Spider and the fly
Is your business lagging in search results? Are you, unfortunately, named John Smith or even worse, James Saville? Well, we might be able to help you become a top Google result or at least get better, attention online.
No matter what we do, most of us are at the mercy of Google’s search algorithm. Put simply, Google is like a big index. It maps webpages and orders them by their connection to other pages and popularity, this is called web indexing.
Google’s index is organised by programming called crawlers, or as Google call them, ‘spiders’. (Spider, web, get it?). A crawler is an program that sorts through websites as a way of indexing the internet.
So to become a big juicy fly in Google’s spider web, you’ll have to tailor your online presence to it’s preferences.
Trying to compete with a similarly named business or person? You’ll need to produce content that Google’s spiders find more palatable. I.e. If you share the same name as a serial killer, you’ll need to compete with pages of old news stories.
How to become a top Google result
The easiest way to become a top Google result is to become famous. It would generate huge amounts of links to your name on various web pages. But sorry we don’t have a ‘how to’ guide for that!
So you’ll need to generate as many links as you can on your own. This can be done through social media and by writing articles or a blog.
So set up public social media profiles and use your name. Link to your website from each profile. If your company has a website, make sure your name is on there. If you’re a member of any clubs, get your name on their social media or website.
Luckily new and regularly updated content is appealing to Google’s spiders. So if your namesake was making headlines 10 years ago, as long as they’ve fallen off the radar, it’s beatable.
Becoming a top Google result can be done in various ways. So, if you weren’t blessed with a unique name, there are a few ways to make yourself stand out. You can shorten or vary your first name, use your middle name, or add your middle initial. For example, the invisible-to-search-engines, ‘John Smith accountant’, becomes page 1 Google result ‘Johnathan P Smith accountant’.
The key to this tactic is consistency. Make sure you refer to yourself like this in all locations online. The more Google sees this rebranded name, the more it is filed away by Google’s spiders!
Another way to boost your name is to have a tagline for yourself. For example, ‘Johnathan P Smith – accountant and finance writer’. This should be placed in your Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog, Instagram (and anywhere else) bios.
Google will associate you with the key words in this phrase and it will help you become a top Google result in no time!
Extra tips for becoming a top Google result
Be the master of your domain
Having a website is a good way to become a top Google result; especially if the address is your name. Just use your name, or a variation of it. Avoid hyphens or convoluted stylisation. Keep it simple.
The top level domain is ‘.com’, but if that isn’t available, ‘.co.uk’, or your country code is a good option.
Custom domains relating to your job (i.e. ‘.photo’) can be tempting, but the domain service might be seen as untrustworthy. This will make you less compelling to Google’s spiders and bump you down the Google rankings.
Also ‘.com’ is just the most memorable, most smartphones even have a ‘.com’ button on their keyboards.
Keep up to date
As stated earlier, one benefit of Google’s system is that it prefers new and regularly updated content. So if your name is the same as a long dead criminal, you should be on your way to beating them. Unless they end up with a new Netflix show about them!