Owning my name in Google

Lately, I have been reading quite a few posts on the importance of owning your name in search. For whatever the reason may be, personal or financial, getting your name out there on the web is the most important factor that decides if you will sink or swim. The first thing you must realize on the web, is the if you build it, they will come mentality will not get you very far, and will seal your fate rather quickly. Unless you have a premium dot com domain with type in traffic, or you are a corporation with money budgeted to engage in online ad campaigns, your only alternative is to start creating organic link relationships and opportunities with search engines, more specifically Google. Search engines are still the number one destination consumers go to for their search and discovery.

I find that in terms of traffic, Google is more social media friendly and relevant in search results compared to other search engines. This brings us to my favorite two words, social media.  Social media provides us a multitude of tools to help us achieve search engine ranking zen.

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Consider your personal brand an empty baseball field. You should be focused and dedicated into making it a field of dreams. The fans, your audience is the dream.

I’m focusing on personal branding. These tools and methods can be applied to any type of branding or promoting on the web. Results are easier to obtain because your brand or keyword is your name, rather than a consumer brand or product such as Apple, or iPod. Your only competition in search is with people that share the same name as you. If you have a real common name such as John Smith, obviously it will be a little harder, but still very achievable. Consider a study that was just released using Eye Tracking technology to determine search pattern behavior. It reveals that:

Fixations are studded around the top 5 results and the majority of clicks are upon the top 3 results (discounting the sponsored link).

Now more importantly then ever, you must be in the top five search results. It’s no longer good enough just being listed anywhere on page one of the search results. Personally, I give more weight to the top results, because usually they are the most relevant sources of information for the desired topic. I will scroll through at least 4-5 pages of results, if I am not satisfied with results from page one. But does your average non informed, non tech savvy surfer scroll past page one? The answer most likely is no.

Chris Brogan touches on the subject of personal branding extensively in a free eBook he just recently compiled and released. This is your starting point, and a required read. Now let’s talk about the easiest way to achieve search engine zen with social media.

Passports:

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Passports are simply accounts or profiles on other social networking sites and platforms. Passports gives us shiny badges for our blogs, more importantly they are a key traffic source. Establishing profiles is important because it promotes your brand’s url.  Almost all social networking sites and tools allow for links to your various social networking profiles.

Considering myself to be an early adopter, I’m often very quick to establish multiple passports on and across the social media platforms. The core objective with all shiny toys, new and old is to establish presence. Profiles all have one thing in common, they link back to that empty baseball field, your brand.

I ran a search query on Google for the keyword Mike Fruchter, and realized I now own the search term. There are 79,800 results for the keyword Mike Fruchter, albeit my last name is not as common as Smith. I can rest assured anyone typing in those keywords will find a link back to michaelfruchter.com, and/or a new point of engagement if need be.

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Start with some of the basics first:

  • Buy your domain name
  • Install a blogging platform such as WordPress
  • Establish a FaceBook account
  • Establish a FriendFeed account
  • Establish a Google Profile
  • Establish a photo sharing account, ideally Flickr or Picasa
  • Establish a Twitter account
  • Tag when applicable
  • Establish multiple social bookmarking accounts

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Establishing accounts is the easy part. Sure this will get you some search engine exposure, but not nearly the amount you would get from using these services on a daily basis. The minimum upkeep of your profiles can take 5-10 mins of your day. By continually updating your statuses on your services, you are increasing your search rankings and branding relevance. Remember a Twitter profile is indexed by Google, but so are those precious tweets. Same goes with those blog posts, FriendFeed comments, Disqus comments etc. Update a minimum of 3-5 times a week if need be. Tags are powerful for search engine traffic as well. Make sure you tag as much as possible when applicable. While I am on the subject of tagging, it’s good practice to tag your blog postings with the subjects name. This is a great way of two way personal branding. I am seeing this used more frequently on blog postings. Here is an example of myself being tagged by Svetlana Gladkova on a posting she wrote titled No Data Portablity? Ok, We’ll Use FriendFeed. The positive from this is the obvious search engine listing.

