You Do Google Your Institution, right?

We web folks are tasked with keeping track of our institution’s presence on many, many platforms across the web.

News alerts, blog mentions, press mentions, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Ping*, Diaspora, and so on and so on.

I was reminded today that there’s one place I often forget to check.

Google.

Yes, good ol’ Google. It’s the biggest referrer of traffic to our site. It knows and see all.

Funny story…

We’ve started a carpool at work. On our way in today, someone saw an alumni sticker on the car next to us for Alabama A&M. I hadn’t heard of the school, and wasn’t sure what the A&M stands for.

So, being stuck in traffic, I quickly Googled them on my iPhone.

Here’s what I saw:

AlabamaA&M

That’s not good. I doubt that, in addition to a degree, you can get Xanax without a prescription there.

Something strange is happening, because their page does have valid META tags.

<meta name="description" content="Welcome to Alabama A&amp;M University, located near Huntsville, Alabama."> 

I think it’s time for their IT and web staff to dig around and see what’s going on, then resubmit the site to Google.

The moral of the story here is make sure that in your daily Googling, you make sure to check out your institution’s page.

By the way, the A&M stands for agriculture and mechanical.

* – not yet, but still 🙂