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    Mark Wallace
    What Do You Look Like on Google?
    Entry posted July 30, 2009 by Mark WallaceElite Contributor, last edited January 19, 2012 
    1643 Views, 5 Comments
    What Do You Look Like on Google?

    Have you ever decided just for kicks to search for yourself on Google to see what the results look like?  Try it.

    When I type in Mark Wallace - commonground, I see my blog on commonground, my Linkedin Profile, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites right at the top of the search results.  Try a few people you know too.  I looked up a few other members of commonground too - Mike Kulka, Alan Agadoni, and Larry Schnapf.  After you try this, what is the first thing you notice that we all have in common? 

    Perhaps you see that since each of us are members and bloggers on commonground, we benefit from great marketing exposure via Google.  Perhaps you quickly notice we are all members of LinkedIn.  Perhaps you see how all of our professional qualifications are easily found because each of us chooses to make that information public.  Perhaps it is all of the above. 

    From conversations with many environmental professional members of commonground, I realize many of you are trying to digest the value of social media outside of just being a member of commonground.  One very easy to see way is your personal profile when someone searches for you.  There are 14 Billion web searches done each month according to Comscore.  Your future customers, partners, and potential employers are very likely going to search for you to find out what your credentials are.   Therefore, it is important that when someone searches for you, they find the right you. 

    If you do not have a LinkedIn membership because you are skeptical, I encourage you to join the 43 million professionals who are members and who generally benefit from having their public LinkedIn profile come up in the top 5 results when someone searches for them.

    To maximize your results and LinkedIn effectiveness after you have signed up, I thought I would share some LinkedIn Tips from a recent article on CBS  by Elaine Pofeldt titled Facebook, Twitter, and More:  The New rules of Social Networking.  In particular, there is a section that addresses how to shape your personal brand on LinkedIn.  Here is a summary of her key points.

    1)  Seek out recommendations from past bosses, key clients, colleagues, and direct reports to create a 360 degree picture of your strengths

    2)  Instead of a generic job title at the top of your profile, use a short description of valuable credentials you can quantify

    3)  Fill out the interests section with pursuits, such as charitable projects, that reinforce your value to potential employers and clients

    4)  For consistency and branding, use a good head shot of yourself as your photo and try to keep the photo consistent with photos on other social networks

    5)  Opt for a free vanity address for your profile that uses your full name, such as (this is not always possible, and if it is not, use one that makes sense given how you are represented on other social networking sites).

    Again, see the above referenced article for more.  It might sound pretty basic, and is, but the benefits are many.

    I would also recommend you take your vanity address and drop in your autosignature.  Why?  It makes it easier for other folks to see your credentials, help you build your connections, and it is valuable in the event your email is forwarded to someone new.

    Good luck and congratulations on letting your credentials tell the story you want to tell when someone searches for you.

    environmental professionals, web searches, commonground, personal branding



    • LSchnapf

      Maybe it is me but I would prefer that these social-focused blogs not be located in the key area where one looks to see what are the most recent posts. I understand that social aspects of sites like this are important to many people and that there is a time to goof off. But I feel that this is primarily a business site. There are lots of topics to follow and having these more fluffy pieces in this area makes it that much harded to find the topics and posts that help with everyday business.

      I suggest that there be a separate drop down menu (coffee shop area?) for those who want to take some time to learn about places to eat, what they may look like on google, etc. Those who are interested in those light topics or want to take a break from the grind would know where to look while the rest of us who either try to respond to business-related posts or are trying to find meaningful discussions dont have to waste time navigating past these non-business discussions.

      Just my personal opinion   

      • Mark Wallace


        Thank you for your reply.   We appreciate the feedback. 

        Regarding your points, and specifically my blog, my posts focus on helping business professionals  leverage social technologies to establish stronger relationships, increase visibility, and establish a strong web presence, with the ultimate goal of generating business.   Even though the topics I address are a bit different than the majority of the topics covered by the many bloggers on commonground, the blog itself is consistently one of the blogs that is viewed and read most often.  Why?  It is anyone's guess, but what I am told regularly is that many environmental professionals are intrigued about the benefits of social technologies, and are eager to better understand how to leverage the tools available today, to receive direct business benefits. 

