Thursday, August 4, 2011

That's Not Me!

A year ago (or so), I read about Google Alerts on Elana Johnson's blog.

They are pretty cool. You choose something you'd like to google, and once a week (or however often you want to receive them), Google sends you a list of the top-ranked pages for that search term. If you don't know how, you should definitely google it . . .that is, as soon as you're done commenting on my blog. ;)

As a writer and blogger, for example, you can set up an alert for your name just to get an idea of where and how frequently you are mentioned. Does your blog come up when someone searches for your name (ie agents and editors)? Are any other sites referencing you?

I decided to take a leap, and I loved the results. My blog came up consistently. And often, I'd find my name mentioned on other blogs (which was always a fun surprise!). 

Anyway, fast-forward several months, and Google (the stinkers!) changed the way they do something, and suddenly, my blog is gone from the lists. Except occasionally. So instead of seeing my posts proudly displayed, I learn about other Janet Johnsons (because there are a lot of us).

Did you know that in July, a one Janet Johnson of Texas gave birth to a sixteen-pound baby! Wow.

And do you know how often I find links to my obituary? At least once a month.

Still, it is amusing, and it's nice to know I do show up somewhere . . . even if it's a few links down.


So do you do Google Alerts? How does your name fare?

16 comments:

Christina Lee said...

HAHAHa! Well congrats to that other Janet.:D I don't, but have wanted to--my name is common too!!!

Jessica Bell said...

I haven't set this up. I actually don't know if I should! :-/

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss janet! yikes! im glad thats not you that had that 16 pound baby! ack! and for sure im glad youre not dead! i did a google search one time for my name and yeeesh i could know theres so much lenny lees in the world. ha ha.
...hugs from lenny

Christina Farley said...

Very interesting! I need to check into that. Thanks for the alert!

Carolyn V said...

lol! Wow, a 16 pound baby. That would be some alert! I haven't tried the alerting. Maybe I should. =)

Michelle Fayard said...

How interesting you mention this the same week I was researching it to see if it were something that would be of value; I'm still a bit on the fence but am willing to give it a try. I know there is a Michelle Fayard who is an actress and one who is a dancer (I don't think they are the same person). At least we're all in the artistic field--and alive. :)

MikeS said...

Searches for Mike Sumner typically bring up the renowned banjo player. But, one of the changes Google has made recently is to elevate local results in your searches. This means I see more of my stuff popping up when I search, but you might not get the same results in DC.

Maeve Frazier said...

Thanks for the tip. I haven't tried it. I'll check it out.

LTM said...

I've never heard of this!!! And now i can't stand it. I must do this... LOL! :D

I'm sorry to hear about the obits. And wow. Big baby!

Any mention of clean-up fairies??? ;p <3

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I don't think it's working for me. It only occasionally shows up when I blog or tweet. I'm amazed at how often my full name shows up on other blogs (including one with a huge following), but Google Alert never tells me about it. :P

Chris Phillips said...

Dear Janet,
So sorry to hear you died. There is a pro hockey player named Chris Phillips so I get a lot of hockey stats when I google my name. Fortunately none of use have died yet. Take care... well I mean, um, too late I guess.

-Chris

Shallee said...

Ha! That's hilarious you keep seeing your own obituary. I have Google alerts too, but suddenly I'm getting practically no hits on my name. I wonder what they changed? Of course, my name is a rare one, so I don't have to worry about seeing how many of me are out there...it's almost a little disappointing. :)

Beth said...

I haven't signed up for google alerts yet, but it's a good idea. But isn't it annoying when you just figure out how to do something and they change it on you?

Amie Kaufman said...

Yeah, it doesn't seem to work very well for me -- I never get results for other Amie Kaufmans, but I often don't get any report of places I know I've been mentioned by name. No idea why!

Janna Qualman said...

I did sign up for the alerts, for "Something She Wrote," and I get occasional e-mails, but I still don't understand the process. *sigh* I suppose I'll go... google. ;)

Hope all is well, Janet!

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

I've done Google alerts for a while, but I agree: it's changed, and it's hard to know if I'm seeing all the results or not.

Thank you so much, Janet for commenting on my story over at Blackbird. You are so encouraging!

~Debbie