This would never happen with a phone book.
I received an email today from a guy named Eric Dobbs. It was a little surreal to find email from myself in the inbox. Apparently from Virginia, it seems we share some common interests -- unix, RPGs, hiking, and video games.
He was Googling for another Eric Dobbs in the Richmond area. At the moment, I've got the first five hits at http://www.google.com/search?q=eric+dobbs. The first is for thinair, second and third from back in the days when I was a MacPerl zealot, and the fourth and fifth are archived threads from firstname.lastname@example.org. The next few are posts on ZDNet by the Richmond Eric Dobbs.
I don't feel like I've been doing enough in the world to justify the first five listings on Google. It's kinda fun, but mostly it makes me suspicious of PageRank.
A curious side effect of the 'Net and blogs. I seriously doubt Eric would have called me if he'd found my name (or should I say his name) in the phone book.