Sign up for any new social media service that comes along. Take your profile and “set it and forget it.” Repeat the process several hundred times and you are on the right track to reap the benefits.


-- Download Owning my name in Google as PDF --


  • http://rebkin.com rebkin

    After I'd read this post I typed in my 'screen name' Rebkin in Google. It found 13,500 results (!). They're all mine except two and they were way back on the list — I browsed about 10 pages back. The weird thing is that no where is my own web page at http://rebkin.com to be found! It HAS been there before…I don't know what's up with that. It really doesn't matter because I don't have any real purpose with all this…I'd like to come up with one though :)
    I've never felt the urge to state my own name online so ever since it all begun I've used a screen name. It used to be Webby — which might have been 'original' in Sweden but not on the www. My real name is too long anyway. Rebkin.com was available and that was basically the reason why I signed up.. :) Now that's all very well…I just can't dream up one reason why anyone would search for it.

  • http://rebkin.com rebekah

    After I’d read this post I typed in my ‘screen name’ Rebkin in Google. It found 13,500 results (!). They’re all mine except two and they were way back on the list — I browsed about 10 pages back. The weird thing is that no where is my own web page at http://rebkin.com to be found! It HAS been there before…I don’t know what’s up with that. It really doesn’t matter because I don’t have any real purpose with all this…I’d like to come up with one though :)
    I’ve never felt the urge to state my own name online so ever since it all begun I’ve used a screen name. It used to be Webby — which might have been ‘original’ in Sweden but not on the www. My real name is too long anyway. Rebkin.com was available and that was basically the reason why I signed up.. :) Now that’s all very well…I just can’t dream up one reason why anyone would search for it.

  • http://rebkin.com rebkin

    After I'd read this post I typed in my 'screen name' Rebkin in Google. It found 13,500 results (!). They're all mine except two and they were way back on the list — I browsed about 10 pages back. The weird thing is that no where is my own web page at http://rebkin.com to be found! It HAS been there before…I don't know what's up with that. It really doesn't matter because I don't have any real purpose with all this…I'd like to come up with one though :)
    I've never felt the urge to state my own name online so ever since it all begun I've used a screen name. It used to be Webby — which might have been 'original' in Sweden but not on the www. My real name is too long anyway. Rebkin.com was available and that was basically the reason why I signed up.. :) Now that's all very well…I just can't dream up one reason why anyone would search for it.

  • http://www.profy.com/ Svetlana Gladkova

    Mike, very reasonable post, really a must-read for anyone just starting with personal branding. I remember in the early days of Profy I did not bother to register accounts named “profy” everywhere I could but now I am most certain to at least add some basic information to any new service launched and forget it if I don't see traction enough to justify my efforts to keep it active. And even if you don't really get any search traffic, it will at the very least provide an extra incoming link or two.

    P.S. Thanks for the link, by the way :)

  • http://www.profy.com/ Svetlana Gladkova

    Mike, very reasonable post, really a must-read for anyone just starting with personal branding. I remember in the early days of Profy I did not bother to register accounts named “profy” everywhere I could but now I am most certain to at least add some basic information to any new service launched and forget it if I don’t see traction enough to justify my efforts to keep it active. And even if you don’t really get any search traffic, it will at the very least provide an extra incoming link or two.

    P.S. Thanks for the link, by the way :)

  • http://www.profy.com/ Svetlana Gladkova

    Mike, very reasonable post, really a must-read for anyone just starting with personal branding. I remember in the early days of Profy I did not bother to register accounts named “profy” everywhere I could but now I am most certain to at least add some basic information to any new service launched and forget it if I don't see traction enough to justify my efforts to keep it active. And even if you don't really get any search traffic, it will at the very least provide an extra incoming link or two.

