The term egosurfing is attributed to Internet mogul Sean Carton. The term may have made its first public appearance in the Jargon Watch column published by Wired Magazine. The term may also have been popularized by the now-defunct website egosurf.com, a free application that allowed users to run searches on themselves and other people.
According to a 2007 survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, about 47% of adult Internet users have egosurfed through Google or other search engines. For people who run an online business or for whom an online presence has an important function, egosurfing may be an important business strategy for uncovering customer feedback. It may also be used by professionals to ensure that no embarrassing information about them is available online.