Help me get my face back please!
April 25, 2015 12:56 AM   Subscribe

It appears that when doing a Google search for my name ('Tim Pollard') the result Google features is a weird combination of my details (from Wikipedia) but with an embedded photo of an entirely different Tim Pollard (a motoring journalist). Does anyone know how to change that so my photo appears with my details please? As a performer I want to make sure people know who and what they're getting! Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!
posted by timpollard to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The absolute best way is probably to create a Google+ account with your information, links to any preferred websites, and Wikipedia as well. Since a LinkedIn search comes up first, you may want to make sure you have a good LI profile, too, to water down the influence of any other of your namesakes. I think I'd want to do this doubly because -- without a more neutral writing style and better media sources -- I would have to consider your Wikipedia article's position precarious. And no, don't fix it yourself, that won't help things much.

Google, though, is basically algorithm-based, so you want to think the way a search engine thinks. The more stuff it finds about you the better it will be at linking it up.
posted by dhartung at 1:10 AM on April 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Many thanks indeed, I greatly appreciate your time, help and advice!
posted by timpollard at 1:22 AM on April 25, 2015

A journalist probably has their picture next to every story they write, so it's gonna pop up.
posted by rhizome at 1:27 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Fair point, it's just a bit weird (for both of us,I guess)! Many thanks!
posted by timpollard at 1:32 AM on April 25, 2015

You may need to be signed in to see it, but I see a tiny 'Feedback' link beneath the row of 'People also search for' images and names. When I click it, I get to select some portion of the special results to mark as an error, and then I get a chance to describe the error. For what it's worth, I've submitted that feedback for you, mentioning that the image for the search result doesn't match the image in the Wikipedia article. I have no idea how effective that is or whether it helps for others to submit additional feedback.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 1:45 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Fwiw, I use Bing to search and your photo did not come up until about the 30th one in the image page. Your Wikipedia article was third and your namesake website was 10th.
posted by AugustWest at 12:08 PM on April 25, 2015

I guess you're not talking about the regular hits for the search, but the official Google snippet on the side, with your date and place of birth and the school you've attended.

I don't think a Google+ profile is going to do much, but let me tell you how I fixed a similar (but different) situation. Hopefully the solution will apply.

Google has this thing called Google My Business, where they let business owners create a profile which, amongst other things, let's them decide what information people that search for the business name will see right where we see your data with journalist Tim's face.

I found out about it when we got a letter from Google at the inn I'm working at, telling us we could sign in for that. I then googled the inn's name and discovered they had a photo of some random house from the same city.

So, I went to go I, signed up (they had to call us to confirm it was actually us), reported that photo as inaccurate (they only allow the business owner to do that, not random people) so they could removed it, uploaded some I had taken and added some more details I wanted to be easily seen. Almost immediately the new photos were up, and a few days later the offending photo was gone.

Of course you are not a business, but as an actor you are, in a way, a business. I don't know what Google's guidelines are on that, but it's worth trying. I don't see why they wouldn't let an actor have their business page.

I hope this helps!
posted by Promethea at 7:08 PM on April 25, 2015

Post a bunch of pictures of yourself online, tagged with your name. On your website, on Flickr, on Facebook, all over. If you don't, the Google bots get confused and other results can replace you.

I went a few years without posting many pictures of myself and the search engines got full of unflattering candid shots that people took of me at nightclubs in 2001 or so. So I posted a bunch of nicer pictures of myself, and those floated to the top of the Google results. (For a while. A quick search now shows that those damn ugly-ass nightclub shots are drifting back to the top, along with images of other ladies named Ursula. Even when I put in my name in quotes! Time to post some more pictures of myself, I guess.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:26 AM on April 26, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, that's very helpful and I greatly appreciate your time and trouble!
posted by timpollard at 7:04 AM on May 5, 2015

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