People searches cover 10% to even 30% of all online searches. Sometimes it's recruiters doing background checks, conference encounters trying to recall who were you, but mostly it's the person herself.
When you search yourself, what do you find? What would you like to find? How do you feel, when people you're trying to impress find the same things? How would you react, when you meet your online presence in a job interview (see chapter 9)? That's right!
Google has a new service, which allows you to have more control over what people find when they are searching you. You can have your own Google Profile with a short bio, pictures etc. Most importantly you can provide links to sites, which you do want people to see. Your own pro website, no more embarrassing MySpace and Facebook party pics.
Do you have a google profile yet? Check it out with this link. More info on this page.
Just remember: you are online (since you're reading this) and you do have a history - it NEVER goes away. People will search you and they will find you. You can try to change your name and move to a foreign country, you can try to cover old stuff under a pile of new things. Nothing disappears. With Google Profile and it's integration on the first page of their search results, now you have a chance to look better.