By Catherine Potts
Apr 22, 2009
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In the last couple of years, the biggest lesson for some people is that nothing you do on the internet is safe from prying eyes. Resisting the urge to post irresponsible things means more now than it ever has. Why? Because people search for you, by name, online. The thing is, how on Earth can you control what is found out? Basically you can’t. But Google has a way for you to try and overcome that lack of control with Google Profile Page.
“To give you greater control over what people find when they search for your name, we’ve begun to show Google profile results at the bottom of U.S. name-query search pages. These results offer abbreviated information from user-created Google profiles and a link to the full profiles. We’ve also added links so it’s easy to search for the same name on MySpace, Facebook, Classmates and LinkedIn.” Google
So this is a good thing in that if you want to, you can place your information in an additional place that will have a much greater chance of showing up in the search results.
All you have to do is create a profile here. How does it compare to the big guys (Facebook and MySpace)? They are actual communities with friends and thus a larger picture of whom you really are, through what you say, what you do and what your friends say about you. While Facebook and MySpace are visible, this should be more appropriately visible in search results and the content you prefer to present more readily available.
Currently, if I do a search on myself, I’m numbers 8, 9 and 10. Now I don’t really care but if I had the need to combat those results, I’d consider doing the Google Profile. You can also link to other profiles on other sites that you may have. Google’s profile results (4 results per name) will show at the bottom of the search results page. There is no way to know who, with the same name, will show up over other profiles. The general view is that there is not predetermined reason why some profiles may show up, while others do not. That’s not to say the system won’t morph to focus on certain elements of profiles and base the results on those elements.
So what other benefit does the profile bring?
“For those wondering, so far, these appear to be straight links that do pass PageRank. The nofollow attribute is not used, nor do I see other blocking, so potentially anyone can use their Google profile for link building efforts. I suspect that nofollow will come down the line.” Danny Sullivan
Matt Cutts responds in the comments field:
“I can answer the PageRank question. Links from these profile pages don’t give any extra PageRank or reputational boost just because they reside on google.com. A link from these pages is only worthwhile to the extent that other sites link to it. There’s no inherent benefit or boost from these google.com pages or links.”
So if you’re looking to increase your visibility, head on over and create a profile. Can’t hurt. I suppose one could do a test and see just how much it can help. I’ll be curious to see if this takes off and really shows a realized benefit. Users are already managing a myriad of profiles and this is yet another. However, this may not just be “any” profile since it’s associated with Google and they have the most used search engine.