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Google Goes After People Searches With New Initiative

This story was written by Joseph Tartakoff.
Want to control what people see when they search for your name in Google? That's the gist of a new initiative by the company, which could have big implications for other sites fighting to get to the top of Google (NSDQ: GOOG) people search results. Google has started to list Google profileswhich anybody can create for themselveson the first page of results for name queries. Adjacent to a profile, Google is also showing linksmaking it easy to search for the same person on MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Of course, Google will now be competing with those same sitesand its service automatically gets a big boost because profiles will be prominently featured in Google search results. Until now, as SearchEngineLand points out, Google profiles have been mostly used to communicate primarily with other people using Google sitesand not to the world at large.

The results will be on the bottom of search pagesmeaning that other profile pages from other sites can still show up higher in a search for a name. But as John Battelle notes, "That doesn't mean it won't move up once Google learns enough to make it truly useful." He also says the initiative will "compel you to have (an) ongoing relationship with the company." For its part, Google says it simply wants to make "(people search results) better and give you more of a voice."

By Joseph Tartakoff

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