Being outranked for your own name in search engines

I was involved in a discussion on Twitter recently about the pitfalls of having a name which isn’t unique. Another person with your name who was, or is, more famous than you are.

To add insult to injury, in our cases there were people who’ve shared our names in the past who have been less than perfect human beings.

In my case for example, another Harry Bailey was a doctor in Australia and was using some pretty awful treatments on people. His wikipedia page is the top result for Harry Bailey, and has been since I can remember.

The second Harry Bailey that used to outrank me is a character in a well known black and white Christmas film. He’s the brother of the main character and is referenced across various websites.

Thankfully, my writing and link building for Harry Bailey replaced the later on the first page of several search engines with my own content.

I do pretty well in search engine results with my own website, LinkedIn profile, Manchester Digital profile. My Twitter profile rises and falls depending on what I’ve been tweeting about and the links I’ve been sharing.

So what can you do about being outranked for your own name, especially when the results are content referencing people who are either no longer alive, or for events which happened long ago?

The first thing to do is grab yourself a domain name and create a website or blog that will be your home on the web. A Harry Bailey focused site for me. That’s the site you’re probably on right now.

The next is to pick a couple of well known sites and grab your own profile. Twitter and LinkedIn work well for this. I use the username @harrybailey on Twitter and populated my full bio and details on LinkedIn. Use your own name in descriptions, bio and content, and be sure to link to those profiles from your own site, and link back to your own site from those profiles.

The sites take time to be found by search engines and also to be trusted by them, which only happens over time. The waiting game.

Fresh content is key. The search engine results we’re trying to replace likely won’t change much over time and I want to ensure I’m constantly being found by search engines for new content related to Harry Bailey.

If you create relevant interesting content to your own specialism, then people will find it and point back to it from their own social media accounts and sites. The more links to your site, the more respected search engines will believe your site is, and this is beneficial when it comes to results.

Search engines often show different results to those searching in different countries, and with this in mind I also target the United Kingdom, UK and Manchester in my content and setup so that those searching Harry Bailey in those geographical locations will likely see my pages higher up the results than those in less relevant countries and regions.

So my simplistic, but so far quite successful methods for replacing other Harry Bailey’s in search engine results come down to, create several profiles and a website, link between everything and keep creating content which others will find interesting on all those sites.

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