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Why Branding Matters: Powerful Tips from Brand.com

February 17, 2014 | By Adrienne Smith

I’m excited about my guest today and what he has to share because he’s associated with the very popular site, Brand.com.  I have a feeling that as soon as you read this you’ll be just as excited as me.

So let me introduce to you, James Halloran.

I’d like to thank Adrienne for providing a wonderful opportunity to be a guest today. I hope that wherever you are Mother Nature is treating you better than she’s treating Philly right now.

Despite what the TV show may have you thinking, it’s NOT always sunny in Philadelphia. In fact, I’m writing this from home as I watch the snow fall outside my bedroom window.

But enough talk about the weather.

I want to talk about building a brand and how to maintain it. Especially if you’re a blogger, you must be aware that you are still a brand and proper steps must be taken to reinforce your brand’s image. (Adrienne will even tell you so!)

Last week, Adrienne mentioned that trust and likeability were two of the best ways to stand out in the blogosphere. I full-heartedly agree with her, but how do you stand out in the search engines?

Trust and likeability alone won’t help you rank, so that’s what I want to discuss with you first.

Search Results Matter (Even If You Don’t Rank)

The first thing you should keep in mind is that what people find in the search results still matters. Even if they don’t find anything about you or your blog, this can still be a problem.

No search result presence = lack of trust and authority. That’s why it’s important. (And that’s counter-intuitive to what Adrienne already taught you.)

Even if you do show up in the search engines, you need to know what your audience is finding. So, here are some tips:

1. Search for yourself in Google, Bing and Yahoo

Each engine will deliver different results based on their algorithms. My suggestion would be to do this in an incognito window with no other tabs open.

The reason for that is because in incognito mode there are no cookies, cache history, etc., for the search engines to pick up. To search for your name in an ordinary window may actually give you a false impression about what other people are finding for your name.

Once you do this, you now know what needs to be done. If your results are positive, congrats to you! If you’re not showing up at all or have negative results, I still have more tips for you.

Read on.

2. Create a Completed.com Account

One little known tactic we use at Brand.com is Completed.com. Unlike sites like About.me, this one actually ranks very well in the search engines. It’s similar to LinkedIn, but instead of a first-person resume, it’s a third-person narrative about you and your business.

Here’s Brand.com’s Completed profile for reference.

Keep in mind there are ten results that appear on the first page of search results, and this site ranks up there as one of them. So, why not give it a shot, right?

3. Link All of Your Social Accounts to Your Blog

If you’re having trouble ranking, link all of your social accounts to your blog. If you’re not creating a clear connection from all of these accounts, the search engines may not be seeing the connection.

So, how do you do that? Google+ Authorship, of course!

Despite what you may read about Google+ not being a significant factor in search rankings, we’re noticing that one thing is true – if your social accounts (or the right ones) aren’t appearing in the results for your name, you’re either not linking them correctly or you’re confusing the search engines.

Establishing authority should definitely help with that.

Negative SEO and Yelp

Now, let’s talk about defending your brand.

Did you know that blogging is the #1 defense for negative SEO? (It’s true!)

Since search engines love fresh content, every time you create a new post, you’re only pushing anything negative about your brand further down the search results. That’s how reverse SEO works!

So, the more you produce the better for your brand. But what about high-ranking review sites like Yelp?

As bloggers, you may not have to worry too much about it. But if you run a business of any sort, I would strongly urge you and your friends to avoid sending your clientele to Yelp to rate your business.

Here’s why:

1. About 25 Percent of Yelp Reviews are False

2. Yelp holds good reviews hostage in its “spam filter” until you advertise with them.

3. Negative reviews are more likely to appear than the positive, creating an unfair image for your brand.

You can learn more about Yelp’s shady tactics on our blog. But here’s what we suggest you do: create your own reviews.

Many blogs like WordPress allow you to set up review pages for a product you sell, whether it’s a book, an online class or some other product/ service. Controlling where those reviews go is important to reinforcing your brand image.

Another neat little platform I discovered recently is OwnerListens. Consider it a nice alternative to Yelp and other review sites.

Instead of sending your customers to review your products and services on Yelp, send them to a platform where you can actually respond to your customers. The problem with responding to customers on complaint forms is that it helps those negative reviews rank in the search results, so you’re only punishing yourself by replying.

In the end, it’s all about being able to communicate with your audience fairly without such sites purposely trashing your brand.

