Google must have big plans for Google Profiles. Just last week, it implemented a change that allows you to use a vanity URL and now we learn that Google will start showing said profiles in its search results.
To give you greater control over what people find when they search for your name, we’ve begun to show Google profile results at the bottom of U.S. name-query search pages. These results offer abbreviated information from user-created Google profiles and a link to the full profiles. We’ve also added links so it’s easy to search for the same name on MySpace, Facebook, Classmates and LinkedIn.
Here’s how it looks:
[If you don’t have a Google Profile yet, simply search for “me“]
Now, before you get all excited about the reputation implications of this, don’t get your hopes up. Google Profiles will appear at the bottom of the search results page, so anyone checking out your personal reputation will still likely be influenced by the ten blue links in the main results. Still, it can’t hurt to have a profile added to the bottom of the page–especially one you control.
Google’s even keen to help you get the most out of your profile:
- Add information about yourself on the Edit profile page so people can find you when they search by keywords associated with your profile. For example, include details such as the name of your hometown, your job title, where you work or go to school.
- Link to your profile on another website (for instance, your blog or online photo album).
- If you have a common name, add enough information about you to distinguish your profile from similar ones. Photos are especially useful.
- Verify your name, and get a “Verified” badge on your profile. Verify alternate addresses on your account.
And, when you visit your profile, you see a friendly suggestion to link to it from your email signature or add it to your IM status message.
All of this promotion has me wondering what Google has up its sleeve. It seems awfully eager to encourage you to pimp out your profile and tell the world about it. Is this the first stage of a new Google social network? Or, perhaps Google’s adding profiles to the search results hoping it will be an incentive for all of us to sign up for Google Profile accounts and hand over our souls details to the search engine.
Where do you think Google is heading with this?