Why you should stop Googling yourself.

It doesn't do what you think it does. In fact, what you see is quite misleading.

We understand. It’s tempting. You want to know where you rank. You want to know how easy you are to find and what people are saying about you. But Googling yourself is the wrong way to go about it. Here’s why:

1. Your perception is skewed.

This is a big one. Without going into great technical detail, it’s important to realize how search algorithms work and how that changes what you see when you Google yourself from how others see you when they Google you. When you search for something, Google shows you results that are unique to you, drawing upon your specific location, search history, past purchasing choices, locations you frequent, and more. Naturally, Google tailors these results based on all of those things for every user. While you may be concerned that you’re not seeing what someone else reports seeing, that’s simply the nature of the Google beast and is not something to stress over.

2. It’s a time waster.

If you’re devoting precious billable hours to stalking your law firm online every day or week, you’re exerting energy that would be better spent on following up with those leads, generating social media content, or interacting with your clients. Another way to look at it is this: you’re paying the hard costs of digital marketing, then paying additional soft costs by expending time and emotions on your online presence.

3. You don’t know what you don’t know.

If you really want to know how easy you are to find, you have to know what people are actually searching for. This isn’t as obvious as it sounds. Potential clients are definitely not searching for your name because they don’t know you yet. Often, they’re searching for the specific legal scenario that they find themselves in, and they’re looking for expertise around that particular topic. More often than not, their searches involve a geographic element. They’re not looking for expertise across the country, they’re looking for expertise around the corner. Google has a whole algorithm that is devoted to understanding keywords, linked key words, associated searches, etc. This information is public, but not the easiest to find. You have to set up an AdWords account and use the campaign builder within that account, then you have to reference the results back to yourself in a methodical way. This is the only way you can really figure out how you rank and how easy you are to find.