1st on Google – Week 1

Welcome back to my journey to being 1st on Google.  If you missed the first post, you can find it here.  Here are the results as of Sunday, 01-29-12 (click here to do your own search):

  • #46 – My personal blog, BlueCapra.com (Up 45 places from last week – #91)
  • #102 – Author page on EzineArticles.com (Down 9 places from last week – #93)
  • #107 – Reviews on BookSneeze.com (Down 9 places from last week – #98)
  • #110 – Comment on AndyTraub.com (Down 11 places from last week – #99)
  • #111 – Profile page on 48Days.net (Down 10 places from last week – #101)

1st on Google - Week 1 Update - Alan ReevesThe 1st entry on Google was a search on LinkedIn.com that had 25 other Alan Reeves.  I was 13th on that list.  I made a huge jump in my 1st ranking, but 2-5 slipped about 10 places each.

The search was done on my desktop after I had cleared the cache, browser history, etc.  On top of that, I used Internet Explorer (which I don’t normally use).  This week I will try several computers at the same time side-by-side to see if there are any differences just out of curiosity.

After looking closer at my site, I did not have the author link setup properly.  Here is the fix:

In the theme I am using, I wanted to replace the function that populates the author’s name.  In the single.php file, I found the spot that called the function the_author_posts_link() (I changed the call from that function to adr_the_author_posts_link()).  That function can be found in author-template.php on line 141.  I copied the function, placed it in my theme’s functions.php file, and changed the name to adr_the_author_posts_link(). I changed the reference from get_the_author_meta(‘url’) to “http://bluecapra.com/about-me”.

I am looking for a better way to do things, but this was the first solution I happened upon.  If you know of a better way (possibly using filters), leave me a comment and let me know.

After the changes, I verified that Google saw me as the author of my blog posts by visiting the rich text snipped tool and entering the URL of a recent post.  You can see the results in this screen shot.  I am not sure if this will help me reach 1st place, but it helps differentiate me and results related to me, since it will feature my picture (at least, I hope it will).

Strategies for 1st

One strategy I started using is to add my name as a tag to all the content I put up on other sites.  For example, I submit my blog posts for both this blog and my business blog (Book Worm Laser & Design) to Delicious and StumbleUpon.  When I do so, I am adding my name as a tag and on the business blogs, the business name as a tag as well.

I am also getting more involved in the Twitter community and have been reading and sending more tweets.  Twitter is a great place to connect with people.  It may not feel right or make sense when you first start, but for me, after about 6 months, Twitter started to make a little more sense.  I now have access to an old account I set up several years ago (@AlanReeves) and my business site (@bookwormlaser).

Another strategy for 1st is to comment on other blogs.  I believe that this strategy is the most effective because it links my name as the link text pointing to my personal blog.  I have read that Google ranks sites in the following way

  • links to your site (lowest)
  • links to your site with keywords as the link text (better)
  • links to your site from well known sites (best)

I want to add value to the discussion so I will not be posting something simple like “Great post” or “Wow, I enjoyed that”.  Unless I can add something to the conversation or provide encouragement, I am not going to post.  It may take longer to find posts that resonate with me, but results have little meaning if they don’t serve a purpose.  I also try to find posts that have no comments , especially on new sites, where I can post a relevant comment.  As SEO goes, it would be better to focus on the best known sites as the links are viewed as higher quality by Google, but I know how it feels to spend you time, day after day, creating content and never receive feedback.

This past week (since Thursday, 01-26-12) I have commented on the following blogs:

Google Alerts

If you haven’t heard about Google Alerts, you are missing out on a very useful tools.  Google Alerts is a free tool that you can setup where Google will email you the latest news related to the keywords you enter.  It works great for keeping up-to-date on a topic or tracking if anyone is talking about your business.  I have had one setup for my name for several months for personal branding and because I was curious.  I am notified once a day, by email, of all the results that have my name (plus some other alerts I have setup).  Here are my latest Google Alerts:

During this week, I will continue to comment on blogs and investigate other ways to get links back to my site and profiles.  I continue to post to my blog and business blog.  I believe it will take a week or so for Google to crawl the sites I have commented on and next week will see a bigger jump toward 1st place.  Check back next week to see the latest progress and strategy updates.

Check out next week’s update – Week 2