – cheers!
    .-= Danny Brown´s last blog ..Where You Fit In =-.

    • Julie Walraven on May 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

      IN my world, Danny, where most of my clients are job seekers / career changers, being proactive before an employer finds things out that you had no idea were there is critical. On the flip side, finding nothing in today’s online branding world makes an individual or business look like they are technologically disadvantaged!

  5. Keith Davis on May 30, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Hi Julie
    Never Googled myself, too scared of what I might find.
    Like you I comment on blogs and like you I have a wide range of interests. This means that I can leave relevant comments on all sorts of sites.
    I find that good quality comments encourage people to visit my site and leave comments.
    The CommentLuv plugin also encourages traffic and comments.
    Now for your assignment… Google my name…. here goes!
    .-= Keith Davis´s last blog ..Laugh and the world… =-.

    • Julie Walraven on May 30, 2010 at 8:25 am

      Thank you for stopping by Keith, I hope you will come visit again. You are right about the turnaround nature of comments that make people visit. I do suppose some people could truly be at a loss for words but I think some people are afraid to leave a comment because it might seem like imposing. For me, I love having company so come visit any time.

      CommentLuv is helpful, you are right! It gives a sneak preview of what people might be talking about too. Don’t forget to report on your assignment.

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