Generally, I think it’s a good idea to Google yourself every now and then just to see what you can find. Searching for your name, or the name of your business, online can be a helpful way to see what potential customers and everyone else is going to see when they look for you. Depending on what you find, googling yourself may be the first step in initiating a clean up process (sometimes, occasionally, we may post something online that we really don’t want to share with the whole world) or it can help you to get a better sense of who is interested in you and your product and what they have to say about it.
I am particularly interested in keeping tabs on what other people have to say about Anodyne Design. To that end, I’m a huge fan of Google Alerts. If you haven’t checked out this free tool from Google, you should start today. It’s a very simple and efficient way to keep track of any search terms or phrases you are interested in. Instead of searching for “Anodyne Design” on Google when I think about it (which is something I may forget about for a month), I tell Google that I’m interested in “Anodyne Design,” and it will send me an email when something new with my search term appears on the scene.
Google Alerts are customizable, so that you can tell Google how frequently you prefer to receive alert emails, and what types of searches you would like it to conduct for you (for example, a search of only blogs or a comprehensive search of all the data available to Google.) There is no limit to the number of alerts you can set up, so I have Google set to alert me when something new about “Anodyne Design” appears on the radar, and also when something about “Anodyne Designs” (a frequent misnomer used for my business) appears, among other things.
If you want to use Google Alerts to help you monitor information about your business, I recommend you set up several alerts for your business name, your own name, your business URL, and if you have a website or blog, the name (if different) and URL for those. That should allow you to cast a pretty wide, thorough net over Google’s treasure trove of information. You may be surprised by what you find. Google Alerts have informed me when my recently listed items on Etsy have been added to the Google search results, when another blog has linked to my blog, and I have created a new profile on a site like Blog Catalog.