I Googled My Name, and This Is What I Found

I’ve Googled my name on several occasions over the years (and in a variety of ways), simply out of curiosity to see what the results would be. Apparently, there’s even a name for such an activity – egosurfing. When I did it earlier today, I found the results somewhat ironic, and one of my first thoughts was – there’s a blog post there. So…

The first version I tried was Jim Borden. Unfortunately (for me at least), I was not at the top of the search results. The first three spots were taken by a Jim Borden who owns a rifle manufacturing company, Borden Accuracy/Borden Rifles. Not only does the company make custom rifles, but Jim also appears to be a world class shooter, having set several world records. The company is, oddly enough, located in Pennsylvania, just a couple hours from where I live. I find it ironic that the person I share my name with, and Google lists us right next to each other, runs a business that makes a product that I am passionately opposed to. And I am sure he is just as passionate about his product, but at the other end of the spectrum. I admire Jim’s success in having built what appears to be a successful family business, with his wife and sons playing key roles in the business.

So Jim’s company and his Facebook page are the first three search results in Google, and I am the next three results, with my Twitter account, my blog site, and my LinkedIn page.

The next version of my name that I searched is James Borden. The top result is for Timeshapes, a mid-western business that builds wooden clock sculptures and is owned by James Borden.  Here’s a description of the clocks: Timeshapes are essentially mechanical weight-driven or spring-driven clocks, every part of which has been designed and built by James Borden. The pendulums and escapements are also of the artist’s own design. Timeshapes exhibit a wide, graceful motion and soft, woody, clicking sounds which are mesmerizing and relaxing to watch and hear. Makes me want one – maybe he’ll offer me the family discount.

The next couple of Google search results are to the top LinkedIn and Facebook results for the name James Borden. As it turns out, my oldest son is listed at the top of the results for both LinkedIn and Facebook; I was second on LinkedIn and 13th on Facebook (I need to learn my son’s SEO tricks…).

The fourth Google listing for James Borden is related to me, it’s my page on the site RateMyProfessor. And that’s the only result related to me in the top 10 Google search results for this version of my name.

The next version I tried was just my last name, Borden. As you might suspect, the Google results were dominated by Borden Dairy Co., famous for Borden’s ice cream and Elmer’s Glue. This is also somewhat ironic, because as a vegan, I avoid all dairy products.

So the first three results are all for Borden Dairy and the fourth result is to a Wikipedia article about Borden Co.

The fifth result is quite the coincidence. It links to a paper company, Borden and Riley Paper Co., a New York company that has been supplying a wide range of papers for the fine art, graphic design, calligraphy, watercolor, printing, drafting, sign writer, engineering/architectural, and inkjet market. The reason for the coincidence is that my wife’s maiden name is Reilly…

As to where did I finally show up on the Google search results for “Borden”? Unfortunately, it’s not until the third page (with 100 results on each page). On that page, it shows a link to my Villanova profile, and to my old wsjblogger web site.

It’s not very encouraging that a blog I haven’t posted to in almost five years has a higher Google search result than the blog site I have posted to every day for the past four years.

So if you’ve read this far, you now know more about me than you probably care to.

And now it’s time for you to go egosurfing…

*image from Neoscientia


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