You know that just about any mention of “reputation” and “Google” is going to get my attention, so I was eager to hear about Ziggs.com. My local CBS affiliate WRAL, teased me that the new service will tell you who is searching for your name on Google.
No, really. There’s just no way.
You see, whether WRAL has been misguided by Ziggs (see update below) or just a victim of its own naivety, there’s just no way that you can know about everyone that searches for your name on Google. Boy, it would be nice though, wouldn’t it?
So, does Ziggs even come close to the claim? Almost. You see, Ziggs will create a profile for you and host it. If that profile makes its way into Google, then Ziggs can provide a few details on who landed on your profile. They also offer a $4.95 a month option, which adds a Google AdWords ad for your name. It looks like this…
As you can see, you’ll get an alert anytime your ad is clicked on. Big deal!
Here’s the truth about Ziggs.com:
- It cannot tell you who is searching for your name on Google.
- It can only provide basic details–such as browser, location, keyword–of someone searching your name, ONLY IF the person clicks on your Ziggs profile or AdWords ad.
- Searchers rarely click on paid ads, when researching your reputation on Google.
- The same service has been around for years, thanks to Naymz.com.
- Add Google Analytics to any web page you publish and you can get the same information.
- Save your $5 and set up your own AdWords accounts. 99% of people will spend less than $2 a month on AdWords–it’s not a competitive term and it will rarely get clicked.
I’ve not tested Ziggs’ profile pages for their “Google visibility” so they could well end up being a valuable addition to your Google reputation toolkit. Maybe Ziggs pushed for a perceived value that it knows is pretty limited, or maybe mainstream media is just easily confused.
Use Ziggs as an additional place to present a positive online reputation, but don’t expect it to provide you with much information on who’s searching for your name on Google–it simply cannot live up to that claim.
UPDATE: A Ziggs spokesperson emailed us with an explanation:
“We do find that although we pitch the complete story to the media, they have often simplified it and the results can be misleading. I suspect you viewed one of the more misleading news stories that was aired. In the end, I just wanted you to know that Ziggs stands by its integrity and wishes only to help customers create and manage their online reputation with success and value.”