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Google Liked It, But They Wouldn’t Put a Ring on It


  1. Simple solution: don’t change your name when you marry. I don’t understand why so many young women DO change their names now. I thought we’d got over that in the 70s or 80s.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      I don’t take any issue with anyone who doesn’t want to change their name upon getting married, but I wouldn’t label it as an “archaic” process for those who do. Some women actually want to take their husband’s name and/or to have the same last name as their children. Women shouldn’t be backed into NOT taking their husband’s name any more than they should be backed INTO taking it, IMO.

    • Alex Aguilar says:

      Yeah, I’m with Frank on this one – I don’t see the need for women to take on their husband’s surnames after they get married. There aren’t any real upsides for professional working women to change their last name and plenty of downsides, as Rae’s experience shows. As far as the kids are concerned they can have both surnames of their parents.

  2. Carol Montgomery Adams says:

    I’ve been divorced many years – I took a hyphenated name and ended up keeping it as I discovered that I had far less competition with it for SERPs than without it. I think of it as my “professional” name and “a rose by any other name…” is still me.

  3. Mike Stewart says:

    After marrying a fella like Sean, who can blame you for wanting to share it and live it. It is as if women marketers are naturally somewhat disenfranchised.

    I guess it forces you to keep your personal and professional surnames separate. Men do not have to make such a sacrifice, but in a world where authorship, branding, and citations matter, a gals gotta do what a gals gotta do, right?

  4. Tricia Meyer says:

    This is disappointing and more than a little bit unfair. As the mother of two daughters, I don’t want them to work for years to develop an online reputation and then have to start all over just because they want to take their husband’s name. I don’t think anyone would call me old-fashioned, but I appreciate the fact that I was able to take my husband’s name and it is our “family name.” Apparently even hyphenating doesn’t help that. Maybe my best friend had the right idea when she married a guy with the same last name as her.

  5. I’ve told people that I kept my maiden name solely because I don’t know how to change my work email address (elizabeth.maidenname@business.ca) to my married name (elizabeth.marriedname@business.ca). A few people have been sympathetic to that silly reason. :P

    Not that that was my only reason, frankly the thought of changing all the certificates, licences, registrations…. Yeah, I’m happy to stick with my maiden name.

  6. I think women have been dealing with the issue of whether or not to take their husband’s name and how it will affect their professional lives for generations. My aunt, now in her 60’s and married for over 30 years, never changed her name because she felt it would adversely affect her professional life. Yet she’s happily married. Ok they live in Southern California so it’s a bit more modern than the rest of the world perhaps but this is not a new issue and certainly not confined to online reputations.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Yes, I definitely feel professional women have struggled with it before, I just think the web takes it to a new and more severe level. I wasn’t in the professional world when I first got married, so I thought nothing of taking his last name (Hoffman).

  7. Lea de Groot says:

    I changed my name both times – but if I were doing it all over, I would keep my maiden name. You could call me ‘Mrs de Groot’, but not Lea de Groot. I think of it like the English nobility – Jane Smith is referred to as Lady Oxford (I’m making these up, obviously) but calling her Jane Oxford would just be wrong.

    Now, don’t get me started on what surname the kids should take, because I have an opinion on that, too :)

  8. My online reputation has only been developed since I’ve been married (with my husband’s last name), so I guess I’ll have to stay that way!

    I took his name for some of the reasons listed above – so we’d have a “family” name which we share with our child. I also can never figure out where to put the rolodex cards for married friends with separate last names! (does anyone still use rolodexs?)

  9. Graham Nixon says:

    Not something I’d thought of (changing name) but it got me thinking. My online presence i.e. website name, twitter, facebook, google author is Graham Nixon. My business name is Graham Nixon Photography and I use that as “my” name too. Is this pretty much the same problem?

  10. Coming from Philippines, it’s pretty common to have two first names so I adopted that for my online identity, primarily to separate my virtual self from the real one who wants to just be unplugged and off the grid on weekends. I don’t have to worry then about this then, although here in Paris, it’s comon for women to keep their names even after many a marriage :)

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