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There’s always something to howl about

Googling for Pizza

We had the extended family over for dinner last night. Being as it was (a Sunday), and being as I am (a real estate agent), this wasn’t a home-cooked foodfest, but Pizza Night. I always dread these gatherings, not because I don’t enjoy the company, but rather because I always suspect the “company” would rather be in pre-op than at my house knee-deep in take-out food and dog hair.

During the course of the evening, one of our cousins who we shall call “Barry” (we shall call him that because that is his name), was explaining how he had Googled me prior to his arrival because he couldn’t remember how to get to our house. Now, keeping in mind that Cousin Barry in a technical graphic designer and has some serious background in all things internet, my initial reaction was along the lines of exactly why he thought the keywords “Kris Berg” would return a link to the Mapquest driving directions to my home. Like much in life, we will just take that one on faith.

It is what Cousin Barry did find on his search for the pepperoni that I found amusing. He said, “I found your Blog”. Before I could fully puff my plumage with pride, he asked, “What’s up with the dog?”. (Insert image of befuddlement followed by getting-a-clue head bob). Ah! He found the Bloodhound Blog.

I consider this a victory of monumental proportions. When I started my own blog last April, I set baby-step goals, the first being to achieve search engine recognition. In the past eight years or so of having a fairly popular (locally), static website, searching for my name produced nothing at all related to me. Curses to those other imitators who share my name! Within a mere eight months, due entirely to blogging, the outcome is much different. Plug my name into Google this morning and four of the seven first page links are to me in some fashion (my blog, my website, the Bloodhound Blog, and Technorati). The other three spots sadly belong to some jazz music writer/arranger by the same name. Go to page two in the search results (where we know no man really goes), and four of those links refer to me as well: MyHouseKey.org, the Northern Virginia Real Estate Guide, Ubertor Blog, and Urban Digs. The remaining three hits belong to that confounded other Kris Berg. I just may have to take away his metronome.

Here’s the point – This is cross pollination (contamination?) at its best. It’s admittedly a baby step. If someone wants to find me, they can. The next, obvious step is to allow someone to find me who is looking for someone like me, an experienced real estate agent specializing in San Diego. I have seen much debate about the value of blogging for lead generation. If increased exposure through successful search engine placement is the result, isn’t the added exposure and perceived credibility important? As we are all in our blogging infancy here, the answer will only reveal itself over time.

In the meantime, I believe that blogging and the resulting improvement in search engine placement will serve an important and often overlooked role, that of minimizing lost opportunities. For now, I know that Cousin Barry can find dinner, and someone searching for Kris Berg, whether they know me or know of me, can find me. Food for thought.

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  • 8 comments

    8 Comments so far

    1. Michael Cook January 29th, 2007 11:49 am

      I know the struggles of Google. I feel like I need to win a Pultizer Prize to get on the tenth page. Curse my popular name. Congrats on making it to the big time.

    2. Michael Cook January 29th, 2007 12:01 pm

      Real time update. Since I have started with Bloodhound, I have gone from non-exsistent to the fourth page of Michael Cook’s on Google. Thanks Greg.

    3. Drew Nichols January 29th, 2007 12:31 pm

      Guys, is this recruiting propaganda, are what? :-).

      Having read this article and Michael’s follow-up, who in their right mind would not want to be associated with this wonderful website?

    4. Greg Swann January 29th, 2007 12:32 pm

      > Since I have started with Bloodhound, I have gone from non-exsistent to the fourth page of Michael Cook’s on Google.

      You’re on the first page in seven days. In a month, you’ll be in the top three.

      Kris is a category-killer, 60% of the first page.

      This is the one I like.

    5. Dan Green January 29th, 2007 1:00 pm

      Ah, the curse of being one of about a million Dan Greens. See http://www.dangreen.com, an experiment to keep it all straight.

      A Who’s Who Guide to Dan Greens of the world.

      Lucky you, Kris Berg, Norma Newgent, Doug Quance, and Greg Swann (the extra “n” helps).

    6. Kris Berg January 29th, 2007 3:59 pm

      Michael,

      Maybe you should adopt the SAG rules for unique names and add a middle initial. It worked for Michael J. Fox.

    7. Michael Cook January 29th, 2007 7:48 pm

      Unfortunately my parents were not forward thinking enough to give me a middle name. Google wasnt in their consideration set when they sat down to create a name for their new baby boy.

    8. Cathleen Collins January 30th, 2007 2:14 pm

      One more, late comment. Like the rest of you who have commented here, I’ve got a really common name, too. In my rural/suburban high school, with a graduating class of only about 300, there was a Cathy, Cathleen, Kathy, Kathi or Kathleen Collins representing each year from the sophomore year when I was a freshman to the freshman year when I was a senior. In other words, a new and different Cathy Collins every year for five successive years.

      I thought it was pretty funny when early this year a Google on Cathleen Collins ranked me higher than the most famous of my namesakes, Bo Derek. But when I just now Googled to see my current standing, both Bo and I are eclipsed by a different Cathleen Collins whose wish list on Amazon has been viewed 620 times! (Gosh, I hope no one was looking at her list to figure out what to buy me!) And there’s a Bush-basher who is no relation.

      It is indeed great being so find-able, even when we have such common names. But one more disadvantage that we girls with the hard-K first names have is the probability that our names will be misspelled by people who remember the name but not well enough to know how to spell it. By the time Greg and I realized that we should have bought all the sound-alike name domains, CathyCollins.com, KathleenCollins.com and KathyCollins.com were already owned. :-(