Since I’m lucky enough to have a relatively unique name, a Google search for my name reveals a wealth of information about me – and also seems to give a good indication of which Social Networks are the most successful at ranking for your name. I know there are lots of other factors at work here, but as a good base-line indicator I find it quite interesting. Here’s a look at where they all come:
Up in the top spot at No. 1 is Bebo – ironically the social network I probably use least, and have the fewest friends on. Presumably the highly opimised Title Tag here is doing it’s job, as is the fact that my profile name on this one is purely my name (on some I use henweb – don’t ask – so I guess this isn’t the fairest of tests!). There’s no incoming links to it that I can see though…!
Cropping up in a surprising second place is Flickr at No. 2. Bizarrely, my name doesn’t actually appear anyway in the title or snippet – it does have 9 incoming (non-Flickr) links though, so I guess that’s how it’s ranking so well. The site also has a lot of crawled pages for each user, so that’s gonna help.
Jumping in at a respectable No. 4, after the first non-social-network result at 3 (one of the blogs I contribute to) is my MySpace page – probably the first social network I registered for, though one that doesn’t seem to have any incoming links to it. I know it DID at one point though, and even got a PageRank a while back if I remember correctly.
Edging in at No. 6 is a relatively new (and localised) player, Marcom Professional. This is another one which I’ve signed up with using my actual name rather than a sudonym, and I tend to repost my blog posts on here occassionally so it’s got lots of juicy content on it. It also gets featured in their newsletter from time to time, so there’s some nice incoming links to the page from other members.
Those professional peeps at LinkedIn crop up next at No. 7, with another of my real-name pages – this ones features my name LOADS in fact, although not in the URL. It’s got a few incoming links from external sites, and even more internal links.
Taking up the lead on Page 1 is DigFoot at No. 10. If I’m honest, I can’t even remember registering for this site so I’m quite impressed that it’s coming up. A few on-page mentions but zero links, impressive.
Facebook only makes it to the second page at No. 12, though I do remember it ranking more highly when they first switched the searchable profile results on. My name is all over the profile, but since you only get a pared-down version it’s not too surprising that it doesn’t rank well yet. It’s got a few incoming links from this very blog, but since we haven’t even got a PageRank yet I doubt it counts for much.
Sphinn is the first social bookmark site to come up for my name at No. 15, perhaps unsurprisingly given the amount of times my name appears on the actual page!
As you can see from the 2 examples above, there’s a few sites that I’d consider to be "authority sites" with my name featured – the Times Online at No. 18 and the Guardian at No. 35. These are relatively new entries, so it’ll be interesting to see how these climb as time goes by.
I have to admit I’m quite surprised at how high Bebo ranks – I wonder how these rankings will change over the next few months? Only time will tell, but I but Facebook climbs a bit before long…Tweet