According to Pew Research 57% people have Googled themselves. On the CNN website an informal poll puts the number at over 80%. This is the Snow white “mirror mirror on the wall” effect in the digital age ! I was surprised that young people actually monitor their online reputations more closely than older people. The Facebook generation is really concerned about how good they look online and can fret a great deal if not so kind things are said. Think of the recent privacy issues on Facebook,
Academics take the “mirror mirror on the wall” effect to an entirely new level. Type the scholar’s name on Google Scholar to check out the impact of the scholar in terms of citations. More the citations more the scholarly standing. And you cannot be a “one hit” wonder ie only one work is cited a lot and others are not. The H-Index is supposed to simplify things. I know of at least a few academics who have installed the composite Publish or Perish on their computers which pulls data to give a “credit” score kind of report. Amazing!
Reflecting this major change in individual behavior- in the B2B domain both buyers and sellers check each other out first on the Internet before(or if at all) going to an Industrial directory like Thomas Net or deeper verification like business credit reports and individual references. So it’s really worthwhile for both buyers and sellers to at least keep their official web pages straight even if they are not able to get around to getting everything perfect with SEO etc.