Just for fun today, I utilized Google’s external keyword tool for AdWords to search for my name (cory howell) and see how popular (or unpopular) it is from a search volume perspective.

I was pretty surprised to see the results when I left the keyword matching options on default in the tool (Broad Match and not matching only closely related search terms):

Keyword Ideas from Google AdWords Keyword Tool for "Cory Howell"

Pretty spot on if you ask me… “arizona seo“, “search engine marketing phoenix“, “local search marketing company” (& lots more!).

Has Google Been Spying On Me? No…

These are keywords I’ve actively been targeting and optimizing for throughout the past 12 years in Arizona at a previous employer. They’ve basically associated my name with these topics because of my involvement and authority in this space – pretty cool, eh?

Where did Google get this information to associate it with “cory howell”? That’s actually pretty easy:

  • My social media profiles
  • What I post about on my social media profiles
  • Documents that I’ve previously authored
  • Comments on other’s sites, blogs, forums, etc

So what can you take from this exercise?

Google knows more about you than you think. and pretty soon, there going to place more emphasis on the “you” part of your content marketing and SEO.

The identity of individual agents responsible for content can be used to influence search ratings.

Assuming that a given agent has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results.

AuthorRank is Coming – Are You Ready?

Fairly soon, Google will be utilizing what’s been patented as “AuthorRank” / “Agent Rank” or AR for short. This could be big┬ádepending on how they utilize all of this information.

Search engine marketing professionals will certainly have to be cognizant of these factors and start tying their name to what they publish. In some cases, I think the individual doesn’t want their name known to begin with, so it will be interesting to see who “comes out” and who stays in the shadows.

Understanding what Google may know about “you”, how do you feel about this potential algorithm factor?

Let me know on Twitter (@chowell18), Google+ (Cory Howell) or in the comments below.

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