MJD Editor Rachel Kaufman’s Note: This post comes from a partnership with Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Blog where we syndicate content from the blog on a weekly basis. This one is from Heather Huhman.
Establishing a brand becomes increasingly difficult when you can’t be found online – and it’s a common scenario. When you type your name into a search engine, how many links that belong to you show up? If you’re lucky, you might find just one on the first page of results, while the rest belong to those doppelgangers who share your name and just happen to engage activities that are either irrelevant to your expertise or downright problematic.
An incident like the one described above is what happened to BrandYourself’s co-founder Pete Kistler, which in turn inspired him to team up with current co-founder and CEO of BrandYourself, Patrick Ambron. Together they created a free website that boosts your links with SEO to make you more visible in search results.
When you first sign into BrandYourself, using your email or through Facebook or Twitter, you are guided through a series of steps to improve your search ranking. Here are some of the key features:
Search Score: Typing in your name, you’re presented with the first page of Google’s search results where you determine your search score. Your score, on a grading scale of A+ through F, is based on the likelihood people will find positive content on your first page versus negative or other people’s results.
Link Boosting: Don’t be discouraged if your score is poor, as BrandYourselfprovides SEO to bolster the links you want to be seen. Submitting your first three links is free – any more and you will have to upgrade to a premium account.
Track Progress: Whether your link is a social media profile or an article that mentions you, BrandYourself tracks both the rank on Google and percent it’s been boosted. Site stats are provided, as well as email alerts and real-time alerts when any results change.
Profile: Along with a listing your bio, education, and work, your profile hosts your boosted positive links – which helps improve their rank. You also have the option to submit your BrandYourself profile to improve its own visibility, making it an all-in-one place to focus on boosting your ranking if you have numerous links to share.
Pros of BrandYourself:
- Sign up and basic features (as listed above) are free
- Easy to use
- Provides real-time and email alerts
- Open and transparent about how it works through steps and explanations
- Provides hotline and representative to contact for help or consultation
Cons of BrandYourself:
- Cannot erase negative results completely
- Other features, such as submitting unlimited links, tracking the first ten Google pages, and getting more in-depth stats require a paid membership
- Results are not immediate (taking from 2 – 6 weeks) and are not guaranteed(although paying members may receive a refund)
For those wanting to become more proactive about controlling which links surface when you’re being searched, BrandYourself is a great, free, and easy do-it-yourself tool.
What do you think about BrandYourself’s features? How important is it to manage your search results for your personal brand?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.