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Casting One’s Net

Posted on 2008.08.05 at 03:05
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Welcome to the Machine - Pink Floyd
A friend of mine recently made a passing reference in her LJ to doing a Google search of her on-line name and seeing thousands of hits, so I decided to do the same with my own. I’ve done searches in the past on my actual given name (and several variations), and there isn’t a whole lot there worth mentioning – a few old theater reviews are about as interesting as it gets. But I’d never before thought to do a search of my on-line name. Yumpin’ Yiminy! I was genuinely surprised at the result, which is more a statement of my own ignorance than anything else. Between Yahoo and Google, which each gave substantially different search results, there were hundreds of hits on my on-line name.

These hits fell into a few general categories. Some were simply direct links to posts in my LJ. The only mystery to me is why, out of the hundreds of entries I’ve made, only certain ones showed up in my search. I’m thinking that there is perhaps some sort of key word protocol being followed here of which I am unaware. Similarly, some of the other hits were responses posted by me in other people’s LJs, blogs, MySpace pages, etc. Once again, though, only a tiny fraction of the posts I’ve made showed up in the search.

Then we have the real mystery category – items that appeared to be hits on my on-line name, yet when I would click the link and go to the page, nothing remotely connected to me would be apparent. On some of those, though, the subject matter would be close to things I had written about, so I’m wondering whether these were pages that used to have my name on them. Perhaps after my name was removed, there remained some buried reference to the old text that the search engine picked up on – but that’s just me speculating.

The final and most interesting category was where parties unknown to me had either excerpted my LJ and/or posted a link to a specific entry. Upon closer examination, it seems apparent that most of these were not consciously selected by an actual person; rather, they showed up because they contained certain key words. For example, I wrote a post a while back about a trip to the south side of Chicago (the baddest part of town, btw). I happened to mention the White Sox in the first paragraph… and there was a link to my post on a page of articles about the White Sox.

There was, however, one entry that seemed as if it may have been selected by a real person, though they surely found my post through a raw search for their key words. They had excerpted from my review of the film The Fall, in which I sang the praises of child actress Catinca Untaru. The quote (properly credited to me and including a link to the original LJ post) was included as part of a series of glowing reviews of Ms. Untaru on a site seemingly dedicated to her honor. While I’ve done precious little to publicize my LJ – since Internet fame was not any sort of goal of mine when I began this journal – it still put a smile on my face to see that my words were being utilized in such a positive manner – and at the service of a fellow actor to boot!

So this is my two cents of advice for you today – do a Google and Yahoo search on your on-line name and you may find some surprising results!


denii or deniss
aeazel at 2008-08-05 16:05 (UTC) (Link)
I've done this before. Apparently I'm the only person using the name Aeazel, as my internet footprint is quite large.
charlesofcamden at 2008-08-06 01:01 (UTC) (Link)
As long as we're on the subject -- where DID that name come from?
denii or deniss
aeazel at 2008-08-06 01:05 (UTC) (Link)
Milton's Paradise Lost. It's one of the monikers of Lucifer. Either Milton created it through poetic license, or it was an original form of Azazel.
meryddian at 2008-08-06 00:23 (UTC) (Link)
My friend Mike studied what it took to increase search results on one's website, because obviously the higher you are on the rankings, the better of a chance you have to be on the first page of search results. (Who, after all, is going to look through 8,000 pages of results?)

Mentioning hot topics helps drive hits, because people searching for those terms makes search engines hit your blog/whatever, and then when you have an established online footprint, voila, when you do a search for your name, there's all these hits.

I'm quite fascinated to see the difference between Google and Yahoo results, but head over to technorati.com, claim your blog, and then watch the statistics bounce up and down even more. :-)
charlesofcamden at 2008-08-06 01:02 (UTC) (Link)
Cool! Thanks!
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