What Happens When Someone Googles You?

September 23, 2012

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In marketing there is a concept known as the Moment of Truth. In a retail environment, this is the moment when a consumer enters a store, assesses their options, and chooses one of the available products in any given category. For example, you’re looking at the drinks fridge, and you choose to buy a Coke instead of a Pepsi. You might not manage a brand like Coke, but you do manage the brand called ‘You’, whether you’re aware of this or not.

And today the gateway to your brand is Google. Let’s say you’re at a seminar or networking event and you exchange business cards with someone you’ve just met. If you have made a strong enough impression on that person, there’s a good chance that they will Google you when they get a chance. This is your professional Moment of Truth.

What happens when someone Googles you? Do you appear on the first page of search results? Do you ‘own’ the first three search results? Are you happy with your current website and the image that this presents? As an example, a search for my name will return something like this:

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I can’t say this enough: first impressions last. Today’s first impression is often made via a Google search. People who want to find out more about you like to use Google as their own personal Private Investigator. They will find out anything there is to know about you. Here are some steps you can take to control this crucial element of your personal brand and win your Moment of Truth:

Your Website / Blog

Websites used to cost thousands of dollars and were not within reach of the average professional. Today it costs as little as a few hundred dollars to get a professional looking website up and running. Think of your website as the central hub of your personal brand. It should reflect who you are and what you do, whether this be a portfolio site for a designer, or a blog for a writer or entrepreneur. I highly recommend WordPress as a platform to use. It’s highly customizable, used by many of the top websites and blogs in the world, and has many ready-made themes to choose from.

Blogging is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your professional life. It gives you the opportunity to organize your thoughts, beliefs and ideas. It can position you as an authority in your industry. A good blog has the potential to lead to work and business opportunities that you never thought possible. For more on blogging and content marketing, read my earlier blog post.

Domain Names

If you haven’t done this already, stop reading this post and register yourname.com and/or yourname.com.au right now. If you’re fortunate enough for this domain to be available to you, then you should purchase the domain as a priority. You can then either use it as your website URL or you can have it point to your main website. Also, you’ll look really smart when you’re rich and famous and people assume you have it so they just enter yourname.com like they would for say, Jim Carrey.

Email Address

Now that you’ve got your own domain, it’s time to say goodbye to your old account, Miss scaryspice_97@hotmail.com. Get yourself set up with an email that matches one of your domains e.g. tom@designbytom.com.au. You’d be surprised how much more seriously people will take you when you have your own professional email address.


Think of LinkedIn as a Facebook for professionals. It’s essentially your CV online, plus a social network whereby you connect with people you work with or have worked with previously, as well as new connections such as potential employers or clients. It’s an essential tool for any career-minded professional, and ranks highly in search results, so go get yourself a profile.


If you’re not on twitter, make no mistake, you’re missing out. If you think it’s just people talking about what they ate for breakfast, then you’re way off. It serves as a real-time information resource on any topic you’re interested in, and allows you to follow people you normally would not be able to connect with on networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Take the plunge.


This network is relatively new and you’ll find that very few of your friends or contacts use it actively. Nonetheless, it’s worth setting up a basic profile with links to your website. As you’d expect, Google+ profiles rank highly in search results, so you’d really be crazy not to take the opportunity to own another search result on the front page of searches for your name.

If you invest the time to create your own website and establish a profile on the social networks mentioned, you will have gone a long way to winning your professional Moment of Truth.


You, Inc. by John McGrath. The best book I’ve read on how to manage the many aspects of your life in a way that propels you towards your goals.

Linchpin by Seth Godin. Think of yourself not as a cog in a wheel but as an artist who is here to do work that matters.

You should follow me on twitter @FrancisMcCarthy.

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