Look who bought my name


Commenter Pavel Vozenilek noticed that if you type my name into Google, there is only one sponsored link, and it's from Google themselves, inviting you to apply for a job there. (Maybe I should sue. Perhaps I can get a settlement.)

When I mentioned this to some other people at Microsoft, they started hunting around to see what sort of ads came up on Google when they searched for other names. Eric Gunnerson and Brad Abrams are available at low prices, and you can get Randy Holloway on eBay. Of all the Microsoft bloggers, the only other one that gets the Google Jobs treatment is Larry Osterman.

(Note: All links behaved as described when I originally wrote this entry; due to the nature of sponsored links, they may behave differently by the time you read this.)

[9am update: Wow that was fast. The Google Jobs links for Larry Osterman and me are already gone.]

Comments (36)
  1. Anonymous says:

    That is the coolest thing ever.  Perhaps you should apply? :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    And to think, if I’d succeeded at adblocking Google Ads, I may have never learned of this exciting job opportunity.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think google wants to reqruit you.
    Probably it figured out somehow, that people searching for your blog are not bad applicants for job at google.

    [Right, sorry, I thought that was obvious. They’re after people who search for me, not after me. (I mean, I know what my own URL is! Why would I search for it?) -Raymond]
  4. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Larry’s on the outs now . . .

    I thought maybe Google wanted folks who searched for you because you were "just another Linux hacker", but that query string didn’t feed me an ad asking me to apply for a job at Google.

    Meh. Who needs asking, anyway?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have amazon sponsoring book links to my name, but what you get varies from country to country.

    Here in the UK, google dont react to Raymond Chen; maybe they don’t want any windows programmers…

  6. Anonymous says:

    One of the rare times I’m dissapointed I block ads.

  7. Anonymous says:

    When I hit the link I say the AD from google. Now I do not. Interesting.

  8. Peter Ritchie says:

    I say you trademark your name and sue them :-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well it looks like both ads are gone now, I guess someone from Google reads your blog and took them down.

    Oddly enough MY name comes up with an add… ya it’s a redirect to ebay, but it’s still odd. I don’t know if it’s just random luck, but it’s there, and has both words in the ad.

    I think everyone should check there names to see what may come up.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The eBay sellers are crazy, they just buy ads for random words & phrases. "African slaves" used to result in amusing/horrifying ads from eBay sellers.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I sometimes get eBay and Amazon sponsored links for random stuff that you cannot buy online like Windows APIs.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It was me!  I bought your name because I knew that "all the cool developers" read this blog.

    Due to the nature of sponsored links, they may behave differently be the time you read this.  This means that only a few people per day will actually see these ads.

    I was wondering how long it would take for you to report on this.

    Btw, for those who don’t know me – I worked with Raymond at Microsoft, and now I work at Google.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have several friends who buy their own name… it gives a rough metric on how many people search for them.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if Bob Day is serious about buying the ad, but it’s true about the limiting of how many people see the ad.

    When you start an ad campaign with Google AdWords, you specify a limit of how much to spend per day.  Depending on whether the ad is paid per click or per impression, there reaches a point where the max amount of money has been spent on the ad in a day.  Thus, the ad stops showing up.

    So, try again tomorrow!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Google is the America-hating empire. Their attempts to recruit fine conservatives and brainwash them with their liberal agenda is well-documented.

    Remember, readers – good conservatives will boycott the communist Google and stick with the capitalist, Republican Microsoft.

    A fine writeup:

    http://www.shelleytherepublican.com/2006/06/07/google-the-america-hating-empire-is-taking-over.aspx

  16. Anonymous says:

    Concerned Parent, thanks for the good laugh.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Been reading both for ages, didn’t even get an interview with google ;p

  18. Anonymous says:

    Raymond, on the Visual Studio titlebar and in the about box it says “Microsoft Development Environment” instead of “Visual Studio.”  Why do we all call it Visual Studio?

    [How the heck should I know? -Raymond]
  19. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me of a somewhat recent BOFH. Raymond (and Larry), this one’s for you:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/02/03/bofh_2006_episode_5/

  20. Anonymous says:

    But you’re the king of MS trivia!

