One thing that’s always fun, as a writer, is finding your stories on the first page of Google. I’ve also learned that it’s easier to hit the first page of Google than it is at Yahoo and Bing. For example, my story How to Outsmart a Narcissist has been on the first page of Google for months under the keyword ‘narcissist’.
Lately, I really haven’t been checking my rankings. I’ve just been writing.
Today, Keegan got home from school and was very excited about his latest discovery. He searched his own name on Google and was surprised at the results. Our conversation went like this:
Keegan: Hey, mom. I got all my homework done at school today. I had a bad headache during dance class, so my teacher let me go to the library.
Jennifer: Oh, yeah? How is your head feeling now?
Keegan: It’s a little better, but guess what I did?
Jennifer: Hard telling with you. Is this something I want to hear?
Keegan: It’s nothing bad. I didn’t get into trouble or anything.
Jennifer: Well, that’s good to hear. So, what did you do?
Keegan: I searched my name on Google, and there was a picture of me!
Keegan: Yeah! It was my profile pic from Facebook. But, guess what else I found?
Jennifer: A check for a million dollars?
Keegan: *giggle* No…I saw your blog, JenJen’s Soapbox of Parodies.
Jennifer: Really? That’s weird. I haven’t tagged your full name in it.
Keegan: I showed my teacher, and she thought it was so cool that you are a writer and have stuff on the internet.
Jennifer: Wow, well that is nice.
Keegan: Yeah. Can I go outside and go for a walk?
Jennifer: MAY I go outside and go for a walk?
Keegan: *giggle* MAY I go outside and go for a walk?
Jennifer: Yes, you may, but don’t go far, and do not go to anyone’s house to play without letting me know. Check in with me in an hour.
Keegan: Thanks, Mom!
Needless to say, I went to Google and searched his name, and sure enough, there was my soapbox listed halfway down the page. And yes, I didn’t tag his name, but me, like a dumb dumb, mentioned my maiden name (and that yes, I am a Pollock) in a particular post, as well as his first name.
So, my son now thinks he is a star.
And this is why I will never tag my kids’ full names in any of my writings. There is absolutely no reason for their pictures and experiences to come up in a Google search that may affect him somehow if someone else Googles his name.