Business cards are rarely used nowadays: all you have to do is pick up your phone, look up someone on LinkedIn and then add the person. But Google thinks it can get more convenient, especially when people don’t have LinkedIn. That’s why it is testing ‘people cards’ in the search results in India.
This is how it works: you search for someone’s name on Google. The first thing you see is a panel containing the information of that person, including what he or she does for a living and what social media you can use to reach or follow the person.
The test has been going on for six months, but now it is rolled out to a bigger audience. This new step is a positive one because now you can have a bit more influence on what comes up when someone searches for you online. You can immediately present someone with factual information about yourself, instead of the other search results on which you often have little or no influence. It is also useful to publish your social media accounts if you don’t have a site of your own.
You can create a virtual business card on Google by logging into your Google account, search your name and choose ‘add me to Search’. This results in a prompt in which you can write a description, choose a profile picture and list your social media profiles or other contact information. All of which is entirely voluntary.
You can create one business card per Google account, in order to prevent copycats. You must also link your account to a phone number. There is also a possibility to report rogue business cards on Google. If you share a name, which is common in India, for example, there is a special feature in which Google helps you to differentiate yourself based on someone’s location and profession, according to TheNextWeb.