Anyway, thanks for reading! I wanted to provide you with more than enough info to feel satisfied. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below!

I’ll be more than happy to answer.

Thank You James

Okay, was that information awesome or what!  See, I’m learning new things every single day and I SO appreciate what James just shared with us.

If you have any questions about any of this then take him up on it and ask away.  Zac Johnson might be stopping by as well since he’s a contributor of Brand.com now and they are eager to help us learn and grow.

Now, be sure to share this post with your friends.  They might be interested in learning about this as well and we all know how appreciative they can be when you point them in the right direction. They’ll love you forever.

James R. Halloran

James R. Halloran is the Blogging Editorial Assistant at Brand.com. He is responsible finding and researching new topics to write about for the Brand.com blog. He also enjoys anything relating to literature, fitness, hockey and modeling.

James Twitter | James LinkedIn | James Google+ | James Blog

 

{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Harleena Singh
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:09 AM

Hi James, and welcome to Adrienne’s blog :)

Honestly speaking, I don’t know much about Brands and how ones actually created, so this post was an eye-opener in that case. But yes, what you mentioned about searching yourself or about your post or blog posts in the incognito is something that helps to get the real picture of things. More so, it’s fun to know where you actually stand that ways, where your ranking of your post is concerned too.

I’d never heard about Completed Account, nor Yelp, so I guess ones safe there – but yes, linking all your social media accounts, especially Google+ does help a great deal to build relationships with fellow bloggers who might come by your blog, and also the traffic you get through it.

Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead, both of you :)
Harleena Singh recently posted…Why Use Social Media Signals and How They Impact Search Engine RankingMy Profile

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2 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Thanks, Harleena! I appreciate your kind words! I’m glad you found it eye-opening.

Many people don’t realize that they’re creating a brand when they’re posting online, but they really are whether they intend to or not. That’s why it’s important to make sure you realize the image you’re creating for yourself online. It could mean the difference between getting a job or attaining a new client.

Thanks for reading! I hope you have an awesome week, too!

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3 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Hey Harleena,

I think there is much more to learn about branding then what we’ve been taught so far. Having met James and learned more about how their site helps people in this way has been another lesson for me as well.

I’m glad he introduced us to a few other sites we should know about as well Harleena. I definitely went and signed up with Complete so that much is done but I had only heard about Yelp.

I appreciate your visit and thank you for your comment. You enjoy your week and I’ll see you soon.

~Adrienne

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4 Steve Borek
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:16 AM

I’ve been using a tool called BrandYourself.com for the last eight months or so. They’re based right here in Syracuse, NY.

More and more, I’m seeing the importance of branding. BrandYourself.com is helping me, my pages, blog, etc. achieve higher rankings.

I highly recommend it.
Steve Borek recently posted…After A Win, Commit To NothingMy Profile

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5 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Hi Steve,

Thanks for reading! I can’t speak for Brandyourself.com, but from what I know, they’re simply an online reputation management company. Brand.com used to focus on ORM exclusively but they realized there was so much more to a brand than protecting its image online.

There’s the visibility, the promotional and the curation aspects to maintaining a strong brand image as well. But I’m not here to be the Brand.com sales guy. If you utilize some of the tips I showed you today along with what you’re doing with Brandyourself.com, I think it’ll help you tons.

Thanks again for reading! I hope what I shared helps. :-)

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6 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Hey Steve,

Glad to hear you have something in place and that James was able to respond accordingly. This is definitely more his area of expertise so thanks for your comment and you have a wonderful week.

~Adrienne

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7 Kumar Gauraw
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Hi James,

Glad to meet you and learn a few things from you.

I have had a Brand.com profile for a long time but I’m hearing about completed.com for the first time through you. I will check this out and perhaps create a profile there as well. Thank you for sharing!

About Yelp’s shady practices, you are right in saying that we no more need to depend on Yelp for reviews and today, that control is in our hands and it’s really up to us to take charge and create/protect/establish our brand image.

Great tips on Branding. Thank you very much!

Regards,
Kumar
Kumar Gauraw recently posted…Why Living With Integrity Is So Important For True LeadershipMy Profile

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8 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:50 AM

I’m glad you found the tips useful! Brand.com is always revising its strategy, so perhaps that’s why you’re just learning about Completed.com now?

I believe it’s something we started improvising in the past year actually. But either way, I would strongly advise you to sign up for one. It ranks very well in the search engines. It’s basically a nice way to solidify yet another listing in the search results for your name. Why give that slot up to someone else when you can claim it, right?

