A couple of months ago, I did something a little bit sad. I Googled myself. I can’t be alone in having done this, can I? We’ve all done it, right? Whatever. I did it.
I was nowhere. For one thing, my name is Richard Parker, which is a name that has 13 entries on Wikipedia (none of which are mine) and includes:
Richard Parker (influential US economist).
Richard Parker (tiger, fictional star of Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi).
Richard Parker (fictional mutinous sailor who, after surviving the capsizing of his ship, is cannibalised by his fellow survivors in Edgar Allan Poe’s novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket).
Richard Parker (real life sailor who survives the foundering of his ship only to be – you guessed it – cannibalised by his fellow survivors).
Richard Parker (a second real-life sailor cannibalised by fellow survivors after a ship-wreck at sea).
Richard Parker (mathematician).
Richard Parker (Egyptologist).
It also includes a couple of US congressmen and the fictional father of Peter Parker (aka Spiderman) who is called Richard ‘Ray’ Parker – a fact I mention only because Ray is the name of my grandfather, and my father’s middle name.
For another thing, I didn’t own the url for my name, nor the direct extensions on other social networking sites. And more to the point, I didn’t publish anything online or do anything worth other people talking about online.
So apart from discovering that I’d better be careful around ships and that I’m possibly related to a super hero (something I always suspected), Googling myself revealed that I was fairly anonymous on the web. To the point where the first result for me was on page 17 and was my facebook profile. Not a situation I liked.
So I did a little experiment. I did the following:
1) Started to contribute to this blog
3) That’s it.
Seriously, that’s it.
I’m now, at the time of writing this post, the first post on page 1 of Google (see image).
Here’s the thing though: I’m not tricking Google, or doing anything shifty. I am creating content under my own name, and because I’m distributing it through sites that Google deems relevant (social network sites in my name), and people are clicking on those links and reading the content, I’m moving up the ranks.