Upon reading the heading, which of the following options best describes your initial reaction:
A) ‘Ohhh yes I’ve always wondered how to Google myself – this is just what I needed!’
B) ‘Why the heck would I need a guide to GOOGLING myself?! That is, like, the simplest thing EVER. Seriously.’
C) ‘These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.’
D) ‘Isn’t it “Googleing”?’
Regardless of whether you chose ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, or ‘D’, if you want to learn how Googling yourself can be an entirely reasonable and business-sound activity, then this is the post for you.
Googling Yourself – a Legit SEO Activity
One thing I love about being an SEO copywriter is the fact that Googling myself is a legitimate aspect of my day-to-day business. That’s right boys and girls – I Google myself almost every day. And I’m not even blushing after telling you that.
Well, not much.
But the shocking truth is that Googling yourself can become a legitimate daily activity for you too! Especially if you have a business website.
What Do I Mean by “Googling Yourself”?
When I say that you can – and should – Google yourself, I’m really talking about Googling your business’s website. This can mean using the business name as a search term, Googling keywords you are trying to rank for (more on that in a moment), or looking up words and terms related to your business to see if you appear.
As an aside, if you’re a job seeker, it’s also a good idea to Google your own name – with and without your middle initial/s – so you can get an idea of what potential employers will see if they choose to look you up. If anything less than desirable comes up, change your privacy settings on the relevant social network, remove the offending content, or contact the site owner and ask for it to be removed.
Check Your Keyword Search Rankings
Googling yourself is a great way to check how your website is ranking for particular keyword searches. Sure, there are scores of paid and unpaid rank checking tools available (and I do use Moz’s Rank Tracker tool when I need to), but personally, I think it’s much more fun to use Google. When I discovered one morning that I had hit the #1 spot on Google AU for ‘Brisbane SEO copywriter’, it was rather magical to look at the screen and see my site topping the “organic” (aka unpaid) listings. (My housemate, who was woken by my celebrations, did not share my enthusiasm.)
A Word of Caution
When Googling yourself, it’s important to remember that Google has been working on personalising search results for its users. As such, it’s a good idea to check consistency by Googling the keywords you’re trying to rank for on more than one device, using more than one web browser. This is also where a rank tracking tool can come in handy. After celebrating briefly about finding myself in the top spot for Brisbane SEO copywriter, I did double-check it on Moz. (Still number one. Phew!)
It’s also important to remember that rankings in and of themselves aren’t everything. If your content isn’t relevant to the keywords you rank for, or if you aren’t converting your site visitors into customers, then your high ranking is pretty darn useless. Content is king. Make sure you spend time on it. Or, even better, get an awesome SEO copywriter to do it for you *wink*.
Check up on the Competition
Googling the keywords that you’re trying to rank for is also a great way to check up on your competition. Who is ranking above you and who is ranking below you? How consistent are the results? Are they ranking for all the same keywords as you? Do they rank for keywords that you don’t rank for? This sort of information is useful for helping to determine the keywords you want to target. There are online tools for conducting keyword research in a much more in-depth and nuanced way, but Googling terms yourself is still a good place to start.
Check You’re Still There
If you find that your site has suddenly dropped out of the search results for a particular keyword you’ve been chasing, then there are two main explanations to consider. The first is that Google may have altered its algorithms in a way that has negatively affected your site. This does happen from time to time. However, if your site seems to have dropped out completely, then you may have been removed from Google’s index.
A quick way to determine which explanation is relevant is to perform the following search. Type “site:” followed immediately by your site URL – e.g. I would search “site:brisbanecopywriter.com.au”. If your site appears, it hasn’t been removed from the index and you’ve probably simply been affected by an algorithm change. That means it’s time to start researching about the changes, or, if you want a less time-consuming approach, it’s time to engage an SEO copywriter to help you out. If your site doesn’t appear, then it means you’ve been removed from the index.
Google is not obliged to include your site on its index – inclusion is a privilege, not a right. Google removes sites that violate its guidelines, so you have to follow the rules. If a site gets caught using “cloaking”, text that can’t be seen by users but can be seen by search engines, dodgy paid links, or other “black hat” SEO tactics, it will be removed. If your site has been removed from the index, you need to clean it up, apologise profusely to Google, and then submit it for reconsideration. This can be a lengthy and painful process, so it’s much better to always use “white hat” or “ethical” SEO tactics. That way, Google will always love you and treat you kindly. Well, kindly-ish.
Now You Know
Congratulations on finishing Googling Yourself: A Beginner’s Guide. You can now Google yourself without embarrassment, knowing that you are carrying out a legitimate business activity in the interests of the greater good.
Well, your greater good, anyway.
But before you go, let me know… were you an ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, or ‘D’ kind of a guy or gal? And do you have any stories about Googling yourself – a funny tale, a Google success, or a Google fail? Share your answers in the comments below!
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