Getting Your Name on Google Search (or Changing the Results)
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Welcome to SirLinksalot’s SEO Round Table Office Hours.
In this series, we reply to questions from members of our Facebook Group, SEO Round Table, with video responses in an effort to help them become stronger, more capable SEOs.
If you’d prefer to watch the video – skip to the end of this article.
How Can I Get My Name on Google?
I am particularly excited to talk to you today about how to get your name on Google because I think most people, whether you are completely new to SEO, have been doing it for a long time, or don’t even know what SEO is… probably could benefit from having their name show up in the Google search results.
Basically, having your name show up in search engines boils down to controlling and dominating your own SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
This is something that I see a lot of people ignore, and it is something that I think makes an excellent starting point for any newbie SEO (or anyone just messing around).
I have seen countless internet gurus tell most people:
Hey, I am going to teach you the keys to success. Go out and get yourself some clients, and you are going to do just fine.
I think that is asinine, and I think it is irresponsible. What I am going to show you today is a good starting point for absolutely anybody.
It is going to give you the confidence that you need to see and understand that there is an opportunity here and you, no matter how new to SEO or other types of digital marketing you are, can execute plans of attack that are going to resonate positively within a search engine like Google.
And we’re going to do that by showing you how to easily get your name on Google search results (or ranking on the SERP for your name) without needing to disclose sensitive personal info or consistently update your social media accounts.
Exact Match Domain, WordPress, and Plugins
Let’s say you type “Nick Altimore” into Google. That is a search query, and the page that displays after you hit enter is the SERP for that search query. SERP stands for search engine results pages. Anybody reading this with an online presence typically has a SERP for their own name as well.
For example, people with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google accounts. It’s just what Google search results decides to show you when you make the search query.
These social media accounts like Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter profile are all massive and respected websites in the eyes of Google. They will always rank relatively easier than if you launched some brand new domain names/websites.
Having said that, there are a bunch of different ways to manipulate the Google results in your favor, and I am going to share with you one of the easiest tips designed to be executed quickly and cheaply.
First, I went to my preferred registrar (Namecheap) and bought my own website called nickaltimore.com for about ten dollars.
This is known as an EMD (Exact Match Domain) because it exactly matches the search query that I am targeting. Exact match domains are a very powerful tool for your own domain when trying to rank it on a particular SERP.
If your name is taken, you can try a different TLD like .co or .net for your personal website (still using the same name). But it doesn’t have to be the same name. You can add something to the end of it to be unique (i.e. nickaltimoreseo.com).
Next, install WordPress on the domain after buying it and getting it hosted (many registrars like Namecheap offer hosting as well). There are other options to build sites, however, WordPress is the best website builder for SEO due to its features and ease of use.
After that, you can add some plugins to your WordPress site if you feel like it. Some of the most common plugins are SEO plugins and caching plugins. These are not really necessary for this project, but they can’t hurt and are something I naturally do on my own domain and on every site which I create.
Title and Content
Once WordPress was installed (very easy to do, just Google it), all I did was write “Nicholas Altimore” which is a broader version of the search query (my name) as the title. Then I wrote, “If you ain’t trapping” because I am a loser. Also, you don’t have to use your real name (like I did) if you have internet privacy concerns. Just use whatever name you want to be associated with your online brand.
There’s literally nothing on the site except for this – just the title and the URL. That’s it.
Within three to four days, you’ll notice that this website is going to pop up on page two or three for the SERP for your name (depending on how popular of a person you are, how much press you’ve had, any other people with your name, whether you have social media profiles, etc).
This will show you how potent URLs (domains) with your keywords in them are for going after those keywords.
Domain name and title are two of the most important factors for on-page SEO (see: on-page SEO guide).
Within two days, we’ve got this site on page two for my SERP.
All I did after that was created about 300-500 words of content about myself (no keyword stuffing required). As a joke, I just added some stuff about loving to party and an image that Chris (my co-founder) made about me a long time ago when he was shamelessly acting like a jerk. I only included personal information that I felt comfortable sharing with the public.
Then I decided to go ahead and attack Chris a little bit too while I was at it. You guys can find out all about why I am vastly superior to Chris if you just dive in here a little bit.
Disclaimer: Nick is not better than Chris in any way, shape, or form).
The point is that I did this literally overnight. If you go to my SERP, you’ll notice that I was on page one within one night of adding the content to this URL. There are no outbound links, inbound links, or anything else.
All that’s here so far is basic content. It’s just a one-page website, and it’s already resonating in my SERP with almost no work at all and just a few dollars spent. Your websites don’t have to be completely fleshed out in order to show up in web results.
Some other things you could add to your site that might help are:
- Outbound authority links to social profiles such as a Facebook group, Twitter account, Instagram, or other related sites/blog
- Videos related to you embedded on the site (maybe share some personal information).
