If you’ve been reading awhile, you may remember the social media experiment I started a few weeks ago. Well, after a month and a half, I figured it was about time to check on my Frankenstein monster and see how it was progressing.

Social network search performance over time

So far, most of the readings are negative. It’s not lurching around. It’s not terrorizing peasants. All it appears to be doing it twitching and grumbling on the table. Here are my findings to date.

  • Naymz was very effective. As you can see, my Naymz profile is the earliest and highest result of the lot. It even enjoyed a brief stint on page one during the second week. At the time of this writing, it still ranks at a respectable 17. This is especially remarkable when you consider how little effort it took to set up and maintain.
  • Facebook was also very effective. Although I enjoy a lot of competition in Facebook (419 results for a profile search with “Stephen Ward” in the name), it turned out to be one of the best performers. It never reached page one like Naymz, but it’s held its position on page two for several weeks now. At the time of this writing, it appears to be holding around #15. Granted, I had to put more work into Facebook than Naymz, and it doesn’t do much for links or branding, but it still proved to be fairly handy.
  • LinkedIn and MySpace could have worked. Much like Facebook, there’s generally a lot of competition for name rankings on these sites. More importantly, entries for both of LinkedIn and Facebook consistently ranked on page one or two. The only problem is that they were some other Stephen Ward’s profiles. If I could manage to make Google think that I’m the most important Stephen Ward on those sites, my profile would likely replace theirs.
  • Blogcatalog and Technorati were so-so. I mention them because they were the only other profiles to show up on the radar. Blogcatalog built up from page 15 to page four only to mysteriously fall off and never recover. Technorati languished between pages 13 and 18 before it also fell off. Neither performed phenomenally well, but I was surprised to see blog listing pages showing up at all.
  • Everything else failed. The down side is that most of my monster didn’t so much as twitch. I invested the most time in social news sites like Digg and Reddit and social bookmarking services like Delicious and StumbleUpon, but the profiles never showed up in the top 200. Even my underdog industry profiles, DZone and SEOmoz, didn’t make the cut.

I don’t think I’ll abandon the experiment just yet. As I already pointed out, LinkedIn and MySpace show promise. I’ll keep things going, redistribute my efforts, and maybe add a new part or two. Who knows? With a little patience, I may get my monster up and dancing yet.

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