Have you ever "googled" yourself? Chance is you found at least a few websites and resources about yourself, and even more if you have deliberately added information about yourself on websites across the Internet.
Most users probably do so when they sign up for social networking websites such as Facebook or MySpac, but information comes also from personal homepages, business homepages, universities or shopping websites.
But not all information is provided deliberately by the user. It can happen that information leaks on the Internet or is put up there by malicious users, so that everyone who is searching for a person's name can find the information as well.
What's the best defense against that? Google thinks it is a good idea to place a profile page in the search results to provide first hand information when someone searches for a name in Google. The system is currently only enabled in the US search engine, and only if someone with an US IP address performs the search in Google.com
Profile information is also only displayed if at least one profile with that name exists. Users who want to create a profile for their name can visit Google Profiles to do so. A Google Account is required to do so.
A Google profile is simply how you present yourself on Google products to other Google users. It allows you to control how you appear on Google and tell others a bit more about who you are. With a Google profile, you can easily share your web content on one central location. You can include, for example, links to your blog, online photos, and other profiles such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. You have control over what others see. Your profile won't display any private information unless you've explicitly added it.
Which leads to the question of the day: Have you ever googled yourself? If so, what did you find out?
Update: Google Profile is now part of Google+, the company's social networking service. Interested users can start to create a profile on http://www.google.com/profiles. Please note that there is no guarantee anymore that the profile page will show up in search results when you search for the name of the owner.
Still, it may show up, and since you control what is listed on it, may be useful even if you don't plan on using Google+ at all.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.