I admit it; there are times when I have gone to Google (and Yahoo, MSN, Ask and even occasionally a decent Meta-Search such as Dogpile) for no other reason than to see what people are saying about me online. I like to think that I have an excuse, what with being a professional journalist and all, in that I am looking for illegally copied versions of my work, potentially libelous comments and even the odd bit of praise here and there. Of course, the truth is I am doing what huge swathes of us do even if we do not, or will not admit it: ego surfing.

The trouble is, exactly what metric do you apply to such an activity in order to truly gauge the size of your online presence? The number of hits from an enclosed in double quotes Google search? The number of positive postings minus the number of negative ones? Maybe how many comments your blog posts have attracted, or how many page views your vanity home page receives? The point being that there is not a metric that works, possibly until now that is. I have recently discovered that rather excellent, if admittedly pointless, ego surfing calculator that is designed to determine your online popularity, and nothing else.

Just enter your name together with web domain or blog address, choose the search engines you want to interrogate (from a basic google.com search through to all encompassing deep searches that include Yahoo, MSN, del.icio.us and Technorati) and wait a minute. The validity of the resulting speedo dial graphically displayed ego points is questionable, mainly because nobody is saying how they are actually arrived at. At least there is something to compare your score to, as the site lists the biggest egos for you to covet. This is a tad unfair when entities such as blogspot (26986) and engadget (13215) are included at the top table. Annoyingly, one LordDCloud seems to have a score of 28890, which makes my 3708 seem a little weak. Mind you, I take some cold comfort in knowing that Bill Gates was not that far ahead of me on 5058.

Go on then, I can take the pain: what is your ego rating?

About the Author

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

I got a 0 on that site :(

I don't really have a consistent blog, so that probably explains it. If you search my name in quotes, though, you get over 33,000 hits, all mine!

It seems to search for mentions of your name in other blogs as well though, and mentions of your website.

My ego rating is based upon a search of Davey Winder with www.happygeek.com for example.

Doing a search for Davey Winder at Google returns 'about' 87,800 hits apparently. I have not counted them all to see if it is really 87,826 or whatever though. My ego is not that big... :D

You are now officially more popular than Bill Gates :D

5612... mainly from forum postings. Oddly, very few of my poetry/publishing related search results for "Thomas D. Greer" were found or contributed to the ranking, even though a strict Google search turns up more of those than tech-related info.

A fun little tool, but I wonder how useful this really is as a metric. I suppose for people making their living via their blog/site it's a nice measure.

It must have been a bad day. 8820 points the second time around. Same criteria.