It’s Shark Week! And in honor of that fact, why not write about sharks and SEO. Unfortunately, and this may come as a shock to many of you, but there aren’t exactly many connections between sharks and search engine optimization.
Unless you count Shark Tank, a reality TV show on ABC that features entrepreneurs presenting their business ideas to sharks. Not real sharks, but investors who can be greedy as sharks at times.
On an episode earlier this year, a company called BrandYourself appeared on the show. They call themselves a reputation management company.
But as you can see, BrandYourself is really just a SEO for you. The two main things they offer to do are to:
- Optimize search around a keyword, which happens to be your name.
- Structure your websites to be search-friendly
Why is reputation management important? Jobs. 78% of recruiters use search engine to look up potential employees before hiring. Therefore, it is to your advantage to have good results on Google search. Let recruiters find the right links, whether that is Facebook, Twitter, a personal website, a blog, etc.
This idea of reputation management online is not a new concept, but there is a reason BrandYourself was offered $2 million for 25% of their company.
Here are my positives and negatives regarding this survivor of the shark tank:
+ FREE: The company provides free services to users, which in itself can be priceless. You can help people find you for free. And for people who require more service, they do have premium and concierge options.
− Finding the right you: Suppose my name is James Smith (the most common first and last name in the US). How will BrandYourself help people find me when there are thousands of others with the same name? Yes, this is an extreme example, but it gets the point across. Don’t expect to be the top result.
+ Simple: For people who don’t understand SEO, BrandYourself makes the process to improve your presence on search easy by offering guidance. (*Note: They make the process easy, but actually getting a top rank is hard). Also, you can recommend up to 3 sites (for free) that you would like to be found for and they will help you. And if that’s not convincing enough, BrandYourself says it can help with…
+ “Hiding” websites: If your true purpose for reputation management is to hide something bad from being found on search. BrandYourself will help to push negative pages down on SERPs as it brings the positive pages up.
− “Hiding” websites: We’ve all heard our parents say, “Once you post it on the Internet, it’s there forever.” This remains true. BrandYourself doesn’t get rid of the negative stories; they simply remove them from the top results. But like anything on the Internet, it can still comeback to haunt us. To keep these negative stories off for good…
− Takes time: This isn’t exactly BrandYourself’s problem, but I feel they should mention it upfront so people will understand it better (as there were a lot of negative reviews regarding this). SEO is not a one-and-done task. It takes time 1) to optimize your websites and 2) for results to occur. Not only that, but Google algorithms change all the time. So just because you’re successfully brand yourself, it could be drastically different in a year.
(SEO does take time and is an on-going process. This is why businesses pay for others to do their SEO work for them. And since there will most likely always be search, there will always be a need for SEO.)
Now for some shark footage!