How I Got on the First Page of Google Search Results

Get to First Page of GoogleThere are many ironies on the Internet. Privacy is one of them. Simply put, when we want to be invisible, social networking sites make it virtually impossible to figure out how (and if you do, it doesn’t seem to matter anyway). However, when we want to be visible, search engines like Google make it difficult to surface accurate, complete information without some work on behalf of the searcher.

I’m a guy with two first names. If you ‘Googled’ my name 300 days ago you would never have found me. Today I am the 7th result on the first page of Google results. At this rate, by the end of the year I may well be in the top three. It is an astounding accomplishment. Companies pay tens of thousands of dollars, some hundreds of thousands of dollars, to achieve the same result. My cost: less than $100.

How I Did It

In the summer of 2009 I started Vizibility, a company whose purpose was to help people take control of their search results while saving those doing the searching valuable time. 80 million names are ‘Googled’ every month but less than 12% of the top search results are about the individual being searched. Potential employers, clients and customers are making buying decisions based on poor information. We set out to make it simple for people to create complex searches that bring up only their search results – we called this “PreSearch”. From there, the SearchMe™ button for Google was born – a one click link to a predefined, curated search.

When Vizibility went live in January, I created my PreSearch and got my custom SearchMe button and link (http://vizibility.com/james). I put this link on my LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, in my email signature, on a handful of other professional social networking sites, the company blog, and in every news release we put out. I also signed up for our Twitter and Facebook connect programs, which once a week posts my SearchMe link with stats to my Twitter feed and Facebook wall. In May we started beta testing a new service to buy peoples’ names as AdWords in Google, which I did for my name. The internet did the rest. People clicked it. Spiders crawled it. Gmail scanned it on every email I sent or received.

Every time a Vizibility SearchMe link is crawled it is associated with a user’s name. The more widely it is dispersed via blogs, emails, news releases, etc., the more links are created which also improves relevancy. Basically, I’ve created my own viral SEO campaign for my personal brand.

For example, since January I’ve had 4,960 clicks on my SearchMe link (most of those were spiders). Since May there have been another 7,435 impressions on the term ‘james alexander’ in Google with an AdWords click through rate of 1.68% (125 clicks at about 30 cents per). According to Google, my Vizibility SearchMe link is now on 3,400 websites. It sounds like a lot of work but I didn’t do anything except make sure my SearchMe link was on everything I sent out. It was easy to do and had zero incremental cost. The payoff is phenomenal.

The bottom line is that it appears that Vizibility does play a role in improving the SEO rankings for individuals. Google ‘james alexander’ for yourself and see the results. The steps to get there are easy. The cost is exceptionally low. While no one can guarantee the same results, if having prominent placement in search engines is important to your career or business, there is no harm in trying it.

I will be interested to see if someone else using this approach can beat me to the #1 spot. Check it out and let me know how it works for you. We’ll give $500 to the first person to get their own Vizibility SearchMe link to the #1 position in organic Google results before mine (or by June 30, 2011, whichever comes first). Who’s game?


Guest Expert:
James Alexander is the founder and CEO of Vizibility. A serial technology entrepreneur, James has been involved with Internet search since starting eWatch in 1995.

Most recently James served as General Manager of Jupiterimages. Getty Images acquired the company in early 2009. Before that, James was Director of Product Management at Adobe Systems years where he created, built and managed Adobe Stock Photos, which served more than 7,000 creative professional customers in its first 36 months of operations. He joined Adobe in 2001 to manage and build the company’s early-stage electronic book (ebook) business.

Prior to Adobe, James led venture-backed Mibrary Inc., a New York-based software start-up founded in 1999 to make electronic books and other digital content easier for consumers to use. Prior to Mibrary, James co-founded the Internet brand monitoring service eWatch, which was purchased by PR Newswire in 1999.

James was awarded a patent for search innovations on Adobe Stock Photos and has other patents pending. He earned his Masters of Business Administration with distinction from Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rockefeller College at the University at Albany in New York.

Google James at http://vizibility.com/james.

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