Friday, May 11, 2007

Google Fun

I once wished that I had a surname better suited to television. "John Cruise" maybe. Now a Wall Street Journal article I read this week gives me reason to appreciate having a relatively distinctive name. The story was about how Googling people to learn more about them -- and to verify resume claims they make -- has become so routine that people can suffer financially and professionally if they don't rank high in Google results.

Not a big problem for me as I wrote here a couple of weeks ago. However, my StatCounter helped me learn something interesting today. Someone came to my blog from a Google search for "john mcquiston" -- all lowercase. That's important I found out when I repeated the search and saw that my site does not come up anywhere in the first five pages. Yet it's the top item in a search for "John McQuiston" with the J, M & Q capitalized. Curious.

Someone locally came across this blog after Googling "chris plumbing tampa" yesterday. That led the person to this entry in which I detail an unsatisfactory experience I had with Chris's Plumbing Service. This blog is the top search result for that business' name -- capitalized or not.

This visitor must have found something interesting because he also went to all of the subsequent entries I wrote about Chris's. It has amazed me how many people have come and read the several lengthy blog entries I wrote about it. I am sure that I have cost owner Chris Hoffman more than the $282 he got from me. And I'm almost certain he knows it. StatCounter has shown people from area law firms searching through this blog. Chris might very well have consulted an attorney to ask if there was any way to compel me to delete the details of my experience with him.

He could not have liked the answer. I have made sure not to call him a crook or a creep or cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. I have merely repeated details of the experience, including my complaint to the local Better Business Bureau, where Chris's Plumbing Service already had an unsatisfactory rating. I have even acknowledged my own culpability by not doing enough research beforehand.

If he did seek legal advice on the matter, what Chris heard was probably something like, "Yes, you are getting repeated kicked in the teeth by a steel-toed shoe. And the only thing you can do is learn to like it because you can't do a thing to stop it. If you sent a threatening letter, he'd publish it and that would only add more fuel to the fire."

He might also be advised to learn better customer relations skills.

Someone got here yesterday by typing into Google "over 30 swingers." It landed the person here, which is probably not exactly what he or she had in mind.

Ain't Google fun!

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