Search for Yourself: Day 20 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge

Before we get into today’s task, I want to invite you to join another #platchal chat on Twitter today starting at 1 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time). That would be noon Central, 11 a.m. Mountain, and 10 a.m. on the West Coast. Everywhere else, you can probably Google it. Speaking of which…

Search for Yourself

Today’s platform-building task is to perform a search on yourself. Use Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If you want extra credit, try other search engines as well.

If you’ve never done this before, this exercise is enlightening as far as what people will find when they search out your name. For some, there may be nothing there (a void to fill); others may be shocked at who else shares their name; and still others may be pleasantly surprised at how well represented they are.


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Click to continue.


What If I Don’t Like What I Find?

Later this month, we’ll be covering SEO (or Search Engine Optimization), and it will include some advice on how to raise your site and blog rankings when people search for keywords (including your name) related to your writing platform.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


Catch up on the first three days of the Platform Challenge here:

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133 thoughts on “Search for Yourself: Day 20 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge

  1. ConnieCockrell

    I have Googled my name on occasion but I’ve never done it on Bing or Yahoo or in a couple of years so this was an interesting challenge. I searched on both my name and on my web site’s name, Connies Random Thoughts. My web site came up first on all three search engines for both names. Also on the first page were Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Amazon Author Page and GoodReads Author page. Barnes and Noble links came up as did Smashwords. Also there were specific book references (via Amazon) and even image results of both my profile pictures and from blog posts. Also on the first page of Google and Yahoo, were my blog radio interviews with January Jones! That was a nice surprise.

    There were other Connie’s as well. One I’ve known about for some time is Connie Kaplan Cockrell who writes psychology type non-fiction books. Others are new, an illustrator for another woman’s children’s book, and a lady from Louisiana with a Facebook page.

    Overall, I’m pleased.

  2. Cindy

    I found what I already knew was out there. They still have my info mixed up with another lady’s info. Even though she has a really good job and lives in a nice part of Florida. It is not me. I prefer my own info it might be the greatest, but it is mine.

  3. azlatic

    No surprises, except the extent of the links that pop up (four pages on Google!). I have a distinctive name, which helps tremendously, and a career in communications/public relations, so there also ties to my day job in there. I found it interesting that my new eponymous domain (as in, days old) came up first in Bing and Yahoo, but was at the bottom of the first page for Google. Dang algorithms! Fascinating exercise…it’s not often someone instructs you to naval gaze. Thanks!

  4. Poet Ariel

    Yesterday was extremely encouraging; I used to be on page 25+ before I or my poetry blogs showed up. Now I’m within the first page or five. Of course that is typing in “poet ariel”, “Pacific NW poet” or “NW poet areil” … unless you just type in “Ariel”. Then it’s all about Sylvia Plath & mermaids for ages! I’m even showing up under my legal name on some searches. Found a couple of links even I had forgotten about.

    Wish I could have participated in the Twitter discussion more – but I had database entry to do.
    ~ Ariel

  5. smgood

    Google: My blog, Cow Pasture Chronicles came up first; my actual name 3rd. 6 out of 10 on page 1 was me or my blog. When I put in my blog’s name – every entry on the page was my blog and more than half on page 2.
    Bing: Page 1, my name showed up number 1 and 3; not as much as Google, but my blog all but 2 of the first page was my blog.
    Yahoo: The least amount showing my name. Wow! My blog and images from my blog came up 1st; only 2 of the entire page were not me.

  6. Paranormal_Investigator

    My search on me: – – –;_ylt=At7NYW.0gPMEmVcPE5tiuoibvZx4?p=v+duwane+ledbetter&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-901&fp=1 – –

    I was amazed that I would be so popular! LOL!!! No but I was on top listing for some reason. Maybe it is because I have such a unique style name.

  7. Lynn Fowler

    Finally figured out how to get this to show my name instead of my user name, Chooky.

