You're Nobody 'til Somebody Googles You

I can't think of any large company that's anonymous on the internet.Same goes for individuals. If you're somebody, the internet knows you. As websearch prominence begins to mean more and more to people from everyday walks of life, they realize it works both ways: you're no-one if Google thinks you're no-one.

In the age of Google, being special increasingly requires standing out from the crowd online. Many people aspire for themselves -- or their offspring -- to command prominent placement in the top few links on search engines or social networking sites' member lookup functions. But, as more people flood the Web, that's becoming an especially tall order for those with common names. Type "John Smith" into Google's search engine and it estimates it has 158 million results.

For people prone to vanity searching -- punching their own names into search engines -- absence from the first pages of search results can bring disappointment. On top of that, some of the "un-Googleables" say being crowded out of search results actually carries a professional and financial price.

People are using interesting strategies to gain personal Google-Fu. Massaging the new Who's Who.