        As you can see, most of the hot trending topics are the topics that I suspect are the ones that are interesting to you.  It has been surprising to us to see how many members have participated in the limited number of posts that are bit outside the norm, such as  The Best Place to Get a Sandwich on the road with over 1900 views and many comments.    And yes, we have a contest currently taking place to take a picture of the commonground mug on vacation.  Today alone, we received dozens of requests to send out mugs and tee shirts, as many of the members expressed a strong desire to participate in the contest.  Contests, and some of what might be deemed as the less business specific posts, add an element of participation that many members enjoy, which is critically important within a thriving community.   

        Our goal is always to provide a number of different ways to appeal to and engage members while we strive to provide robust community content.   As we continue to try to grow and build an active, engaged, and valuable community for our members, and improve the site navigation, we are happy to take your comments and suggestions into consideration, as we do each and every comment we receive.  

    • EdG

      When I first started with this site - I did notice the number of people who looked at "Best Place to Get a Sandwich" was one of the highest viewed posts.  I found that intriguing.

      I also found tremendous tedium in the ad nasua discussion on 'what is a REC.'  I have been meaning to blog on this for some time and will eventually get to it.  The title will be something like - "REC By Any Other Name is Just an Opinion" ...  I mean the discussions on RECs proves to me (at least) that despite all the AAI stuff - it still is an opinion which is qualified by who is conducting the Phase I - and then to top it off - the Phase I is sure to include a GIANT DISCLAIMER about how you can't rely on it. 

      I guess I am interested in all things environmental and whatever anyone wants to add.  I do know that I can't wait to find the time to discuss how discussing what constitutes a REC is a complete waste of time.  It's a business risk at the end of the day people.  I practice law in a courtroom.  I go in knowing the law and supporting case law.  At the end of the day its the JUDGE who decides what the outcome is.  That is how a REC would be approached should an issue arise and it goes to court.  Guaranteed. 

      Again - it's business risk management!  Who gives a hoot whether 9 out of 10 people think its a REC!?!?!  It's up to the parties that are in contention - and then up to the judge (and/or jury) for the love of Pete!

      Oh ...  and I plan on wearing my tee-shirt in Nantucket next week and winning something (for what it is worth)!






    • DerekShowerman

      Mark, great post!

      I suggest to all of my clients to be the "experts" of their community. It is within the best interest of the "thought leaders" within a business community to show the members how to interact in the external world. Doing so helps the users understand how to share the value propostion in the the right channels. In this case, members sharing their commonground membership within LinkedIn fills three needs:

      1) Link juice from an SEO perspective- LinkedIn bio's are indexed by Google spiders. More external indexing pages means higher google rankings.

      2) Commonground awarness- Chances are the members here are connected with others who would see the value of the commonground.

      3) Education - LinkedIn is still largely unknown. I recently read that 6 out of 10 business professionals are not on LinkedIn as of yet. Your condensed read does a great job of outlining a quick value proposition and starting points to engage in in LinkedIn. This will lead to organic exposure for the community, but more importantly for the members of the commonground.

      If environmental professionals are interested in social technologies, maybe a Twitter blog is in order? I have been documenting a number of Twitter best practices on my blog-you are welcome to use them to create a Twitter "how to" blog for your members.

      Great post! 


    • LSchnapf

      Assuming you are correct, the primary purpose of the website as set forth at the top of the blog stream is :

      "Some of the greatest minds in the environmental and property due diligence industry offer commentary and razor sharp analysis of the most pressing issues impacting today's business landscape."

      The social networking blogs and ancillary posts are tangential to this primary purpose. Hence, my suggestion to take these conversations into a side room for those who are interested in faciliating their networking opportunities.

      These sideshow social networking discussions just clutter up the main page and make what is already a rather difficult effort to finding meaningful posts that reflect the above description all the more daunting. 

      If your intent is to transform this website into a gossipy Facebook offspring, then please change the description and less us know. I want to devote my limited time to serious website discussion and not one that tells me where there are good places to eat or asks me to engage in a photo contest.