Controlling or managing search rank for your own name is fairly easy for an SEO (search engine optimizer), but what can the average person do? Below I outline a number of free, quick, easy and effective ways to populate the first page of results for your name. I highly recommend people start creating content for their name now as it will be much more difficult after waiting for someone else with your name to muddy the search results to spur you to action.
1) Create a Internet Marketing Blog Even if you build just a one-page site using your name on a free blog network, you can quickly use your blog to create pages about yourself and link to other pages you are going to create on this list. Use your name in the blog name. Estimated time to complete: 10 minutes Free Options: Blogger (blogspot), WordPress, LiveJournal
2) Create a Reputation Management Wiki Several wiki platforms have done a great job of creating publishing tools that are even easier to use than most blog technology. Though wikis are best suited for group collaboration, the will also work well helping you link to your blog and other pages. Use your name in the wiki name. Estimated time to complete: 10 minutes Free Options: Wetpaint, Wikia Wikia
3) Register your domain If you are lucky enough to have [insertyourname].com (or .net, .org, .info) available, snatch them up. The small fee is well worth it even if you don’t actively build a site using it because, at the very least, you are preventing your competition (other people with your name, or people who don’t like you) from ranking high for your name. Even better, use your domain for the site or wiki you are going to create.
Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes Cheap Options: GoDaddy
4) LinkedIn: Set up a LinkedIn profile and make it publicly available. Add background info like education, employment history, awards or certification (or anything else you are proud of). Add links to your other sites/pages. Estimated time to complete: 5-10 minutes
5) Jobster: Some people are a little shocked when they find out their profile shows up in search. Not you, because you want it to! Create a jobster account, allow it to be publicly available, fill out a little employment info, answer a couple questions, but write it keeping in mind that your current employer could come across it. Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes
6) Myspace Reputation Management pages tend to show up in search as well. Though Myspace has probably ruined more people’s reputations than helped, you will create a clean Myspace page for your name and, if you feel the urge, put the racy stuff on a different profile. Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes
7) Flickr accounts and images have a great chance of showing up in the engines, especially for image searches. Creat an account, upload a few photos you like and label them with your name. Estimated time to complete: 10 minutes
8) Comment on Popular Post’s: Sometimes I see a commenter’s name show up in search. Find a popular blogger site or newspaper site that allows comments, and find a post that you feel comfortable commenting on. Use your real name for the name field. Try this on a couple sites. Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes
9) Employer Site If your employer features profiles on their website, ask them to add one for you. If not, talk them into it or author a post on their blog (if they have one). Estimated time to complete: 5-30 minutes, depending on your company
10) Join a Forum Do a search for a forum that you might want to participate on. For example, if you are into guitar, you should search for “guitar forum.” If it looks like a place where it would be easy for you to make five or six posts, then sign up and use your name for your profile name. Make your five posts and fill out your profile page with information about you and use your name at least once in the profile description. Estimated time to complete: 15 minutes
*Disclosure: I work for Wetpaint, but honestly believe their wiki solution is the best option
Keep in mind, Google usually only shows two results for any one site. That’s why I have you contributing on multiple sites. A couple more tips:
- If you ever receive a great interview or bio online, link to it from your sites.
- For online activity that you don’t want to be associated with your name, use a nickname or “handle” that is completely different from your real name.
- If you have stiffer competition for your name, you may need to spend more time building out and linking to the various options I list above.
a) Wikipedia If you have a strong brand you can list your company in the Wikipedia online encyclopedia for Internet Marketing. Estimated time to complete: 30-45 minutes, depending on your company
b) Press Releases Press releases do well in news search, and if you point a few links at them it could also help them outrank other pages. PRWeb is popular for Internet Marketing. Estimated time to complete: 30-45 minutes, depending on your company
c) Writing Articles This is another easy way to create content that is highly relevant to your brand or name at places like Article City. Estimated time to complete: 60 minutes, depending on your company