    P.S. Thanks for the link, by the way :)

  • http://nilsgeylen.com/blog Nils Geylen

    I never realized why exactly Twitter was so high up and it didn't occur to me that tweets count as content updates.

    I suppose that's cool though, since I update there more than on my site.

    It's all the same to me. I can be found, if someone wants me, so I'm not sitting waiting for the phone to ring. And, to be honest, I've been using Twitter or Friendfeed themselves as primary search a long time. If I need to find someone or something, it's there that I look first. Good to see Google catch on to that.

  • http://nilsgeylen.com/blog Nils Geylen

    I never realized why exactly Twitter was so high up and it didn’t occur to me that tweets count as content updates.

    I suppose that’s cool though, since I update there more than on my site.

    It’s all the same to me. I can be found, if someone wants me, so I’m not sitting waiting for the phone to ring. And, to be honest, I’ve been using Twitter or Friendfeed themselves as primary search a long time. If I need to find someone or something, it’s there that I look first. Good to see Google catch on to that.

  • http://ndnl.eu Nils Geylen

    I never realized why exactly Twitter was so high up and it didn't occur to me that tweets count as content updates.

    I suppose that's cool though, since I update there more than on my site.

    It's all the same to me. I can be found, if someone wants me, so I'm not sitting waiting for the phone to ring. And, to be honest, I've been using Twitter or Friendfeed themselves as primary search a long time. If I need to find someone or something, it's there that I look first. Good to see Google catch on to that.

  • http://14sandwiches.com MartinSFP

    It's frustrating – I'd be number one result for my name if it wasn't for my idiot namesake who committed mass murder in Tasmania 12 years ago. As it is, you get three pages of him at the start. My FriendFeed page is the first sign of me on Google, right at the bottom of page 3.

    Tip: even if you do most of the things listed here, sharing a name with a mass murderer negates the effort! :)

  • http://www.martinbryant.net/ Martin Bryant

    It’s frustrating – I’d be number one result for my name if it wasn’t for my idiot namesake who committed mass murder in Tasmania 12 years ago. As it is, you get three pages of him at the start. My FriendFeed page is the first sign of me on Google, right at the bottom of page 3.

    Tip: even if you do most of the things listed here, sharing a name with a mass murderer negates the effort! :)

  • http://14sandwiches.com MartinSFP

    It's frustrating – I'd be number one result for my name if it wasn't for my idiot namesake who committed mass murder in Tasmania 12 years ago. As it is, you get three pages of him at the start. My FriendFeed page is the first sign of me on Google, right at the bottom of page 3.

    Tip: even if you do most of the things listed here, sharing a name with a mass murderer negates the effort! :)

  • http://www.udidrezner.info Udi Drezner

    Great Post!!!

    I totally agree with the above tips. But even when you implement these rips, and create online profiles, there may be sites which will rank higher in search results for your name search. The reason for that may be:

    1) The relevancy of the site to the name you searched
    2) The number of clicks each site gets when people search for your name
    3) the number of outbound links to the site
    4) The page rank of the site
    5) Newer and more updated sites may receive higher ranking at first
    and more…
    The ranking may also change drastically over time…

    Anyway, there are a lot ways to make your site rank higher than others, probably the easiest way is to use services that create a web site for you and specialize in SEO. One service that I use (and I have many online profiles) is LookupPage.

    For example, you can Google my name or search my name in Yahoo to see what I mean.

    In addition, for popular names, like “John Smith” the service provides sponsored listing on Google to make sure your name is visible on Google first page every time your name is being searched. So you don’t necessarily need to use your middle name, but the name your are known for.

    BR,
    Udi Drezner

  • http://www.udidrezner.info Udi Drezner

    Great Post!!!

