Benjamin Tal teaches me about SEO

Benjamin Tal is a Senior Economist with CIBC World Markets. He gave a great talk on the North American Economy at the June 2008 REIN meeting which I blogged about this week.

While I was poking around for more information the next day I noticed that he very seldom shows up in search results.

In Canada if you search for Benjamin Tal, you get a post from Canadian Mortgage Trends, the two from CIBC World Markets, and then me in position #4.

Benjamin Tal's Canadian Search Result

If you search in the US (in this case from New York) I’m still in the top 30!Benjamin Tal's US Search Result

(Actually, that screen shot was from yesterday (Sept 3/08) and as of today (Sept 4/08) I’ve moved up to #10 and 11)

And finally, if you think that Ben’s wrong, or even just a little off in his economic predictions and search for ‘Benjamin Tal is wrong’ the first thing you see is what looks like an article saying the Consumer Watch Canada is a little concerned. It’s actually a CIBC newsletter.

Search Result for Benjamin Tal is Wrong

So what should you do? Own your real estate on the search engine results pages. When someone searches for your name, you’d better be their first stop and own that conversation!

  • Buy your own domain name. That’s why I bought version was already taken by a guy who just pointed it to his LinkedIn profile.
  • Get onto LinkedIn and pick a vanity URL for your profile. Mine is W. Chris Davies. Do similar things on other social sites like facebook.
  • Use other websites with your real name. My Slideshare name is ChrisD. My profile and my presentations show up for queries where my blog never will.
  • Pay attention to what’s going on online. Set up a Google Alert for your name and your website. If you’ve got a company name, do that one too.

A company like CIBC should really look at some SEO and reputation management for senior employees.

The key to success for most of us is just a little bit of marketing. The internet is just one part, but it’s an essential one.

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