In two conversations I’ve had yesterday about Google the issue of search results about “you name” have been trending topics. I feel confident saying that most of the PodCamp Pittsburgh community knows how to influence search results on their name. If not a comprehensive technical understanding at least a “If I blog, I will rank” sensibility.
For the non-internet among us, which probably includes most of our friends, family and coworkers, understanding how search results come in, is like me saying Spectral Procession is one of my top 10 magic cards. Over the past month I’ve had a handful of people asking me how to influence their search. From those interested in ranking better to those who are worried about the “slutty” girl’s Facebook profile ranking higher than their own link, people don’t know the first thing about search rank.
So this brings two questions to mind:
1. How important is it to manage your search results?
I think this question is important to understand because (I’ll use @pcpgh as the bar) most of the PodCamp community is going to rate the importance a 9 out of 10 most of the time. However for those around us who don’t live online why should they care. Their name might not even rank in the top 5 pages of a google search, and if it does it might just be a newspaper mention or college graduation list. Bran Strom, superman that he is, doesn’t get a link about him until page 8, unless you search for “Brian Strom Pittsburgh.” However if you search for Norman Huelsman this blog ranks first and if you search for “Huelsman” this blog also ranks first (thanks to everyone who links to me with keywords Norman Huelsman). I beat out every other Huelsman in the country even those who are businesses. But, I live online and have a rather large digital footprint compared to those other namesakes. My point is, how important is it to manage your search results if you don’t live and breathe online? (@rebelliousflaw I’m looking at you to blow our minds with your sleuthing skills)
2. What are you doing to educate those around you about search?
And this question doesn’t need a long explanation, but here is one anyway. I ask because if we determine that question #1 is important then educating those around us should be a priority. Now I don’t think there was a session on managing search results for your name at PodCamp, but there were lots of sessions about how to get rank for your website. Whenever I get the question about influencing search I always tell people it is easy, “If I blog, I rank.” The other option is to get @woycheck to scrub you from the internet.