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When someone Googles you on the Web, they will evaluate your presence based on five measures of online identity:

  1. Purity
  2. Volume
  3. Relevance
  4. Validation
  5. Diversity

In this post, I am going to talk about Purity. In the four posts that follow, I’ll discuss the other measures.

Purity is making sure it is easy for people to determine that the content they find online is about you, and not content from other people who share your name. You may use the Online ID calculator http://www.onlineidcalculator.com/index.php to see where you show up on the purity measure.

It goes without saying that before you begin any online branding work, you must spend time clearly identifying your brand, and what you want to communicate about your brand. It is absolutely crucial that you have consistent brand messaging on the Web.

There are four options for making your online results more pure:

  1. Vanity Names – You want to secure vanity names for all social networking sites where you are currently present, and for any new social networking sites that come out. You should ensure that you have  www.theirname.com/yourname as a vanity name. You can use Knowem, http://knowem.com, an online tool to help you determine if your vanity name is available. At a minimum, be sure you have secured your name at www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
  2. Keywords – If you do have a common name, adding in keywords is essential to maintain purity. People who search the Web today are sophisticated. If someone searches you and they see a lot of content, and they can tell that not all of it is about the same person, they will put in a keyword to try to further refine the search and find you. So, the question then becomes, what is the right keyword(s) people will use? Then, you should make sure that all the content you post on the Web has those keywords in it, making it a lot easier for people to find you 
  3. Getting High Ranking – Getting high Google rankings is the key to purity. Unfortunately, if you share your name with someone famous, their content will clutter the first few pages of a Google search, and your content can show up on page 21. You want to make sure your content appears on the first page. There are a few ways to make sure this happens. First, you could use Google adwords. Next, you can get your content on popular sites, which have a high Google ranking, for example by being quoted in a popular industry-relevant magazine. Another way to do this is to post comments on highly ranked blogs and point that content back to your site. These efforts will ensure that your content will show up higher than other content. The key is to work on the QUALITY (and not QUANTITY) of the sites you connect and contribute to, pushing other content further down in Google searches.
  4. Directing People to Your Content – This will get people to see what you want them to see. Include links to the content you want people to see in your sig file, on your website, and on your résumé. You may use a tool such as visibility to Google yourself, identify just the content that is about you, and then create a “Search me” button that directs people to content that is just about you. You also may use QR codes on your résumé and business card, so people can scan the code and then go to the content you want them to see. If you go to my LI profile, click on Contact Info button and you will see three websites. Click on the links that says Google me.

What actions will you take to increase the purity of your online results?

If you have not yet explored Personal Branding, and would like to dip your toe in the water, think about joining our Personal Branding 101 workshops.  http://bit.ly/T6xXyS