Google is fascinating. Type in your name, and/or your title: what comes up? Is your book’s website the top hit?

Are there references to you that don’t represent you well, or are too personal? It’s important to get a handle on what people will find when they look for you. You can use the tools here to make private pages unsearchable. (I want my mom and dad, not the general public, looking at pictures of my kids.)

Once my website and numerous professional references to my book became firmly established as the top content of my search results, I had to get creative to find the new stuff.

Using “show options” (a link up near the top left of the results page) can filter the results usefully. “Latest,” “News” and “Blogs” will show you results about you and your book that might otherwise be so deep into the general search results you wouldn’t otherwise realize they exist. (This doesn’t mean they’re not important, by the way. Sure, their results are deep when you google MY name, but they have their own followings and can be the tops of their own subject searches.)

Google Alerts? Of course. They email to let me know when someone has mentioned me (or mentioned that doctor by the same name, or that lacrosse player).

Who on Google shares your name? What’s the silliest thing you wish weren’t online about you?