An article titled "Get Google Get Hired" on TalentZoo.com last week by William Arruda got me thinking about my personal brand. Everyone is using Google these days to learn more about a person (or to check up on how they look when others Google them). The idea behind the article is how to measure someone's Google Quotient and introduces an algorithm called the Online ID Calculator which measures an individual's Google Quotient.
The Online ID Calculator was created by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson as a way to promote their book called "Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand". But using the calculator is a worthwhile exercise and takes just minutes to complete. The model uses four key measures in the calculations - volume, relevance, purity and diversity. A link was included in the article to a short video that explains these concepts in depth.
So I took their test. Fortunately, Tom Humbarger is a fairly unique name which means that it pays a bit to have genetics on your side. In fact, there is another Tom Humbarger who is an actor and lives in Los Angeles too - and it turns out that we are 6th or 7th cousins. But the other Tom Humbarger only shows up once on the first page of a Google search for our name - and I was the first to claim our 'vanity' name on both Facebook and LinkedIn. So, I guess he needs more help with branding than I do.
Overall, I do fairly (really) well on the Online Identity Calculator and it turns out that I am definitely Digitally Distinct. But even though I am Digitally Distinct, I cannot rest on my laurels as noted in the excerpt from the Online Identity Calculator results page:
This is the nirvana of online identity. A search of your name yields lots of results about you, and most, if not all, reinforce your unique personal brand. Keep up the good work, and remember that your Google results can change as fast as the weather in New England. So, regularly monitor your online identity. That way, if something negative, such as an anonymous ad hominem attack on your character on a blog, crops up, you can address it quickly, before it gets out of hand
There was also a link on the Online Calculator page for Vizibility. According to Vizibility, they "deliver the first SearchMe™ Button for Google which instantly returns the search results people want to see." Their approach lets users pre-select the information they want to see displayed in a search results and then give users an easy way to share those search results via a link or button.
Vizibility works by embedding search options into a standard Google search. For my search, the options turn out as +"Tom Humbarger" AND +"social media" OR +"thcg" OR +"irise" OR +"marketing" OR +"Morphlabs" -"actor" -"events.unisfair.com. And the resulting Vizibility Search for Tom Humbarger can be found at this link http://vizibility.com/tomhumbarger or in the picture below.
Based on the growing use of Google to do background searches, it makes sense to invest a bit of time to make sure that your own personal brand is well represented.