This past Saturday, I married the love of my life. Our ceremony was simple; the reception, elegant, intimate and unforgettable. There are some traditions I find essential, while others I had no intention of upholding. For instance, I wore a beautiful white gown, but no veil -- and a close friend got ordained and performed our ceremony under a gazebo in a waterfront park, not a minister in church.
Now begins the process of changing my last name; but, contrary to what most people go through with the legalese of adopting their spouse's surname, I am now tasked with rebranding myself in order to uphold this tradition that I find important in symbolizing the union of a family.
I honestly had not thought much about my name change until a couple of weeks before the wedding. I mentioned to some coworkers that our HR Director had already ordered a new name plate for me, which was met by exclamations like, "You can't change your name!" and "But everyone knows you as Janel Landis."
So let me put all modesty aside and reference my own vanity searching, which means googling yourself. Because I have written some pieces that have sparked heated debates, I feel googling myself every so often is important to my own reputation management.
I especially like the ability to "Show Options," which allows me to view recent results and slice and dice my own SERP. However, the most fun part is my "Wonder Wheel." I love the Wonder Wheel. It changes so much and I visit it with such anticipation to see who/what I am connected to at the time. Most often, I get janel landis, janel landis engaged and the names of other Search Insiders. It is entertaining that I am so often connected to other Insiders, and a little creepy that janel landis engaged has been showing since about two days after I got engaged. Oddly enough, the results on that query yield articles I have written about user engagement.
Well, that should be enough background for everyone. Now, why am I writing about this? I would like to engage readers for a little feedback on rebranding myself. I don't want to lose the online reputation I have built by changing my last name, and I'm just not the hyphenating type. I plan on having a family and my children's teachers being able to address Child Laravie's parents as Mr. and Mrs. Laravie. Plus, Laravie is a cool name and not very common, so I think I can easily optimize Janel Laravie (not that I had any competition on Janel Landis).
Thank you, MediaPost, for updating name, title and company to all historical pieces when I edit my bio. If only every publication were as easy! The Search Insider reader audience should accept the "Janel Landis is now Janel Laravie" change fairly naturally, but my ultimate goal is that Google will suggest to users searching for Janel Landis, Did you mean Janel Laravie? If anyone can suggest how to make that happen, it would be greatly appreciated!
If you found this post too self-centered, please understand that I am so elated to be married. Anytime I can connect search to my everyday life, I hope readers can relate! Thanks for reading. Now, back to my honeymoon!