Last week a company wide challenge was put forward… A C-level executive in the company had an unflattering news article written about him, and it was ranking #2 for his name in Google. The challenge was to push that article off the homepage.
Now I don’t get a chance to do many brand reputation gigs, so I thought this would be a fun little project. I immediately registered several domain names with different version of this name. I setup blogs on each, and registered him on just about every Web 2.0 site out there (Twitter, Facebook, Google Profiles, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Tumblr, etc). And of course I linked all the profiles back to his brand new blog.
Within 2 hours I had completely taken over this mans identity.
Within a week his blog was on the 1st page of Google for his name. No real inbound links to speak of apart from brand new social profiles.
Time to start linking to his web 2.0 profiles from existing domains that I manage. Those links should help the profiles themselves rank, and in turn the blog should rank as well.
Start leaving blog comments. Not for the backlinks, just for on-page mentions on prominent sites.
If You Read Any of This – Read This:
Registering your own name as a domain is priceless. Priceless. PRICELESS!
If there is once piece of advice I wish everyone reading this would take away – it’s to take the last sentence to heart. Why?
Protect Yourself – Don’t let anyone else buy your identity for $10
Be found – When someone searches for you in Google, your domain will almost always rank #1
An eternal source of links – It’s your website, you’ll have it for the next 20 years, and you can link to whoever you want from it. I will likely link to this executives website from my own to help him rank better for his name. If I didn’t take time to develop authority on my own site, I wouldn’t have this option.
The only email you’ll ever need – I see a lot of people using email address like: DanCristo@gmail.com. Why would you want to promote the gmail brand along with your name? It’s sooo much better to have firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. I love the gmail functionality, so I just forward firstname.lastname@example.org to my gmail address and manage it from there. Nobody is the wiser.
Land that job – Every hiring manager you ever meet is going to Google your name. It’s similar in concept to the “Be Found” point above, but it warrants it’s own call out because of the huge impact this alone could have on your career
It’s your hub – You’ve got social profiles scattered across the web. Your domain name should be the hub that ties them all together.
Do your children a huge favor and register their domain name for them as soon as you’ve picked out a name. Trust me, it’ll be the second best $10′s you ever spent (right after buying your own name).