Perhaps you’ve been wondering how to deal with fullname/nickname issues (Walter Feigenson vs Walt Feigenson). Well here’s something else to worry about – misspellings of your name. You probably don’t have to worry about that if you’re John Smith – but you sure do if your name is John Smyth. In my case, misspellings are all over the globe.
What do you do about that? I’m not sure yet, because I’ve just started thinking about this problem. The good news (for me) is that most of the misspellings actually show Google’s guess that it’s actually me. If anything, that’s even more impressive than looking yourself up and finding some results on page 2.
Misspelling is a common issue in search engine optimization. Most experts will tell you to include common misspellings in your keywords and meta tags. If you’re finding that the common mistakes aren’t being handled to your advantage by Google, you can even write a blog article like this one, which will get indexed and may make it easier to find you. I know one person who puts some of the common misspellings of her name in her LinkedIn Summary,
For the record, then, here are some common misspellings of my name:
I’m OK for all these: Feigensen, Fiegenson, and Feigonson.
But if you’re looking for Walter Ferguson or Walter Fergenson, you’re going to find a Costa Rican songwriter, not me. Since this is a very common misspelling, I could probably stuff that name into my blog’s meta tags, but I’m not sure what impact that would actually have. And since there are already several paid ads for this name (mostly from public directory companies that want to sell you information about him), even using the paid listings offered by Ziggs.com might not help.
Going back to the fullname/nickname question: it’s really best to concentrate on one or the other for your public profiles. I don’t like using middle initials for the simple reason that people looking you up probably won’t know yours.
Google actually does a pretty good job for many nicknames. They know that Walt and Walter are the same. But how about Teddy Kennedy – would they also equate Edward with Teddy? So think about your own naming conventions – pick one and stick to it for your own personal brand.