Google Wants to Knows Everything About You

And you know what? I don’t mind at all. With sites like Facebook and MySpace shining the light on our darkest secrets for the whole world wide web to see, it’s nice to have an opportunity to launch a counter-attack in the war for information control.

Enter Google Profiles, an intriguing new feature tied directly into everyone’s favorite search engine. These sleek little profiles are simple and effective, much like the rest of Google’s lineup, but with an added benefit that’s actually pretty exciting. Creating a Google Profile will now add a link to it at the bottom of any Google search in your name, meaning you now have your own little corner of the web to show to anyone who tries to look you up. Not bad, eh?

I’ve already jumped on the bandwagon. The profiles are easy to create, so long as you have a Google account, and even easier to flesh out with pictures, links, etc. once you’ve set everything up. To get the ball rolling, Google asks for a few basic things like where you grew up, where you live now, what your job titles is, what your superpower is, etc.

Those first two might freak you out a little bit, given the concern about internet predators, but I doubt you’ll come to much harm by providing a city and state. That’s all you can add, if you want location data in your profile at all. Still, it might not hurt to include it, as Google claims that searchers can find your profile when they search for the keywords contained within it (as an example, a search for my hometown of Richmond, TX could link to my profile). I haven’t seen this happen myself, but my profile is brand-spankin’ new, so I’ll give it a bit to see if anything changes.

You also have the option to add links to your profile. The possibilities here are endless: personal blogs, Twitter accounts, hilarious YouTube videos, and so on. It’s a great way to gather all of your small spaces on the ‘net and organize them under one umbrella for everyone to see. For students on the verge of graduation, this can be especially useful, particularly if you have any web projects you’ve worked on that won’t be at the top of the list if a future employer should search for your name.

From there you can add photos, a small bit of autobiographical text as a means of introducing yourself, and the quirky pieces of info no proper profile goes without. Those few paragraphs about yourself seem especially useful with the increasing demand for workers to have an online presence, as a well-written “About Me” could be all it takes for a potential employer to sit up and pay attention. Look for more discussion on this in a future post, as I’m knee-deep at the moment in research on all the glorious ways one can use self-promotion in a digital world.

What do you guys think of the profiles? I’m curious to see how Google will expand them over the next couple of months. Video support, maybe? I’m not sure what else the profiles really need, as Google has a great basis here, one that connected students like you and me should definitely take advantage of.

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No Comments on "Google Wants to Knows Everything About You"

  1. Brian
    24/05/2009 at 7:20 am Permalink

    I threw together one of these, but more as a “just in case” measure than actually in expectation of it seeing much use (yet). The next order of business? Purchasing and maintaining rights to… forever.

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