Thanks again for reading, Kumar!

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9 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Hi Kumar,

Glad that you’ve been with Brand.com for awhile now but also learned something new here. That’s always great to hear.

Thanks Kumar for your comment and you enjoy your week.

~Adrienne

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10 Ashley
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Hi James, great stuff!
Branding is key huh. We have to watch what we are putting out there are check it occasionally as you say and in a window that has no bias (even being logged into Google+ skews the results, which people don’t realize).
I had thought about an about.me page, but now you have my curiosity with Completed.com. I am not a business that has to worry about Yelp I think, but that sounds a little scary that such a site can be so powerful (similar to TripAdvisor I guess).
Thanks for the tips my friend, and have a great week
ashley
Ashley recently posted…How to Choose a WordPress Theme for your New Website or BlogMy Profile

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11 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Hi Ashley,

I also thought of getting an About.me page a little while ago, but I learned it does not rank as well as a Completed account does. Even though an About.me page looks a little more aesthetic and appealing in my opinion, it doesn’t serve you as well as it should. That’s why I think you’re better off with a Completed account personally.

It’s also good you don’t have to worry too much about Yelp. The reason I mentioned it is in the slight chance someone does run a small business that depends on good reviews. I’m sure someone reading this knows someone who has a small business that does. That’s why the more people who the better.

But anyway, thanks for reading! I’m glad you found the tips useful. :-)

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12 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Hi Ashley,

Glad you enjoyed what James had to share and I know that our reputation really has to be built starting with us and being all over the place so that people will see us literally everywhere in a positive light.

I had heard about Yelp but to know of their practices was pretty scary to me too. Yikes!

I appreciate your comment and I know James will have something to share.

Enjoy your week.

~Adrienne

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13 maxwell ivey February 17, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Hi Adrienne and James; Several good tips in there. Thanks, I had heard about google authority before but didn’t realize it was that important. And its always easier for this blind blogger to follow suggestions when the person making the recommendation includes a direct link. So, thanks also for that. I’l let you know how accessible the process is. I knew about yelp, so I hadn’t been suggesting any site for my clients to leave reviews at. To be honest its hard enough getting even the ones who love me to submit a testimonial to my own site. smile and I want to ask you about something that came up yesterday concerning my social media connection buttons. A friend lorraine reguly was helping me clean up my blog and she asked me where my follow on or connect with me buttons were. I told her they were in the side bar. She found them, but I wonder if the reason she had trouble is that the buttons don’t say follow me on twitter or connect with me on linked in etc. Do you think it matters? And do you think there is any research on the most effective tags for these buttons? Thanks for sharing with us. Take care, max

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14 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Hi Max,

You’re an amusement park guy! I love amusement parks. :-)

Anyway, I took a quick peek at your site, and I found your social sharing buttons no problem. I think it may just be a matter of age and demographic differences that either make it harder or easier to find. The only suggestion I can give you is perhaps move your sharing buttons from the left-hand column to the right.

It may just be little differences like that that help people find them. If you think the buttons themselves are still a problem, you can always seek out a different profile badge from the sites themselves. Here’s Twitter’s, for example: http://about.twitter.com/resources/buttons

I hope that helps!

Other than that, I’m glad you already know about Yelp and the dangers they present any small business’ online image.

Thanks for reading! I hope my advice helps!

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15 maxwell ivey February 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM

hi James; I am the guy who helps carnivals amusement parks party rental companies caterers concessionaires etc with their equipment needs. I mostly sell used items, but do represent a couple of manufacturers. I did know about yelp, and I’m surprised nothing has been done about them yet. it sounds like things are pretty good on my site then for the sharing buttons. I’m not going to worry about that any more then. since you did check out the site, what did you think of it in general? I love hearing what people think. I’d also like your opinion on my accidental branding as mr. midway. thanks for the post and take care, max

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16 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM

That sounds cool! From what I can see, your site seems fine. I really like the main banner you have displayed of the Ferris wheel and the roller coaster. I think that’s a nice touch to what you sell.

I actually have a background photo of a roller coaster on my phone because I’m a bit of a roller coaster fanatic. :-P

I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “accidental branding,” though. You mean the association with the Midway amusement park and being a liaison for what you sell?

