Google's Me on the Web feature - gHacks Tech News

Google's Me on the Web feature

Online reputation management becomes more important as focus shifts to a world that is connected online. Chance is that someone searching for your name, or a nickname you are known by, will find information about you online unless you have separated your online identity from your real one from the very first step you made on the web.

Depending on what you do for a living, you may be present online and can't really do anything about that. If you search for my name for instance, you will find lots of information about me and people who share the name. It is important that the information returned by the search engines is accurate and not misleading in any form or way.

Google's new Me on the Web feature aims to provide you with a couple of tools to keep things under tight control. You find the new feature under your Google Account settings. To open it either load the following link directly, or click on the profile photo at the top right of a Google property after you have signed in to a Google account and select Account  > Profile and Privacy > Me on the Web.

Here you are presented with three options:

  • Search for yourself - This may be a basic thing to do considering that you can simply fire up Google Search manually and perform a search for your name, but it may still be useful in the context of the feature. It basically displays the ten top search results for your name on Google right on the Me on the Web page.  You can change the name that you want to search for in the search form at the top, which may be useful if you want to narrow down results. This can be done for instance by adding a location to the search or a middle name.

search for yourself

  • Stay up to date with Web Alerts - This is probably the most useful option of the three available ones. It allows you to create Google Alerts for your name or another name you specify.  You will be notified by email once per day when new information appear online. You can change that to "as it happens" to receive near instant information, or "once a week" if you want a weekly digest instead. You can modify the name or phrase you want to receive alerts from to narrow down the search or include searches for family members or colleagues as well. This can be an interesting option for parents to keep track of their children's activity on the Internet.

web alerts

  • The last option reminds you to check your Google profile to make sure it contains accurate information.

All available options are available in other locations as well. You can configure Google Alerts manually if you for instance. The Me on the Web feature however makes those options available to a larger audience. It is a bit hidden in the Account options as it only becomes available when you click on the Profile and Privacy link here, but users who discover it may find all the tools they need to quickly check for names online and create alerts to be notified about new information posted on the Internet.

Are you keeping track of your name or other names on the Internet?

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Comments

  1. Martin Watson said on December 17, 2012 at 10:59 am
    Reply

    Interesting but it seems very badly skewed in favour of LinkedIn.

  2. Nebulus said on December 17, 2012 at 11:46 am
    Reply

    Is there a problem with the comments system? Because I wrote a comment, it doesn’t show, but when I tried to resubmit it, the site told me that it is a duplicate…

    1. Nebulus said on December 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm
      Reply

      Yes, there is definitely something wrong, it’s the third time it happened to me today… :(

  3. Mountainking said on December 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm
    Reply

    Thanks on that one Martin. You just convinced me to delete my google + account. I hate it when my name appears in search engines. Dont like to be stalked by pervy voyeurs.

    1. Nebulus said on December 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm
      Reply

      I’m not sure that deleting your Google+ account will help, other than having nothing more to do with Google… Others will still be able to search you.

  4. Keith said on December 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm
    Reply

    Astounding. I used the direct link from your article and found my name alright. There’s a high profile guy with the same name dominating the result so, I remain under the radar to my ex who stalked me through web and social connections for years. Thanks for the tip.

    1. Nebulus said on December 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm
      Reply

      This is something you could’ve done without Google’s new service. Just google for your full name (with or without quotes around it”), that’s exactly what Google Me is doing.

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