We’re all guilt of it: vanity searching. Maybe you just want to make sure prospective employers can’t find out about your college antics or maybe you’re hoping an ex-partner will stumble across news of your promotion and deem you The One That Got Away. Either way, now you can have more control over what people searching for you discover when they Google your name. That’s right–Google search engine results pages (SERPs) will now include Google Profiles. The profiles, Google’s stab at social networking across its services, include such information as a short biography, links to blogs and social media profiles, photos, location, contact information, and more. The very ambitious–or just those with very popular names–can even register vanity URLs for their profiles.
But not everyone who creates a profile will earn one of the four SERP links to profiles for a given name. Anectodal evidence suggests that comprehensiveness of the profile could help its chances, but Google has not disclosed specific criteria yet. If you’re interested in creating a profile, also be aware that you must opt into the service and the links in your profile will not affect PageRank or boost a site’s reputation. But it could boost your reputation with your long-lost high school nemesis who’s been trolling the web dying to find out if he’s still getting better-looking dates than you.