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17 maxwell ivey February 17, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Hi James; Its cool you like coasters. And i’m glad you like the site too. the banner was done by kelly corbin a friend of mine. and the site design layout and some of its features are thanks to ashley faults and lorraine reguly. I have been blessed to had help from a lot of generous people out here in the bloggosphere. I am actually working on a challenge to find a new home for the mad mouse coaster that used to be at the myrtle beach pavilion in south carolina. I said accidental branding because it was fans of the defunct geauga lake amusement park who first started calling me mr. midway. my company name is the midway marketplace. i was working on finding a him for the big dipper wooden coaster. I wasn’t successful sadly. But the people on the message boards like to give people nickname. Thy hung mr. midway on me and I adopted it as my signature. There is a blog post about it on the site. thanks for taking the time to check out the site. Maybe someday I can be featured on brand.com smile take care, max

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18 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Hi Max,

I’m glad what you found here has been helpful and you’re right, including a link to a site can really save some time. You definitely need to get all of that set up with Google and I wrote about it if you need help through a post.

I didn’t know about how Yelp worked so this was an eye opener for me.

Those are some good questions and I know James will be eager to answer those for you.

Thanks for the comment Max and enjoy your week. Hope we’ll have more good weather minus the rain.

~Adrienne

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19 Sylviane Nuccio
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Hello James and welcome here at Adrienne’s :)

Awesome information, indeed and I love it when I learn about new tools that could help me to brand myself and my blogs.

Completed.com is brand new to me, so I’ll make sure to hop over there and see how this could help me. Thanks so much for the tip.

Interesting to learn about Yelp. I didn’t know anything about them, really, so that’s nice to know that we shouldn’t trust too much what’s on there. They do come up very well on search engines, though.

It’s a second job to try to branding ourselves, so thank you so much for this great piece of advice and have a great day!

Thanks for this great guest post, Adrienne.
Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…How Can You Become A Better WriterMy Profile

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20 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Hi Sylviane,

Glad you enjoyed what James had to share and learned a few new things as well. I love that and I know you do as well. ;-)

Have a good week and hope to see you later on.

~Adrienne

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21 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Hi Sylviane,

It definitely does feel like a second job keeping your brand in a good light sometimes, but if you’re doing a little maintenance here and there every day, it’ll be a piece of cake before you know it.

I’m glad you found Completed.com to be a new resource. It’ll definitely help make you more visible. And I’m glad you’re now aware of Yelp reviews. The reason I brought them up is solely because their reviews rank so well. It’s ironic because about 25 percent of them are fake, yet people trust in them like they’re gold.

But anyway, it’s better to know what you have to do to combat the likes of fake reviews than to play the ignorant card and lose all of your potential business. That’s why Completed.com is such a valuable resource. It takes one slot away from the likes of Yelp if you use it properly.

I hope my advice helps! Thanks a ton for reading!

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22 Angela McCall
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Hi James,

Good to see you at Adrienne’s blog. :)

I dunno about Yelp but I’ve learn something new today. I heard about incognito but dunno how to use them and so when I need too test something I just enter my name in search engine and I always show up in number #1 page. Not sure if everyone is seeing what I’m seeing but seems like authority, as me seeing myself there, seems okay. Right?

Completed.com sounds interesting. Never been there but I will check you out later. Anyway, thank you for sharing your nuggets. I hope you a great week!!

Angela
Angela McCall recently posted…How To Manipulate Your Callout & Zoom On ScreenFlowMy Profile

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23 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Hey Angela,

I’ll let James explain how that works since this is his post and I’m sure he’ll do that very well. ;-)

After James told me about Completed I signed up with them and just need to finish completing my profile. Every little bit helps right!

Thanks for your comment and you have a wonderful week.

~Adrienne

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24 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Hi Angela,

Yes, from what I saw in my own test… you ARE the first result. Congrats! (Sorry I sounded like Maury there. I couldn’t contain my own goofiness. :-P)

But it still looks like you can knock out those “Spokeo – I found Angela McCall” listings with your own Completed account. The more traffic that goes to you directly the better, right? :-)

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a wonderful week, too!

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25 Sandy Halliday February 17, 2014 at 8:42 AM

A very interesting exercise James. Although a Sandy Halliday at Gaia Architects and an Amazon book on construction by a Sandy Halliday comes up first on a search for my name, my Twitter, LinkedIn and personal Facebook accounts come up on the 1st page. My Google + YouTube and Pinterest pages appear on page 2. Although an article I wrote for NaturalNews blog comes up on Page3, my detox blog only appears on page 4 of the results.

