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

Thanks for reading 1st on Google – Week 1. Your comments and feedback are very valuable, so please let me know what you think of this post. If you like the post, please share it with your friends. If you want to read more, subscribe to the RSS feed. Have a great day.

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