How many times have you been approached by a “SEO Expert” that guarantees your ranking in Google via a simple email letter? Isn’t it funny that they only give their contact information as some offshore or simple Gmail account, no phone number?

What about the local self-proclaimed expert (who just became that recently since they learned about SEO a few short months ago) that tells you how it has never been a better time to create a powerful online presence for your company or organization, but you must use their “system.”

They tell you to search some obscure phrase like “Walking Blue Dogs in Portland” to show that they are ranked #1. Maybe they even said to search for their name to see all the Google results for their complete name, middle included so you can “ohhhh and ahhhh” over how they dominate search results.

What is painfully unclear to them is that the competition for their name is minimal. No one wants to be them, or rank for their name, since they live in obscurity. The only thing larger in their life is, well, their ego.

Fact of the matter is that you should have no problem ranking for your name. Here are a few common sense tips on how to do it, for free.

#1 Can you purchase your name as a domain name? Yes? Great! Google loves keywords in domain names. They have about 200+ ranking factors in their algorithm and the domain name and keywords contained sits in the top 20.

#2 So your name is Tom Smith and someone has your name registered? No problem, go for Thomas or with a dash between the first and last name. Google see’s a dash as a space and will conjoin or separate the words for ranking purposes. Don’t want the dash? Re-purpose your name as Thomas and start using that in your marketing and in 3rd person in your materials and online. Signature link to your website included.

#3 When posting blogs, or commenting on others use your name and link that to your new site.

#4 Claim your Google Business listing, Yahoo! and Bing as well. Make sure to use your name.

#5 Take a browse and free search on your name at This will search about the top 100 social networks out there and see if your profile name is available. Snatch them up!

#6 Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon – go get your name or a variation of it. LinkedIn too (you should be here already)

Once you start using your name in many places, and it links back to your site you should start to see search results in the top 10, if not top 5 or 3 for your given name.

As an extra SEO tip that the “other guy” didn’t tell you, make sure to not always link just to your home page. Spread that “link juice” around to your internal pages of importance as well. Try another category page, or an important blog post. That way Google crawls and indexes other pages beside your home page. We don’t want everyone just showing up at the home page right?

Lastly “link juice” is the value of the keywords and anchor text that carries your website link from another site. Google uses and takes consideration of the “words” that you use to help rate and rank pages and conjoin relevance to keyword phrases in their search results.

That other guy think “link juice” is a new metabolic energy drink that replenishes electrolytes after a 10k run. And he thinks it probably has too much sugar too.

In closing, to prove how easy it is to rank for your name or an obscure term try search for the example that I used earlier. Walking Blue Dogs in Portland search in Google yields what result?

Right, it’s such a hard thing to do that you need to pay to learn this.

Sorry “other marketing guy”.

One response to “Ranking for your name in Google: Walking Blue Dogs in Portland

Posted by Dean

Wow! Your blog post already ranks #1 for “Walking Blue Dogs in Portland”! You really are an SEO expert! All joking aside, this really backs up your point about SEO “experts” and selling people “#1 ranking” for long tails. Nice work.

Don’t believe the hype, people. As I’m sure many of you have heard Dwight and I say, 1973 times, SEO isn’t magic….just takes a plan and some work.

Posted on March 24, 2010 at 11:21 am

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