One of the more important aspects of personal branding online is a name search. I know that sounds utterly vain, but when you see it from the perspective of others name-searching you to know more about who you are, what you do and form an early opinion about you, it’s not so vain after all.
Given all of Google’s mega-data trove, and given the fact that our names are not all that unique (I get asked about my special interest and skills in celebrity photography all the time, given the Chennai-based namesake!), a simple Google name-search alone won’t suffice.
A Google name-search’s most predictable first result is usually via LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile appears very high in a name-search result on Google, and this is one big reason to keep your profile on LinkedIn up-to-date and fresh, even if you are not active on that platform otherwise you should be, but that’s a different topic).
All your other profiles on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook too appear, but given they do not necessarily contain all your professional and educational context in one complete package, they may not help from a professional personal-brand building perspective. They’d obviously help in other contexts – friending, dating etc.
So, Google’s new virtual visiting card is an interesting addition to the name-search task.
Google allows you to customize and personalize what your virtual card should show if people name-search you. They have introduced this feature, called ‘people cards’ for the first time in the world, in India.
This is a mobile-only feature. All you need to do is to search for “add me to search” on Chrome browser on mobile. Or, just click this link via your mobile.
You’d see a ‘Get started’ option from where you can customize your card.
I created my card and it works well in Chrome and Brave mobile browsers. It did not work in Opera. Considering you can add your LinkedIn (among other social profiles) in it, this should work as a one-stop-shop for all your online profiles for people to find more about you.
This would also help in case of someone impersonating you without your knowledge – since your official (your own) handles are listed in your card (connected to your Google ID), you could (a bit more easily) disown any issues arising out of impersonation attempts.
How would Google handle duplicate names, given so many Indian names are so utterly common? I don’t know! That would be an interesting challenge! I searched for a new other names from the examples provided by Google and none of them appear as a card yet. Too early, I presume?