    [I don’t remember ever winning a trivia contest. How do I abdicate? -Raymond]
  21. PatriotB says:

    Howard: It looks like VS 2005 eradicates all traces of "Microsoft Development Environment", properly displaying "Microsoft Visual Studio" instead.

  22. Anonymous says:

    [Right, sorry, I thought that was obvious. They’re after people who search for me, not after me. (I mean, I know what my own URL is! Why would I search for it?) -Raymond]

    Emmm… with similar logic, those subscriptors of your blog also already know the URL, so they wouldn’t need to search it either.

    So they’re just finding those who didn’t know your blog and starting to search it? :P

  23. sarathc says:

    Unfortunately there was no sponsered link when I searched your name :(

  24. Anonymous says:

    hey why not apply! ;-)

  25. Anonymous says:

    > How do I abdicate? -Raymond]

    A king?  Two ways:

    (1) die.

    (2) marry a divorced American[*].

    [* Other nationalities might disqualify too, but marrying a divorced Brit[**] hasn’t apparently resulted in disqualification.]

    [** In addition to being divorced himself, though if I understand correctly, he isn’t a Brit himself.  He’s a prince of Canada and several other countries, but if I understand correctly the royalty of those countries have no nationality themselves.]

    [Ooooops.  I hope this doesn’t mean I’ve read too much trivia.]

  26. Anonymous says:

    >I have several friends who buy their own name… it gives a rough metric on how many people search for them.

    I like the subtle vanity here.

    I don’t think peoples names are likely to be unique yet the assumption is people are searching for *me*. I even found another raymond chen on the net, perhaps google are after him!

    On the abdication, it is normally a voluntary action (actual rules will depend on the realm you rule) so all you need to do is say so…

  27. Anonymous says:

    Tuesday, June 27, 2006 3:59 AM by IanA

    > On the abdication, it is normally a voluntary

    > action (actual rules will depend on the realm

    > you rule) so all you need to do is say so…

    The question of whether it’s voluntary or not is unrelated to the question of how the rules operate.

    In my limited understanding, laws that are passed in the UK become
    effective retroactively to the beginning of the day in which they
    receive royal assent.  But an exception was made for the law
    approving the abdication, making it effective at the beginning of the
    next day after it received royal assent.

    I once asked a couple of others who should know whether Canada
    passed a similar law and made a similar exception.  Technically
    the exception wouldn’t be required in Canada because the Governor
    General gives royal assent as the crown’s representative without any
    need to check who actually owns the crown that day.  But if Canada
    or other countries didn’t pass laws approving the alteration to the
    monarchy, then the abdication didn’t occur and the Commonwealth has a
    constitutional crisis.  But the people that I asked didn’t know
    the answer.

    [I do not believe that the laws of Canada apply to “King of MS Trivia”. That is the title I wish to abdicate. -Raymond]
  28. Anonymous says:

    I for one, would never abdicate and give up on a perfectly good reason to wear a fancy hat.

  29. vedala says:

    I can still see the ad!! its not gone!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Me too

  31. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Eric Gunnerson and Brad Abrams now show the Google ad as well.

  32. Anonymous says:

    [I do not believe that the laws of Canada

    > apply to "King of MS Trivia". That is the

    > title I wish to abdicate. -Raymond]

    Well my first posting in this thread mentioned the other known way to abdicate.  But as you observed, that law also doesn’t apply to you.

    If US law doesn’t provide a way for a king to abdicate, then you’ll still be the King of MS Trivia even after death.  Even the person who sent you a death threat won’t be able to help you out.

  33. Anonymous says:

    LOL. They probably consulted their lawyers. Lawyers said OK and the ad was restored.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Come to think of it, would searches for Raymond Osterman and Larry Chen produce the same sponsored results?

  35. Anonymous says:

    How do you think I feel?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday was my wife’s birthday.

    There were two presents of note. The first was a serotonin necklace…

Comments are closed.