Google Yourself: The Man with Two Names
“Google-ing” myself was a particularly interesting assignment for me because I sort of have two names. Legally, my full name is Thomas Jacob Stresen-Reuter, but for my entire life I have gone by Jake Stresen-Reuter. I was very interested in seeing how this would create different search results for different names and I definitely was not disappointed.
Thomas Stresen Reuter
Upon conducting this search, the first thing that I noticed was the very interesting image results that came about. Now that I know what I know about SEO and Image Tags, I suppose I am not surprised to see such diverse results as Google likely returned images with Stresen Reuter in the tags. I recognized some of the images and names from the search, but I am mostly estranged from this side of the family, so do not really know these people on a personal level. In fact, the search results for this search were mostly a range of pages related to others with this last name. I did notice a “White Pages” looking result with my age and location as one of the results that I found interesting. I also found a posting that listed my position as a graduate assistant from a few years ago. My current Facebook page for this graduate program was also found on the second page of this search.
Jake Stresen Reuter
This search actually yielded more results that were specifically catered to me. It’s very interesting that my unofficial name would have more results about me than my legal name. I suppose in the sense of privacy and “big brother” issues, this is a good thing for me because I don’t necessarily want all of my information out there. The images that were returned were at least me at the beginning, but there were still some of the same images of people from before. My current job came back as one of the early results which I liked. Also, my wedding registry came back as an early result which kind of surprised me. Some of my graduate program social media account returned in this search, but my personal Twitter did not come back in this search. Overall, this was definitely the more effective search when searching for me.
In conclusion, the most interesting thing I took from this assignment was the fact that my two different names really led to completely different search results. I was surprised to see how many more relevant results came from searching my non-legal name. One other thing that I found particularly interesting was a search of my common screen name for various services (jakereuter10). I have used this name since back in the days of AOL Instant Messenger and the results for this search were definitely an in-depth profile of my online accounts and interactions, including social media and various message boards that I participate in.
Do you have a “screen name” that you have used a lot that might create an interesting Google search?
What are possible SEO benefits/complications that can result of my having two different names?