    For this challenge, what a difference a letter makes! On each of the three search engines (I don’t know any others) I first searched for Lynn Fowler, then for Lynn B. Fowler (my writing name.) On Bing, there was one first page listing for Lynn Fowler, 9 for Lynn B. Fowler; on Google there were none on the first page for Lynn and 10 for Lynn B; on Yahoo there were none on the first page for Lynn and 9 for Lynn B.

    I think I have mentioned in other responses that the only reason I use my middle initial is because when I registered my domain name years ago, was not available, so I chose Turns out, in terms of being discovered, it did me a big favour!

  8. Eric

    I google myself, and I have a choice . . . would I like to be the famous guitarist, the director, or the quarterback. I need to put poet next to my name to get anything close to myself showing up there.

  9. lmurban20

    Well as it turns out, it seem you can find me on the web by my screen name of lmurban20.
    I found my blog, Twitter page, Nanowrimo author page…even an old Soundcloud, & a Discus page that I forgot I set up all under that search name.
    So Day 20 complete. 😀

  10. wordmage

    My LinkedIn profile pops to the top of nearly all the searches I tried: Yahoo, Google, Norton, Bing, even Although, it popped to the side at the latter. There are at least 5 people with my name on Facebook. And a few who even share the same middle name. I was pleasantly surprised to see my images pop up from Pinterest and That was cool 🙂

  11. Lindy™

    Whoa. I was not prepared for what I found. Haha. My hometown newspaper finally got around to putting their archives online. I also found my book listed in several places I did not authorize – or even know about. I haven’t run a business in 15 years, either lol. Crazy stuff. I only checked Google, that was enough for me for one day. 😉 Anyway, task completed.

  12. clarkatniles

    With a common name like mine, I had never even attempted a search and was not expecting much of anything this time either. Lo and behold, on Google I did come up as Nancy J. Clark in (my cousin has a family tree there) and my website/blog came up when I used njclark.niles. Wow! That was exciting! Will check other search engines tomorrow.

  13. C.G. Gordon

    Wow! there are a few people who have my name but I’m surprised at HOW much information you can get with JUST my name. It’s kind of scary actually. I am number 3 on Google though (as C.G. Gordon)

  14. Majida

    I have from time to time checked myself on different search engines because I didn’t like being there. Google has the most information on me. Now with public Facebook profile and Twitter I am out there open. I don’t like it. My blog is not there because it’s with a different name.

  15. Majida

    I have from time to time checked myself on different search engines because I didn’t like being there. Google has the most information on me. Now with public Facebook profile and Twitter I am out there open. I don’t like it. My blog is not there because it’s with a different name.

  16. Suzanne Adair

    The search was pretty much what I’ve seen before. However I’m hoping the SEO topic will show me why the pictures of authors who are guests on my blog show up with my author photo when a search is done on my name.


  17. Northside Girl

    Well, that was interesting. Google was the most comprehensive coverage, with Bing a close 2nd, and Yahoo not very revealing. Sites I appeared on were Goodreads, Intellius (outdated), Spokeo, LinkedIn, FB, Amazon, Twitter, She Writes, Parenting Examiner, and more. Surprises? Didn’t like my birthday out there, nor some of the people the public record sites listed as relatives??? But I was glad to see my writing links pop up.

  18. mebond

    I never use Yahoo or Bing, so I was excited to see that my website came up at the top of the search results for “M.E. Bond.” On Google all I see is the James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me”!

  19. Ally McCormick

    I enjoyed another great Twitter Chat this morning. Went to #WhyIWrite to post something but there are just so many thousands of tweets – my tweet was like a drop of water in a vast ocean – lost in seconds.
    On the plus side, I’ve posted my Interview with an Expert. I’m sure he would love for people to check the interview and if anyone is interested to check out his blog. He circumnavigated THE WORLD by cycling.
    Also googled myself and was pleased to see that amongst the many many McCormicks and nearly as many Ally McCormicks my Google+ page was highlighted. Yay! Now just have to check Bing. Does anybody still use Yahoo?


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