You're Being Googled; National Study “Just Google Me” Shows How Often We Google Each Other, and How That’s Affecting Our Most Important Personal Relationships

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BrandYourself.com helps people manage their own online search results and improve how they look to prospective employers, dating partners and others.

"BrandYourself.com Helps People Manage Their Own Online Search Results and Improve How They Look to Prospective Employers, Dating Partners and Others," said BrandYourself.com co-founder and CEO Patrick Ambron.

A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of BrandYourself.com shows that online people searches are becoming a driving force behind our most important personal relationships.

The findings, which are based on a nationally representative online survey of 2,570 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, show that almost all online U.S. adults (86%) use search engines to look up other people.

A majority of the study participants said their own search results don’t accurately represent them, but what shows up when we search someone online still strongly influenced everything from who we vote for, do business with, and even date.

Since its launch one year ago, BrandYourself.com has helped over 200,000 people take control of their own search results. And the need for BrandYourself.com is growing. Over 1 billion names are being Googled every day. Over 75% of HR departments are required to research candidates, and over half of U.S. adults have Googled someone before doing business, working or even dating them. And over 75% of U.S. adults feel that they are not accurately represented on their search results.

BrandYourself co-founder Pete Kistler knows the online reputation industry was broken firsthand. Pete couldn’t get an internship because he was being mistaken for a convicted sex offender with the same name in Google, and he was quoted $8,000/mo. by reputation management firms to clean up his search results – a price that Pete could never afford to pay. Pete and his co-founders realized that average people were being shut out of the market. Even worse, after doing research they decided the quality of work was far less than what people paid for. So he and his college classmate, Patrick Ambron, founded BrandYourself.

Key Findings:
Politics/Voting -- Online searches of candidates influence voting decisions, especially among students and young adults. Nearly a third (31%) of online U.S. adults that have searched a person online have looked up a politician, and over half said the search influenced their voting decision. These numbers increase substantially among younger U.S. adults, especially students.

Business – Your search results affect whether or not people do business with you. Among U.S. adults that have searched someone online, nearly half (42%) have searched someone before doing business with them, and 45% have found something that made them decide NOT to do business with the person.

Dating/Relationships – Online searches affect your romantic life. Almost half (43%) of online U.S. adults that have searched someone online have searched a potential date, significant other, or ex boyfriend/girlfriend, making romantic searches the most common search among U.S. adults.

“Even if you’re like a majority of people in this study and you’re not accurately represented online, these findings show us that you’re still going to be searched, and that what shows up strongly influences other people, for better or worse,” says Patrick Ambron, CEO and Co-Founder of BrandYourself.

(The full study (including raw data tables and study methodology) can be downloaded as a PDF here.)

About BrandYourself

BrandYourself.com is the first do-it-yourself platform that makes it easy for anyone to take control of their own Google results. It was founded in 2009 by Syracuse University classmates Pete Kistler, Patrick Ambron and Evan McGowan-Watson after Kistler couldn’t get an internship for being mistaken in Google as a drug dealer. BrandYourself has raised more than $1.2 million in Series A funding and been recognized for its innovative technology, including being honored by the White House as one of the Top 100 Startups Run by Entrepreneurs Under 30, being named one of the Top 5 Collegiate Startups by Entrepreneur Magazine, and being named the winner of the New York State Emerging Business Technology competition, a $200,000 prize, the youngest team to ever win.

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Mary Ann Bohrer
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