This post is actually going to be about two of my favorite topics all rolled up into one – online dating and Google search. This is a tale of how I came to discover online dating plagiarists through a few advanced searching techniques I use on a regular basis. I want your thoughts on this! When you’re done reading, leave me a comment below. But first, the dating story…
Online Dating Profiles – a Form of Free Entertainment
Online dating profiles offer a seemingly endless supply of entertainment for me. I’ve seen some crazy profiles, silly pictures and some of the most deep and meaningful literature the world has seen since Hemingway walked the earth…
Ok, that last part isn’t exactly true and we all know it.
Online dating profiles leave quite a lot to be desired for those of us that are seeking depth out there, but they can be pretty entertaining. A few of the profiles I came across in the past few weeks are special, though. They’re special because they’re a different kind of discovery entirely.
In my daily Internet perusing, I like to try new searching techniques using Google search. You can come up with some pretty cool stuff if you know what to enter into the search box! Well, this time I stumbled across a few profiles that appear to be plagiarists. How do I know, you ask? Well, they plagiarized my online dating profile. Check it out.
Exhibit A – My OkCupid.com Profile
I think my profile is pretty clever, actually. I must have had a good amount of wine when I wrote it, perhaps. I dunno. Of course, I don’t pay too much attention to it any more, certainly not for dating, but it appears some people have found it and have also taken a liking to it. Here’s my profile if you’re curious.
Yes, I still get the occasional email from the profile and I don’t mind replying now and then. But this story focuses on a different kind of attention to my profile. In this case, other online daters decided to copy my profile and make it their own.
Kinda flattering. Sorta creepy too. Here’s how I discovered the online dating profile plagiarists.
Google Search – Two Advanced Techniques
Did you know there’s all kinds of ways you can narrow down your searches on Google? Yeah, I’ll probably have to do a separate article just on this topic, but for now, I’ll show you two of the examples that I used. First, I typed in a portion of my profile text wrapped in double quotes. This tells the search engine to search for the word/phrase exactly as you type it in.
This search provided me with some very interesting results. My screen name on OkCupid.com is ‘Techilicious’. The results just for the phrase I used above included another OkCupid.com profile, though.
Curious, I click on the link to view my admirer and see just what else his profile has to say. He used a little bit of his own words, but for the most part, the profile is copied from mine word for word.
Why Reinvent the Wheel, Right?
Still intrigued, I used another advanced search technique in Google where I sought to remove results from OkCupid.com and see if there were any other offenders on other online dating sites.
Guess what? There were.
To search for results on specific sites, you can specify the site that you want the results to come from. Here’s how you specify a site:
So as of right now I know of two online dating profile plagiarists out there. Hey, I think my profile was pretty clever, too, but shouldn’t I at least get credit for writing their profiles?
What do you think? Would you go out with someone if you found out they didn’t write their own profile? What if they paid a professional writer to craft their dating masterpiece? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.