It’s impossible to keep tabs on everything
being said about anyone, anywhere
Search results as of about 9 a.m. PDT today.
GOOGLE’S ALGORITHMS work in mysterious ways.
I was astounded this morning when I Googled my own name. In a few nanoseconds, the search engine giant returned more than 5,700 hits.
Less than two months ago, if I remember correctly – and that’s doubtful – it was about 300 hits.
About a month ago when I tried the same exercise, I noticed there were over 100 pages of results. I started to go through the entries in a futile attempt to find out what the media had been saying about me.
When I got to about page 30, I quit. Exhausted.
IN DISBELIEF THIS MORNING, I ran a search on my two siblings. Tony Swil, who lives near Jerusalem, and the other in Sydney; Google returned 140-plus hits for each of them.
Then, I quickly skimmed through the first 30 pages of results on my name, and discovered something interesting.
Although many of the entries did directly concern my recent (ahem) public interactions (that is as specific as I am allowed to get about them), there was also something curious.
Search results for my brother, Tony.
A huge number of entries on those first 30 pages came from one source: the Pasadena Weekly newspaper.
I have no idea about the reason for this. But, it is also true that the Weekly is the only publication to have found and reported on my confidential personnel file entry that is now buried under mountains of hits on the Google search results
This document should never have been put on the Internet. I still have no idea why it was. But believe me I have cached, bookmarked, saved it and copied it.
IF YOU HAVE NOT already done, so try it yourself, using your own name. Be sure to insert the quotation marks; this narrows the search to just the relevant items.
In this age of instant global connectivity, it has become impossible for a public figure – or even a not-so-public person – to keep tabs on everything being said about himself or herself around the world.
Is it important?
I vaguely remember in a public relations class I took many years ago, that the credo of the PR profession is: “I don’t care what you print about me as long as you spell my name correctly.”
Some people, particularly celebrities, clearly believe this is true. Think: Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton.
Others, like Angelina Jolie, prefer to control their media – if they can.
She has had expert advice in keeping her double mastectomy private until she was ready to go public with it.
Now, I have my own platform right here. I can speak about whatever is on my mind, when I choose to do so. And, of course, suffer the consequences … if there are any.
Join my crowd of critics. Post a comment to this item at “In the (K)now”
If Google is half as clever as I think it is, you too may see your hits on its search engine soar into the stratosphere, just like mine have done.