How many minutes ago did you google yourself?
I once read a good productivity tip that spoke not about a “to do” list but a “NOT to do” list. Not Ego Surfing made the list. Don’t google yourself one day. I dare you.
There’s a bit of buzz about a WSJ piece that talks about choosing an unborn child’s name based on how the name would place in search engine rankings (in particular, Google). The mother-to-be wanted her child to have little search engine competition and thus thought a more original name would guarantee higher placement for the name. It’s an amusing article if you work in the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) industry because it is exactly the sort of thing we think through for our clients. But we don’t do it for children’s names…sorry.
No matter how good you are at SEM, you cannot control the search engines. But you can heavily influence them. The best way to do that is to have your own virtual presence. There are easy ways to do that – here’s a handful of quick tips:
1) Get on LinkedIn.
And to get full benefits, set your “Public Profile URL” to be your full name
2) Run PPC campaigns for your name.
PPC ads show up on the sidebar of search engines. If you can’t earn your way to the top of the search engines, it might be possible to buy it. Of course, this requires that you have a website or some place online where you can direct your ad links, which leads to a subsequent point.
3) Buy the domain name for your name.
The URL or domain name of a site is one of the most important factors in determining ranking. Buy the domain for your full name (or the version that matters to you) and put up a basic site. Or if you are more daring, start a blog.
In case you are keeping track, I’m currently #11 on Google (top of page two) for the query “ken”. I’ve just made some tweaks that will easily put me onto the first page. I’m not prepared to take on this Ken though.