When you’re going to look for someone online, though, you still probably start by typing their name into Google. Today Google took a step to increase the visibility of your “Google Profile,” by making your Google profile visible at the bottom of the results that come up in a search for your name. Here’s the announcement of the placement of Google profile results.
Google has had a form for you to fill out for your online “profile” for quite a while. You can create a profile in a few minutes at the Google Profiles site and include as much or as little information as you like. It begins with a “Google Account,” tied to your email address and a password, that Google uses to give you access to many of its services. (Microsoft calls its similar account a “Windows Live ID.”) When you’re logged into your Google account, you’ll find links to your profile as you travel around Google pages, like this:
As part of its effort to make the profiles more useful, Google has also just added a custom nickname for your profile that becomes part of its web address – http://www.google.com/profiles/yourname. My profile is http://www.google.com/profiles/bruceberls, for example. (Don’t bother – there’s not much there.)
As near as I can tell, the profile results only appear in searches for individual names – it doesn’t appear to be useful for businesses, since the profile results won’t show up in a search for a business name.
This won’t prevent those embarrassing pictures from turning up in Google searches for your name, but perhaps it will distract potential employers or clients. If you want to play a part in what people see when they search for your name, take a minute and go set up your profile!