Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

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Dear Mainstream Media, Ziggs.com Does Not Tell You Who Searches Your Name on Google



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 way!

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.”

  • http://www.otlacan.com Otilia Otlacan

    It’s amazing how little is known on performing internet searches and web metrics by the larger audience. I’ve witnessed people who spend 30+ hours online for work purposes and who weren’t able to distinguish between organic results and paid results, and had no clue how to use advanced search options.
    When your audience is not too savvy, it’s easy to come up with claims like these…

    Otilia Otlacan’s last blog post..June 20 – Top 5 Advertising, Media and Marketing Headlines

  • http://mdjensen.com Michael Jensen

    I still get asked by people if the website owner can “see me” like on video, even when there is no video camera. :)

  • http://www.otlacan.com Otilia Otlacan

    @Michael: you can tell them that wearing a brown bag over one’s head while surfing is the safe way to protect privacy. And typing with gloves so ‘they’ won’t get your fingerprints :-D

    Otilia Otlacan’s last blog post..Microsoft’s Atlas Publisher Suite Adds Nine New Clients

  • Dean

    @Otilia-

    Paraphrasing your own words…

    “It’s amazing how little is known on performing routine car repairs and maintenance by the larger audience. I’ve witnessed people who spend 30+ hours in the car for work purposes and who weren’t able to distinguish between transmission fluid and radiator fluid, and had no clue how to use dashboard indicators.

    When your audience is not too savvy, it’s easy to come up with repairs like these…”

    I hope as Internet marketers we will forge a better reputation than auto mechanics by educating novices rather than mocking them. Oh…there I go being naive and idealistic again :)

  • Jordan McCollum

    Dear WRAL,

    You have, like, THE reputation management guru living in your city. Advice: at least get a sound bite from him before running with the next press release from people like this.

    Not much love,
    Jordan

    PS–Durham is not a dirty word!

  • http://www.mbwebdesign.co.uk MB Web Design

    They sure will make a killing from the paranoid though won’t they? A client of mine called me up a while ago asking if I provide this service (not this particular website, but a similar, less-polished competitor). I raised almost exactly the points you made criticising the validity of their marketing claims.

    3 days later they’d signed up anyway. Pfft, clients…

  • Dean

    @Jordan –

    WRAL ain’t exactly the epicenter of journalistic excellence. I am sure the only Peabodys they’ve seen are the ones that show up at the Durham Bull games on Bullwinkle night.

  • http://thingsyoushoulddo.com juliemarg

    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?

    Unless they could see me, too… what would the old boyfriends say ;^D

  • http://symbiancorner.blogspot.com Symbian

    Nobody can tell you who is searching for your name on Google.

    Symbian’s last blog post..Nokia S60 Symbian Windows Live client available in Europe

  • http://www.deemx.com DeeMX

    Ziggs a great service! How people find a new ideas today? I’m in dreaming to find such ideas.

  • AmberCourt

    I don’t want to know who searches for me, but is there a way to be notified IF someone searches my name, blog or website title. I’m a writer and I just want to be able to check search growth. I know it would be an estimation and not all related to me, but it would give an indication of search popularity.

  • http://my.att.net Charles Dennis

    Try Zabasphere.com Free basic service, others more detaied for a fee. Seems to work fairly well. Will notify you through email if your name is searched. Let me know.

  • http://monetspalate.com Aileen Bordman

    Could still be the next best thing to Googling – Aileen Bordman

  • Pingback: Ziggs. Who is googling you. Creepy or useful? | fraccers

  • John Smith

    ziggs is definetly not what its made out to be but i did find a site that tells you who has been searching for you on “people search engines” http://people411search.com I tested it and it may actualy work it said that 8 people have searched for me in the past 6 months