Search Result Surprises and Relationship Demises

By Colby Marshall - April 21, 2014

I’m guilty, but you are, too!  Everyone does it.  Maybe not often, but at some point or another, we’ve all been curious and tried it, just to see what would happen.

I’m talking, of course, about Google-ing your own name.

Authors do it more than most, I suppose. Part of marketing and self promotion is knowing how your books fare in search term results, and of course what the world is saying about you as an author.  Plus, let’s face it: we spend most of our time with imaginary people in our heads.  We’re equal parts vain and paranoid: thinking both consciously about the daydream of someone wanting to steal a truck carrying a case of our books the way they might’ve the final installment of the Harry Potter series and at the same time checking behind ourselves to ensure we haven’t said something written in a blog post during a bout of insomnia/an edit craze/a drunken stupor that will offend the sensibilities of everyone from Twitter to MySpace, which is pretty far, considering I don’t even know who is on MySpace anymore.  (Uh-oh…I might’ve just insulted the MySpace folks.  Crap.)

But usually, while we alternately envision results hailing our books touting our names with crippling fears of failure and humiliation, the truth is that usually, the search results are not remarkable.  We see our website, our facebook page, and for some reason, the LinkedIn account we were sure we needed but never use (Aw, man. I think I just slighted the LinkedIn folks, too.  I suck at this.).  So, imagine my surprise the other day when I tried a search for my name and book title on a whim and came up with a link to where my upcoming thriller, Color Blind, was in a listing at the London Book Fair!

So, when I saw this, I immediately did what any other normal, red-blooded American author would do.  I began wildly thinking up reasons that this could possibly justify my taking a business trip to London.  Anyone who has been around me for any period of time in real life knows just how much I wish I had a British accent (and also just how ashamed I should be at how often I attempt to use one), so the thought of traveling over the pond to visit a country I’ve been enamored with ever since the moment as a child, I watched Lucy Ricardo try to make the palace guard laugh.  (Side note: she really should’ve tried “Is Your Scottie Off His Potty?” as the title for the dog psychiatrist who wrote a book.  I’m convinced it would’ve thrown him over the edge after “Is Your Poodle Off His Noodle?”)

Which, by the way, did you know that Eminem has a song with the lyric, “We have nothin’ in common, poodle?”  I didn’t either until just now when I Google searched, “Poodle Off His Noodle.” 

See?  See that?!  The poodle doesn’t know what comes up when his name is Google searched, either! Or does he? I think I’m assuming that if I didn’t know, he certainly couldn’t have.  He doesn’t get nearly as much internet browsing time as I do, not having opposable thumbs and all.  But I could be underestimating this fluffy beast.  More research is needed…

Oh, no.  No, no, no…wow.  I think I was just bitchy to the poodles.

Agh!  And with that “bitchy” pun, I doubled down on them.  I’m making social networking enemies in this blog post faster than Hollywood is burning through super hero movies. (Side note: Not that there is anything wrong with either Hollywood or super hero movies.  This blog officially supports and holds Hollywood and its current super hero movies in the highest of esteem.)

Huh.  I wonder what new super hero movies are coming out this summer… 

Three Days Later

As you probably ascertained, I did not end up making a triumphant journey to London after all.  It wasn’t really that I decided the move was rash or impractical, but rather, that I got distracted by the poodle and the important things about him I could learn.  In other words, I got swept up in his Google reputation. 

Hm.  Google reputations must be important.  Apparently, just anyone is liable to be driven to search a name at random after a bizarre stream of consciousness.  That means…*gasp*

Sorry, I have to go now!  I need to Google search my name and book title again.

What sorts of people and things to you end up searching for online the most?


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