If you want control of your online brand, then you want to pay attention. Here are a simple two steps to taking control of your Google Search Results (GSRs) and, thereby, control how people see you online.
1) Identify the websites and social media profiles that you want to rank highly.
What websites are yours? Create anywhere from one to three websites for your use. Make each website have a topic you write around. These topics could range from professional topics, such as entrepreneurship and technology, to personal topics, such as travel or sports. These websites should have drastically different topics, however. In the least, they should be different enough that someone could tell the difference between them by looking at the content you post on the sites. Write anywhere from one to four blogs per month on the sites. If you have negative search results that you are looking to suppress in the GSRs, then I would recommend posting closer to four blogs per month. If you are looking to just maintain a positive image, I would post closer to one blog post per month.
Once you have identified which websites you have, you should focus on your social media profiles. There are endless social media profiles that you can create. They each have potential to rank well in the GSRs, but some have a better chance than others. Top tier social media profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, have a much better chance of ranking highly in your GSRs, because Google sees them as highly authoritative and relevant to search queries (what you type into the Google search box). Second tier social media sites, such as SlideShare, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, WordPress, and Pinterest, will rank next best. Third tier social media profiles, such as DailyMotion, Behance, CrunchBase, Medium, and Quora will rank next.
What truly will make the difference between what ranks and what does not is how quality content is on the sites. If you focus all your time on Quora and do not focus on YouTube, your Quora will probably rank higher than your YouTube. It’s all about the content.
2) Identify your negative and unrelated search results.
Identifying the negative results that you do not want to show is important. It’s also important to identify the results that do not relate to you. The more important of the two is to identify the negatives, however. If you have something negative on your GSRs, that can truly hurt your reputation.
Once you have identified them, you can base your strategy around them. If you have positive sites ranking already (such as your websites or social media profiles), then you want to focus your attention on posting content on the positive sites right below the negatives. Once you post enough quality content on your sites right below your negatives, they will eventually overpower the negatives, so long as the negative is not exceedingly authoritative and relevant. If the negative is extraordinarily powerful, it may be much more difficult to overcome with a positive.
If you do not have positives ranking anywhere in the results, it’s important to spread your attention evenly across all of your social media profiles. Creating at least eight profiles is recommended so that you can take up at least the first page of the GSRs with your content, as there are ten slots on each GSR page. You can use profiles, like Hootsuite, to organize your social media posts and schedule them out to be posted across a period of time. This way, you do not have to go on each profile each day you want to post. Hootsuite, for example, will allow you to schedule a certain day and time you want to post something, and it will do it for you.
From there, you want to keep posting and making the profiles relevant and popular. You can do this by making sure each website and social media profile has a biography and pictures on there with information that is useful to readers and users. This will optimize the page for you and create a great user-experience for each person visiting your pages. Within a year’s time you should see major changes to your GSRs, with a lot of positive content on the first three pages.