Many people I know have searched their own name at least once on Google.com, and I have, too. While it can be done simply out of curiosity, monitoring personal web presence is an important practice when a person is entering or is already established in the world of business.
I recently carried out a Google search with the search term “Mariam Davitadze” to assess my current web presence and to answer some relevant questions.
What did you find when you searched your name?
One of the first results that Google retrieved was a list of the Facebook profiles of almost a hundred other Mariam Davitadzes; none of these profiles were mine, though, since I have no Facebook account. Several Twitter profiles belonging to people with the same name as me were also in the results, but the search did not bring up my own Twitter profile until I specifically searched my username. I also found a couple videos from my YouTube channel; they are recordings of public speeches I completed for a COMM 121 class last year. Exploring the first page of results, I found more social media profiles under my name on Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram, but these were not my own accounts. I also searched for a common name variation, Miriam, but found no relevant information.
On approximately the fourth page of results, I found my “Student portfolio and blog” website to which this blog is posted. Below the website was a news article published many years ago in the Sequim Gazette of Sequim, Washington State. I had seen the article on the web before and knew that it contained the Honor Roll from Sequim Middle School, the school I attended when I lived in Washington State. I also discovered recent articles from the University of Alaska Fairbanks news that stated: “UAF names spring 2018 honors students” and “UAF names fall 2016 honors students.”
After turning about fifteen more pages of results, I located another news article from the Sequim Gazette. This time, the article listed me as a participant in the Sequim Arts Student Show, a part of the yearly Clallam County fair. When I attended 6th grade in Washington, I entered and won second place in the show for a colored pencil drawing of an owl. This article was one search result I was not expecting to find on the internet.
As for Google Images, I found my high school graduation photo in the Delta Wind newspaper!
What surprised you?
Overall, I was not very surprised by the results of my Google search because I try to control what I post or what I allow to be posted about me online. Also, I have Googled myself several times before, just for fun, so I was expecting to see some of the search results.
Did social media presence affect the results?
I do not have an extensive social media presence and the small presence that I do have did not seem to significantly affect the results of my search.
How would a prospective employer view you?
Considering the positive results that my search has revealed, I think that a prospective employer would hold a positive view of me. However, the employer may want to see more evidence of my involvement in community service and activities that enhance my education and value as an employee.
What changes could you make in your online activities to improve and control your web presence?
In order to improve my web presence – that is, show prospective employers my interest and involvement in science, business, community service, and so on – I would like to make posts related to these activities on my social media sites. I also want to develop a profile on LinkedIn to join the business community. My web presence improvement plan includes defining how my activities benefit not only myself but also my community and the people around me, as well as conveying personal attitudes, values, and qualities that would benefit prospective employers.
This “Google Yourself” activity was both an interesting and informative experience for me. I hope to continue developing and maintaining a successful, professional online presence, an imperative endeavor these days, and wish all my classmates success in doing the same!