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57% Of Americans Have Googled Themselves: Where are the rest?

Actually I am surprised that there are still people who haven’t done a vanity search. Jeez, most people I know have an alert and an RSS feed set up to track themselves (and their presence and reputation) on the web. People get hosed by and don’t track the rest of the rep!

“More than half (57%) of adult internet users say they have used a search engine to look up their name and see what information was available about them online, up from 47% who did so in 2006. Young adults, far from being indifferent about their digital footprints, are the most active online reputation managers in several dimensions.” Read the Pew report here.

“According to Pew’s research (link), online reputation monitoring via search engines increased between 2006 and 2009:

– 57% of adult Internet users now use search engines to find information about themselves online, up from
47% in 2006
– 65% of young adult Internet users (ages 18-29) said they had searched for results connected to their name online, up from 49% in 2006
– 46% of Internet users search online to find information about people from their past, up from 36% in 2006
– 38% have sought information about their friends, up from 26% in 2006

There’s also an important business element revealed in the study: 44% of online adults have searched for information about someone whose services or advice they seek in a professional capacity. This question wasn’t asked in 2006, so there’s no comparable benchmark data.

What do people find when they “Google” themselves?

– 63% say they find at least some relevant material connected to their name
– 31% of self-searchers say that most of the results on the critical first page are actually about them
– 62% say the first page of results is mostly about someone else with a name very similar or identical to theirs”


Posted on: May 31, 2010, 12:30 am Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Hi Stephen, I showed my parents (60+) that they could google themselves (it actually had not even crossed their mind that it was possible) and they were shocked at how much information was out there – phone number, address, email just sitting there waiting to be harnessed. I then showed them how to minimise it all. So maybe people of the older generation just don’t think about it as something that needs to be done – they have missed out on all the “digital literacy” and ‘be safe on the internet classes” we are so diligent about teaching the young ones.

  2. I don’t consider googling my name a vanity search – I see it as a critical part of managing my online personal identity and reputation. I’m not as concerned about contact information but more about presenting myself to the world as an active, contributing author to the educational technology world. This is my professional presence.