Outside Legal Counsel PLC

Have You 'Googled' Yourself?

For Immediate Release | Jan 26, 2006

With millions of websites and billions of pages of information, people looking for one very unique find—what others are saying about them.

These days, when someone wants to learn more about themselves and what others are saying, the first thing they're likely to do is type their name into the Google search box.

Online search engines use special programs called web spiders that visit websites and catalog the information they find, including individual names. Google, the world’s most popular online search engine, has cataloged well over eight billion web pages of information and online users can search for their own name, known as “googling yourself” in an attempt find who is talking about them.

The results are sometimes really interesting.

When I 'googled' my own name, I found my blog (as expected), but also the program from my commencement ceremony (where I was a speaker), a letter I wrote in support of professor, and even an article I wrote that was published online (that I didn't know of).

A quick search of family and friends revealed:
  • One of my clients is selling a piano
  • My brother-in-law received a grant from a prominent national non-profit
  • My sister made the Dean’s List at a Michigan university
  • My old boss has a new job in another state

    Many find the revelations fun and entertaining, but interestingly, businesses have found an even more unique use.

    Many recruiters and executives regularly use the Internet to research candidates. Employers will look to the web to research potential candidates for jobs, searching for information about their prospective candidate.

    Sometimes the information is damaging. Take the example of a teacher who was fired from a prior job whose school board included her firing in online meeting minutes. Ouch.

    Overall, many recruiters suggest job seekers regularly check what the web has to say about them. If something negative is found, career experts suggest you ask the website owner to remove the content, helping improve your chances for that dream job.

    So go ahead, 'google yourself.' So much for Big Brother watching, we all are.


    The above article was issued by an OLC attorney when he previously worked in corporate operations and communications. Because these articles are highly informative, they are provided as a service of this law firm.