    I totally agree with the above tips. But even when you implement these rips, and create online profiles, there may be sites which will rank higher in search results for your name search. The reason for that may be:

    1) The relevancy of the site to the name you searched
    2) The number of clicks each site gets when people search for your name
    3) the number of outbound links to the site
    4) The page rank of the site
    5) Newer and more updated sites may receive higher ranking at first
    and more…
    The ranking may also change drastically over time…

    Anyway, there are a lot ways to make your site rank higher than others, probably the easiest way is to use services that create a web site for you and specialize in SEO. One service that I use (and I have many online profiles) is LookupPage.

    For example, you can Google my name or search my name in Yahoo to see what I mean.

    In addition, for popular names, like “John Smith” the service provides sponsored listing on Google to make sure your name is visible on Google first page every time your name is being searched. So you don’t necessarily need to use your middle name, but the name your are known for.

    BR,
    Udi Drezner

  • http://www.udidrezner.info Udi Drezner

    Great Post!!!

    I totally agree with the above tips. But even when you implement these rips, and create online profiles, there may be sites which will rank higher in search results for your name search. The reason for that may be:

    1) The relevancy of the site to the name you searched
    2) The number of clicks each site gets when people search for your name
    3) the number of outbound links to the site
    4) The page rank of the site
    5) Newer and more updated sites may receive higher ranking at first
    and more…
    The ranking may also change drastically over time…

    Anyway, there are a lot ways to make your site rank higher than others, probably the easiest way is to use services that create a web site for you and specialize in SEO. One service that I use (and I have many online profiles) is LookupPage.

    For example, you can Google my name or search my name in Yahoo to see what I mean.

    In addition, for popular names, like “John Smith” the service provides sponsored listing on Google to make sure your name is visible on Google first page every time your name is being searched. So you don’t necessarily need to use your middle name, but the name your are known for.

    BR,
    Udi Drezner

  • http://friendfeed.com/digitalshaman digitalshaman

    or … you could trademark your name … using all of the suggestions above to decide on what your applicable trade is & enforce the tradename against those who might cyber-squat or worse … it is even helpful in resolving liability in ID Theft &/or getting some traction in the currency of recognition that we are all able to monetize using the intellectual property protections that larger entities take for granted and use successfully for their own gain … this is not legal advice, express or implied … but while the big boys attack the patent system, copyright & trademark protections get stronger … so, why not? we are all analogs & intangible!

  • http://friendfeed.com/digitalshaman digitalshaman

    or … you could trademark your name … using all of the suggestions above to decide on what your applicable trade is & enforce the tradename against those who might cyber-squat or worse … it is even helpful in resolving liability in ID Theft &/or getting some traction in the currency of recognition that we are all able to monetize using the intellectual property protections that larger entities take for granted and use successfully for their own gain … this is not legal advice, express or implied … but while the big boys attack the patent system, copyright & trademark protections get stronger … so, why not? we are all analogs & intangible!

  • http://friendfeed.com/digitalshaman digitalshaman

    or … you could trademark your name … using all of the suggestions above to decide on what your applicable trade is & enforce the tradename against those who might cyber-squat or worse … it is even helpful in resolving liability in ID Theft &/or getting some traction in the currency of recognition that we are all able to monetize using the intellectual property protections that larger entities take for granted and use successfully for their own gain … this is not legal advice, express or implied … but while the big boys attack the patent system, copyright & trademark protections get stronger … so, why not? we are all analogs & intangible!

  • http://www.bestchoicehosting.net Hosting Reviews

    It's not as hard as most would think. Especially if you have a name that isn't all that common. However if you do… there's plenty you can do. The suggestions above will get you right where you want to be.

  • http://www.bestchoicehosting.net Hosting Reviews

    It’s not as hard as most would think. Especially if you have a name that isn’t all that common. However if you do… there’s plenty you can do. The suggestions above will get you right where you want to be.

  • http://www.bestchoicehosting.net Hosting Reviews

    It's not as hard as most would think. Especially if you have a name that isn't all that common. However if you do… there's plenty you can do. The suggestions above will get you right where you want to be.

  • nulls102

    Thanks for sharing this news .

