It may sound vain, but when you’re trying to get the word out about your work online, every so often, you have to search for yourself just to see what’s appearing amongst the results. The other day sitting in the airport in Philly, I decided to check in with what my google results are. I started typing my name and Google’s type ahead service that predicts what you are searching for started completing the search phrase for Mark Tisdale Obituary. Not exactly a rosy sight when you still have a two hour flight in your future plus a two hour shuttle trip home. My first reaction was predictably shocked – no, this is NOT what I’m searching… And then I realized, at least part of Google’s algorithm has to be what others are typing when they search, so there are people out there looking for that… enough to tip the odds in that favor. So, I had to see what the result was. Turned out to be another Mark Tisdale who died late last year out in Colorado. He wasn’t old either, unless you’re at that young age where everyone past school age is geriatric. It was sobering to read. Outside of the name there weren’t any real similarities, but it still kind of felt like peeking at one’s own obit. I hoped no one would get us confused and moved on to search for my own results.
I typed Mark Tisdale photography this time and got a little surprise. Assuming this isn’t my own private result, my site is now showing up not only at the top of the heap searching for my name, but it’s being shown complete with a directory style set of sub-links. That’s not how it has been in the past. Hypothetically that means that my site has gained a modicum of prominence.
It’s laced with irony that after I’ve moved on from Google as my primary search engine, I’d get this little elevation. Of course, this is a very specific search. As I’ve said before, would that I was such a well known name that people were searching for me that way! I would hardly need worry about my search results then would I? Still, it’s neat to see my site appearing with all those sub-links in Google’s results. Maybe it’s somehow a glad tiding – after all I’m sure I’m very much in the minority of using anyone other than google.
For those who clicked through on the search results, I’m curious to know if you see the same directory layout as I do – remember Google does not provide the same results to each of us. Your search results for a phrase and mine could be world’s apart!