Here are the results of our survey in June about the kinds of things and people we search for online. We asked ValleyPRblog readers, and communicators on social networks such LinkedIn and MyRagan to tell us a bit more about their Googling habits.
- 46.9% of respondents said they Googled a company or web site of a person.
- 100% searched for a person by name.
- 34.5% of people Googled a person they may do business with.
- 18.8% Googled someone within their organization ("Someone I don't know in my organization, but am curious about")
When asked whom they most Googled in the last month, 63.3% said they checked out the same people in their organization, as above.
And how often do people Google someone?
- 32.3% said they do it several times a month.
- 22.6% said they do it many times a week.
But here's what's equally interesting. People sent me emails about whom they Googled, many admitting they regularly Google themselves. One user said he Googles someone 25-40 times a month! Others wrote to say they look up potential employers, social contacts, someone being profiled (a media person's response.)
What this might mean: People seem to be placing enormous weight on online reputation systems, and even ranking. We didn't ask respondents if they were looking for negative or positive factors, but from the tone of the emails and open-ended answers, combined with the stats above, a picture emerges: we do worry about what might pop up -at least when we Google (or Yahoo) ourselves!
People also seem to be doing some degree of due diligence about whom they come into contact with, or may be doing business with, using search engines to gather some 'context' before they meet a company, a potential employer, or a date. At the enterprise level, given the potential for organizations to leave unsightly digital trails, we see a whole industry of media monitoring, and reputation management taking off.
What do you think of all this?