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  • http://blog.brand-yourself.com Trace Cohen

    Most people dont realize the importance of owning your name in Google. This is especially prominent in college students. Now this is a problem because more and more employers are searching for you online before and after interviews to try and find out more about you. In most cases students facebooks come up, which usually doesnt lead to good things unless you cleaned it up or put on certain security settings, which I highly doubt. So for a mere hour a week, joining and maintaining all your social networks online can actually help you out more than you could ever imagine.

    Teaching students about personal branding is a must right now because there are so many ways that they can ruin everything they have achieved in their college career with a simple Googling of their name.

  • http://www.tracecohen.me/ Trace Cohen

    Most people dont realize the importance of owning your name in Google. This is especially prominent in college students. Now this is a problem because more and more employers are searching for you online before and after interviews to try and find out more about you. In most cases students facebooks come up, which usually doesnt lead to good things unless you cleaned it up or put on certain security settings, which I highly doubt. So for a mere hour a week, joining and maintaining all your social networks online can actually help you out more than you could ever imagine.

    Teaching students about personal branding is a must right now because there are so many ways that they can ruin everything they have achieved in their college career with a simple Googling of their name.

  • http://blog.brand-yourself.com Trace Cohen

    Most people dont realize the importance of owning your name in Google. This is especially prominent in college students. Now this is a problem because more and more employers are searching for you online before and after interviews to try and find out more about you. In most cases students facebooks come up, which usually doesnt lead to good things unless you cleaned it up or put on certain security settings, which I highly doubt. So for a mere hour a week, joining and maintaining all your social networks online can actually help you out more than you could ever imagine.

    Teaching students about personal branding is a must right now because there are so many ways that they can ruin everything they have achieved in their college career with a simple Googling of their name.

  • http://cart.getgojionline.com gochi

    Now a days owning a domain name is very important to your business, you should own a domain name that should include your keyword, if keyword with your domain name then it is very easy to find your website in Google first page.

  • http://cart.getgojionline.com gochi

    Now a days owning a domain name is very important to your business, you should own a domain name that should include your keyword, if keyword with your domain name then it is very easy to find your website in Google first page.

  • http://cart.getgojionline.com gochi

    Now a days owning a domain name is very important to your business, you should own a domain name that should include your keyword, if keyword with your domain name then it is very easy to find your website in Google first page.

  • stevenmartinez

    Oh your so intelligent. Your post is very interesting and at the same time very entertaining. Hope you will share more great information to us. Thank you so much! God bless and keep on inspiring others.

  • http://www.replicahandbagsnow.com stevenmartinez

    Oh your so intelligent. Your post is very interesting and at the same time very entertaining. Hope you will share more great information to us. Thank you so much! God bless and keep on inspiring others.

  • stevenmartinez

    Oh your so intelligent. Your post is very interesting and at the same time very entertaining. Hope you will share more great information to us. Thank you so much! God bless and keep on inspiring others.

  • http://www.ptxmarketing.com/ Miami Marketing Company

    The introduction of the blog seems to be catchy..
    It attracts my attention to continue reading the blog..
    I realized your point that you should have lots of money to gain reputation in the web..
    I think all you need is just showcase a extraordinary achievement and share it with others..

  • http://www.ptxmarketing.com/ Miami Marketing Company

    The introduction of the blog seems to be catchy..
    It attracts my attention to continue reading the blog..
    I realized your point that you should have lots of money to gain reputation in the web..
    I think all you need is just showcase a extraordinary achievement and share it with others..

  • http://www.tvloanmodificationleads.com Loan Modification leads

    Nice post.. It is very helpful.. this will help people who have many same names.. especially to those people who like to post..

  • http://www.tvloanmodificationleads.com Loan Modification leads

    Nice post.. It is very helpful.. this will help people who have many same names.. especially to those people who like to post..

  • venkat2009

    Owing My name IN google.Nice..i am Registered the Domain name In the site @Low Cost Tucktail.comNow My site Under the Google Ratings..

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