Googling Yourself May Cause Blindness

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Fine, it’s a little narcissistic but you may be surprised in what you find when you Google your very own name. Sure, there is the normal stuff including IMDB pages, Associated Content, maybe even a few accomplishments.

But what you may be shocked to see are the indiscretions as well. Upon Googling herself, a friend of mine recently discovered that when she was pulled over and arrested for a DUI it wound up on the Daily News.com. The truly alarming part was not the write up but the interview with police and the use of her address.

There it was clear as day her name, age, address and a quote saying that she was clearly wasted. As if central booking and alcohol programs weren’t enough, apparently public embarrassment is also a prerequisite.

You may also be surprised to find that based on how often the article or site is read the higher up on the list it goes. Just as she felt at peace and the article had moved over to page three, she told her friends about it and based on the hits it was back on top.

So, your best move in a scenario like this may in fact be no move at all. The scary part is that family members, employers and even past acquaintances may Google you to see what you’re up to and what they find may warrant some clicking, and before you know it there it is again back at the top of page one.

Your only hope in this circumstance is that you have a common name and the strangers that share it do something high profile or Google worthy. If not, your best bet is to wait it out and not broadcast it because it only gains momentum.

If you are truly concerned that something you may have done could wind up on the web give yourself a Google News alert or check up on your name from time to time. In the age of technology, blogging and Myspace, your name runs through a computer hundreds of times a day.

To alter your Google status comment on blogs, create an Associated Content Page or your very own website. In the meantime, either keep a low profile or a very high one and you may be able to tame Google for now but remember that the ghost of search engine’s past can always come back to haunt you.

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