In which Google mistakes me for another Matthew Wright

There’s no getting around the fact that my name is a bit popular. It’s led to numerous issues, including (a) an email begging me to return to TV, and (b) approaches from classics students wanting help with essays.

In the case of (a) it turned out I’d been confused with Matthew Wright the British TV breakfast presenter. The other was more interesting. I was mistaken for the Matthew Wright who lectures in classical history at the University of Exeter. By his own students. Yah.

I did think of playing along with that one. Like the other Matthew Wright I’m academically qualified in history. I work professionally in the field, have published very extensively, and am affiliated with University College in London (I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society on merit of my contribution to historical scholarship at global level.) I mean, sure, I mostly do modern history and know nothing much about the ancient world, but I did read Tacitus and Herodotus as part of my first post-grad degree. I also know all about the key figure of ancient history, Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Zeus and Queen Hippolyta, and have many questions about how she was able to lead an impromptu trench raid in October 1918, before assassinating Erich Ludendorff.

All of which, surely, must be of value to classics students. Probably. But I didn’t try to find out, instead telling them they’d managed to find the wrong historian.

How did all this happen? The problem, it turns out, is that virtually all my books, my website (for which I am the registrar), and large parts of my online presence have been credited to this Exeter lecturer. By Google. They even use his photograph instead of mine. I’ve been trying to get it corrected, but dealing with Google is like shouting into a void and expecting somebody to answer.

I’d prefer to be credited with my own books – and it’s trivial to prove I wrote them, not another Matthew Wright. But I guess if Google says somebody else of the same name wrote them and then make their error impossible to correct – well, clearly somebody else of the same name wrote them. Sigh.

For the record, my official list is here. It’s MY OFFICIAL MATTHEW WRIGHT PUBLICATIONS LIST – ACCEPT NO OTHER!

I’ve published nothing on classical history, nothing on religion (as penned by another Matthew Wright, which Amazon kept generously adding to my author page), and nothing on computer programming (yup, a fourth Matthew Wright).  Just what I’ve listed on my own website. It’s the only official list of my stuff.

That said, there IS a classical book I wouldn’t mind writing. Here’s a possible cover.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2022

9 thoughts on “In which Google mistakes me for another Matthew Wright

  1. Ugh. That is ridiculous. Is google so impoverished that it can’t afford to employ people to correct mistakes? Grrr…another reason to hate google. Now what’s this about the daughter of Zeus{?} being involved in WWI? 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The people they do employ all work off scripts – I got through to the first layer of their help desk, but all they were doing was sending cut-and-paste instructions for registering my website, none of which worked. When I went back to ask why it hadn’t worked, I got the same cut-and-paste instructions sent to me. Again and again. Round and round in stupid circles. If I can get through to the next tier it’s possible somebody who has the authority to act can intervene and fix the problem. All they have to do is attach my name to my own website in their knowledge panel.

      Ah yes, the story of Diana of Themyscira. Well, if some classics students managed to mix me up with their own lecturer, they might not notice any (er) historical problems with my source material (ahem):

      Liked by 2 people

      1. LMAO!!!!!! I’ve never seen that…’source’. I may have to investigate a little further. 😀
        As for google, have you demanded to speak to a line manager? I believe the call centre people are obliged to shunt a complaint up if the consumer insists. Or at least I’ve found that to be the case with other companies.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I’d call that particular ‘source’ the second least silly of things in that genre, at least in terms of what I’ve seen, and it had a pretty good go at WW1 period settings.

          I haven’t got further than first line help yet but asking for a proper support person is the next step. Even then I am not hopeful – there was another company where I got up to supervisor level, only to have the issue ignored. It wasn’t until I offered to take them to court in New Zealand under the Fair Trading Act (where they had made the error of registering the local operation as a company) that I got anything useful out of them.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks – I’ve never really looked into Wikipedia in any detail, owing to the total lack of intellectual rigour and the serial plagiarisation. I might raise the way my IP was stolen with the organisation – the fact that the guy who did it was so ignorant of the basic principles of interpretative methodology that he didn’t even know such principles exist is, of course, no excuse either morally or in law.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, Matthew Wright is all over TV here. Although, I must admit, I didn’t realise he was called Matthew Wright.

    I work in SEO and getting stuff ranking in Google. Best bet is always try and make the distinction in your title tag and copy. Otherwise it’s just one of those things Google hasn’t quite perfected.

    You can also just revel in the extra attention it brings your books!

    Liked by 1 person

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