Google Impact…? The “Google Suggest” Factor

So apparently, OU promotion process means I get feedback on my promotion case before it goes to the full committee… Here’s what I need to address:

– put references in proper OU CV style;
– don’t write career history or list stuff done in the promotion case, instead list impact and significant contributions; [but for a case based around digital engagement, that can be hard to judge…? I wonder whether the ability to drive traffic to the OU would count? I wonder if I could create a traffic blip on an OU web page anyway? If you fancy taking part in an ad hoc, not really experiment to see if I can drive traffic to the OU, please click through here: OU Accreditations and Partnerships…)

What other sorts of impact are there? Eponymous laws? Google impact… Hmmm…. How about a Google Suggest factor…?

Let’s see… (whilst I made this searches in a browser that wasn’t logged in to Google, and had cookies cleaned, I’m not suggesting any Google ground truth in these “results”.)

google impact - martin weller

google impact - tony hirst

(the actor/voiceover artist isn’t me… ;-)

Google impact - grainne conole

google impact - stephen downes

google impact - gilly salmon

google impact - terry anderson

So what ingredients might go into a “Google Suggest” Impact Factor?

Number of correct mentions? Number of incorrect mentions? Explicit association with host university, or subject area?

And what might a Google Suggest Factor measure? Personal discoverability? Personal associations? Personal specialism areas?

One thing I didn’t manage to do was find any phrases that autosuggested a name from a term in the following way:

google suggest - f1 lewis hamilton

i.e. term firstname surname

So what does Google Suggest think about you?! ;-)

Related, in a roundabout sort of way: Where is the Open University Homepage?

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

8 thoughts on “Google Impact…? The “Google Suggest” Factor”

  1. I like the idea that I’d could have massive Google impact without competing against my peers; I just have to out-compete the other people with my name. Unfortunately one’s a TV big game safari expert, another was a popular club runner tragically killed in an accident, a third is my well-known-in-his-field father.

    I now understand I don’t need to raise my profile; I need to change my name!

  2. In terms of impact that you can add to your promotion case, number of times you come up in a search for “your name” “open university” could be useful, because it removes all those references to Hollyoaks, Lemonrock and, in my case, the X Factor:
    “tony hirst” “open university” – 3500
    “martin weller” “open university” – 2890
    “grainne conole” “open university” – 3600
    “martin bean” “open university” – 14800

  3. Interesting. Presumably, as the suggestions are attempts at disambiguation, having a long list of things suggests a lack of strength of “brand” (either because personal brand is multi-faceted or because of name conflicts).
    Also, I would think impact would be measured more the other way around – if I typed in “Digital Identity” and got the suggestion
    “Digital Identity” This Is Me
    “Digital Identity” Pat Parslow
    … blah blah other uninteresting stuff…
    I would be rather happy. I don’t, of course, but such is life.

    1. Originally, I think Google Suggest was based on regularly occurring/popular search terms? Not sure if the algorithm is tweaked to take into account search terms that turn up results that people have clicked on, or additionally influenced by index terms and ranking of pages that are clicked through to from those search terms?

  4. I thought it was just frequency of searches, too. If anybody discovers more detail about the algorithm, do tell. I find it useful to see what people are searching on related to me or other searches I am doing.

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