- Images of you (original or from social profiles)
You do not necessarily have to create these things, but they will 100% give you a boost.
The next thing that I would want to do to move my site higher up in the rankings for my name is to get some quality links to the website. Link building is one of the best tips we give to anyone who is serious about ranking in the Google search list.
Backlinks make the world of SEO go ’round and will help to push the results for your name on Google to the top if you still need it.
For this project, we do not really need anything fancy or expensive. We can just go with easy stuff like directories or citations, blog comments, forum links, social profiles, etc. Or if you need a bigger push, maybe even some powerful guest posts or niche edits that are designed to push your rankings in the SERPs.
Most of these types of links are white hat and easily obtained. For more information on types of backlinks and how to get them, you can see our link diversity and how to get high quality links for free articles.
Connecting the Dots
Right now, my website is number six for my own search results. I would expect that I could get number one or number two just doing basic pillow linking.
For anchor text (the text that makes up the blue clickable part of a backlink), I’d be using things like “Nicholas Altimore,” “Nick Altimore,” “nickaltimore.com,” etc.
These are all considered branded and URL anchors, and along with generic anchors, they are what we normally use for pillow linking.
If you plan on devoting yourself to something like SEO, your SERP can be very important. It is a selling point, and you should consider your SERP as a significant, professional part of your resumé (or part of it). It’s probably more important than your social media profiles, so you want the best version of it to be displayed on the internet at all times. Just like your social media and Twitter profiles, you can share your SERP at an upcoming job interview or during an important meeting with a client.
Learn how to write a quality blog post for SEO.
No matter how new you are at SEO, it’s very easy to buy a domain that is associated with your name, install WordPress, and publish an online blog post for the world to enjoy. That’s all you’ve got to do to get started realizing what kind of variables go into manipulating a search query.
Now that you are familiar with this extremely important skill, what kind of personal benefits does this knowledge give you as a newfound entrepreneur or somebody who is interested in doing SEO? What is an example of a business model that can work with this?
Maybe something like online reputation management (like the way businesses manage their social media accounts). I think that’s a lot more accessible to the average SEO that just got started versus going after clients and hard targets. With something like this, you might do a little bit better.
You will notice there are a bunch of different ways to get more than one page up in the SERPs for your name as well. You can do this with press releases, Web 2.0’s (see: Web 2.0 List), guest posts, and any other kind of press or posts that you can manipulate to be associated with your name.
Something interesting to note here is that I am going after the keyword “Nick Altimore,” but I actually want to rank it for “Nicholas Altimore” as well. I have tracked my domain in the search results for about two days now.
For “Nick Altimore,” you will see that, over the course of the last two days, it has jumped three positions in the Google search results. That might be from the relevant content resonating a little bit better after being crawled by Google’s spiders. It jumped up to page one with just a little bit of content, but you are going to see this continually move up (especially as I add those basic pillow links).
“Nicholas Altimore” was at number 30, so we’ve jumped up 11 positions overnight to position 19. And now imagine if I hit my site with a PBNs or some niche edits, you can see how easy it can be to manipulate the Google search results for your name.
I mentioned my business partner Chris earlier. Google has associated us, our personal data, and our online presence since we work together and have a lot of content together. In each of our search results, you can see pictures of each other pop up. So I figured I’d go ahead and add his name to a couple of things on my site to rank on his SERP.
You can see that it went from page three to page two overnight in the Google search results, so there is a chance that if I wanted to be aggressive I could go after his own SERP his own name with my website.
This is not something that I would recommend anybody doing; it is considered a very nefarious practice. You don’t want Google to associate your brand and personal information with negative SEO tactics. I’m doing it here just to outline the fact that just adding slight content can manipulate the data enough to resonate results for your name in different places.
Manipulating Your SERP Conclusion
And with that, I think I have given you enough tips and techniques to help you get your name in the Google search results. After all, it is a very simple strategy, and it’s something anybody with one or more sites / social media profiles can do.
I know there are a lot of SEOs, including me, who have not been very serious about their own Google search results pages, but it is definitely worthwhile to get in there and start playing with it.
As you move forward with your business, websites, and career, I hope you remember to heavily guard your SERP, as it is basically your online reputation for the world to see. You do not want somebody to be able to just put press out easily and manipulate your Google SERP with their crap.
If you plan on outsourcing link building, you better make sure the agency has your best interests in mind.
This is a brand protection and reputation management strategy, but it can also move a lot of you towards new business ventures.
I hope this helped! Nick here, signing off. Good luck in the SERPs and leave a comment below if you have any questions.
Getting Your Name on Google Video:
Hey I'm Nick, the Founder/Director here at SirLinksalot. I have a passion for building online businesses and taking websites to the next level with the help of my amazing link building team.
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