Have you Googled a person by name lately?

Google search results have changed if you search for a person by name. Here’s an example, using Elisa Camahort Page as the guinea pig. (I thought about using myself, but Google recognizes me and urges me to complete my profile. Someone else is a better example.)

You have two views, with personal results showing, and with personal results hidden. If the person has a profile on Google+, the personal results are from their Google profile. Here are views of Elisa Camahort Page with and without personal results.

with personal information

You can see that the personal results are something like a social media result rather than a search result. The top search result is BlogHer either way, but the next results are different with and without personal results.

How about a celebrity? I searched on actor and artist Laurel Holloman, who does not have a Google+ profile or her own web site. Her personal results came from Wikipedia, followed by IMDB. There were lots of images and mention of her movies and TV shows.

Google wasn’t just linking to every web page that mentioned either Elisa or Laurel. It was providing results that were rather intelligent in that they related specifically to the person. Out of all the web pages, in all the world, where the two of them might be mentioned and indexed, it picked really relevant results and images.

I know you’ve Googled your own name in the past; do it again now and take a look at the difference in what you see. It isn’t just a million links in willy-nilly order. It’s an intelligent collection of links that tell a lot about you in the first page of results. Big Brother is watching.


3 thoughts on “Have you Googled a person by name lately?”

  1. I know that Elisa is a heavy G+ user so I respect the high rank given to her G+ presence but… I’ve found Google is placing an exceptionally heavy preference on its own service in other cases.

    And that bugs me a lot.

    1. Two things bug me. One, is the Google-as-data-god point you make. The other is that everything is so public and we have to be so careful to manage and curate everything we put online.

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