Googling “Lauren Roberts” – The curse of a common name

Google search, online reputation management, "Lauren Roberts"

This week’s assignment is pretty familiar to me, because I’ve Googled myself more than once!I’ve always been a little curious about what information is out there about me, and what results show up first in search results. Because I’ve performed Google searches on myself before, I was well aware of the obstacle of having a common name. In previous searches, I had to go beyond just “Lauren Roberts” to find results that actually related to me. Putting previous results aside, I Googled “Lauren Roberts” once more to discover if my online reputation had changed, and if I somehow managed to crawl up all of the “Lauren Roberts” results.

After searching “Lauren Roberts,” I was very excited when I clicked on the top link which was Facebook profiles for “Lauren Roberts,” and I saw my picture as the top result. Sadly, the excitement didn’t last long. I realized I was still logged into my Facebook account, and that’s why I appeared at the top of the results. I logged out of my Facebook account and conducted the Google search again. The second time, my profile didn’t appear at all. The same was true with the LinkedIn results which appeared as the second result on the first page.

Google search, online reputation management, "Lauren Roberts"The top results not related to any social network profiles were for Lauren Roberts & Co. Salon in Park Ridge, Illinois; Lauren Roberts, MD; and an article about some woman who threw a surprise birthday party for her husband. I went through 25 pages of Google results, and was unable to find anything that actually related to me. I was surprised to see how many mug shots for people who share my name showed up in the 25 pages of results. I can assure you, none of those are mine!

Google search, online reputation management, "Lauren Roberts"I have several different email accounts that I use regularly, so I decided to perform a search for each of those. I tried my undergrad email “l-roberts@onu.edu” first. Without quotes around the email, a bunch of unrelated links appeared. With quotes, Google was unable to find any results at all. When I typed in my UF email “laureneroberts@ufl.edu,” two results appeared, and they were both links for posts on my Blogger blog. Finally, success! I was surprised that my WordPress blog didn’t appear in the results. I guess I need to post more of my blogs on Google Plus so I might get more recognition. Lastly, I typed in “robertslauren19@gmail.com.” This email also yielded no results.

Despite a lack of results, I added several other keywords into the search query to see where I would appear in results. I was very excited that my LinkedIn page was the top result under “Lauren Roberts social media.” When typing in “Lauren Roberts Ohio Norhtern” (where I attended undergrad), I dominated the first page with photos and box scores from soccer games, my LinkedIn page, and some website that tracks people. I don’t know how the last one got my information because I didn’t submit it to them. When I searched “Lauren Roberts University of Florida,” my LinkedIn page was the first result and my Google Plus account appeared on the first page of results.

While it’s disappointing that my name alone didn’t garner more related results, it’s good to know that potential employers can still find my online presence if they add several obvious keywords. 

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9 thoughts on “Googling “Lauren Roberts” – The curse of a common name

  1. Hi Lauren, I think you did a wonderful job on your blog assignment for this week. It is for sure harder to get results when you have a common name, but hey there are more common names than yours. I particularly liked the fact that you appeared in the first results page for “Lauren Roberts Social Media” that shows that you are the leader person with that name in your trade. I think targeting your reputation with those keywords will actually make you stand out from all the other Lauren Roberts out there. I had a rather different issue in my search as Google insisted in changing my last name from Di Prado to Di Prada…I guess I am competing against a brand 🙂

    • Hey Juan, thank you! Being the top result for “Lauren Roberts social media” is definitely a win in my book! That’s what I want to be associated with, so even though my name is common, it’s nice to know I show up where it counts. Having to compete with a bunch of people with the same name is rough, but I’m glad I don’t have to compete with a brand!

  2. While having a common name can be hard when conducting a Google search if people really want to find you online they will. Just like how you manipulated the search by adding keywords that related to you companies and recruiters will do the same if they really want to find you. I didn’t even think about using my UF email address in the Google search. I just used my Gmail account and nothing relevant appeared. I also had a similar instance you did when it came to my blog posts in the results. Only one blog post from last semester appeared. I feel like I’ve had a lot more interaction on my blog this semester so for no results to show up was kind of disheartening. I don’t know if you use Google+ as a way to post your blog but I am going to make more of an effort to do so to improve my SEO for my blog. Very interesting read Lauren…at least people don’t pronounce your name wrong!

    • I agree, that if someone wants to find you, they won’t just give up after typing in your name. It’s not difficult to add a few obvious keywords in order to find someone online. I completely agree that I’ve had more interaction on my blog this semester, so for it to not show up at all was a major bummer. I haven’t been using Google Plus to promote my blog, but after these findings I’m going to start! You’re right, at least my common name isn’t hard to pronounce!

  3. Hi Lauren,
    I am sure it was disheartening to see that you didn’t come up with just your name, but that is awesome that it is coming up when you add in “social media”! I feel like by being in this program, that is the goal and you are already on your way there! I also found the picture you included in typing your name into Google hilarious because I feel like there were so many options! Great post!

    • Hey Amanda,
      Thanks! As disappointing as it was to not have more of a presence under just my name, I am super excited that I’m least standing out when it comes to social media! I can assure you none of those pictures from my name search are me!

  4. Hello Lauren. When I first Googled myself (I forgot to put this on my post), I was logged to my Google account and the search results for my name included a picture of me on the right hand side of the screen. Then I logged out, and the photo disappeared. About the mug shots, what a relieve knowing that none of them is you! I’ve heard about people whose search results turn strippers!
    I did a search right now with my email address. Since it is the email address of the domain I own, the search results were all related to my promotional products company. Other search results for that email address were company directories, which included my company name. The strange is that this is the first time that I get this message: “In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 10 already displayed.If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.” That did not happen when I was only searching my name. I guess it is something that happens with email addresses? Anyhow, I decided to make the search without those omissions and it was true, the results were the same, but repeated.

    • Hi Celeste,
      It seems like a couple people have had issues with searching under their emails. Strange how it impacted some of our results, but not others. It’s awesome that your results related to your products and company. I think even the company directory, portrays you as a professional. I guess I can be thankful no strippers appeared in my search!

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