I am a bit disappointed that my FB fan page does not appear in the first 7 pages. Not sure what I can do about that. Any suggestions?

I have another FB account for business but that does not appear at all in the first 10 pages. I know some say that FB frowns on having more than one account but others I know have two accounts.

I only discovered the About.me site recently and did wonder if it was ranked. Thanks for the heads up on Completed.com I will go and check that out now.

Hope you get your hosting sorted soon Adrienne. It must be such a worry having it drag on.

Sandy

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26 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Hi Sandy,

Ah, sounds like you’ve got some things going on. I have an actress with my same name and a doctor but most of the time I beat them in the search engines but I guess they’re not that active online. I’m sure that James will have some suggestions for you.

I haven’t delved into the About.Me site yet, will have to check that out.

I got on first thing this morning and was still having issues. I’m keeping my fingers crossed Sandy but looks like I’ll be moving my accounts either this week or weekend. I’ve just had it! :-(

You enjoy your week and thank you for your comment.

~Adrienne

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27 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Hi Sandy,

Facebook is a very tricky site to promote. (I know Adrienne’s not a fan of Facebook anymore.) It is definitely hard to promote two Facebook pages at the same time but not impossible.

Are you centering all of these profiles to link back to your blog? You need the links to flow to and from your primary site in order for the search engine bots to pick up the connection.

That’s why Google+ Authorship helps a ton. When you link all of these profiles to G+ and share links to your content on your blog through all of these platforms at the same time, the bots should be able to pick this up quickly. Plus, the more interactions you have on your blog ultimately helps it rank better.

Interactions like blog comments, constant updates, etc., are all what search engines are reading every day. Treat your blog like the mothership of everything you do online and it should help everything else exponentially.

If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks for reading!

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28 Zac Johnson February 17, 2014 at 10:49 AM

All good recommendations. It’s actually interesting to see that top site ranking for “Sandy Halliday” as it doesn’t have any page rank or even a high Alexa. What you should consider doing is create a blog with your name in the domain. With enough information and a few links you should be able to overtake that number one spot. If it works well, then create another site, something like “aboutsandyhalliday.com” and use this site to list all of your social networking pages and do a full writeup on your bio. Link your blog and the new site together, then share them both through your social networks and you should be able to rank on the main page for both sites.

Take a look at http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/links?site=www.gaiagroup.org%2FResearch%2FSandy%2F to see what sites and anchor text is linking to their site and making them rank on the first page of Google. It’s not much and it wouldn’t be hard for you to rank #1 for your name with some work.

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29 maxwell ivey February 17, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Hello again; well in my efforts to follow your suggestion on google authorship i noticed a lot of other sections of my google plus profile that i need to fill in. As for the authorship though, it found my youtube and twitter accounts so adding them was easy. then i clicked on add custom ones and think i added my Pinterest and linked in accounts. need to do more I know. But google plus to me is counter intuitive in that most of your clicks don’t result in new pages just in expansions of existing ones. as a blind computer user this is more difficult to follow at least for me it is. thanks again, max

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30 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:44 AM

You’re very welcome, Max! I’m glad I could help.

The point of Google+ Authorship is really to link your authority together. That means all of your social accounts, your blog posts, etc. It’s not really meant to promote you any more than you’re already doing with your other accounts. It’s just a way to connect the signals to the right search engines.

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31 Ashvini
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Hi James,

Thanks for this excellent article. I think it is very important to have a good profile on internet and the site that yo have mentioned looks interesting. I will definitely give it a try. I think great customer service goes a long way in building a businesses’ reputation.
Thanks for this post :)
Ashvini recently posted…Four ways to improve customer serviceMy Profile

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32 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Hi Ashvini,

Great to see you and glad you enjoyed what James had to share. Ah, great customer service you can’t beat that right!

Always love hearing from you and hope you’re having a good week.

~Adrienne

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33 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:47 AM

You are very welcome, Ashvini! I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I’m always happy to help!

Thanks for reading! :-)

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34 Shan
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Thank you for an info-packed post, James!

I’ve heard of Brand.com and Yelp but hadn’t heard of the others. Looks like I’m going to be a-linking for the rest of the day!

Shan

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35 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Hi Shan,

I’m glad you heard of us! Was it all the banner ads everywhere? I wonder what gave us away, haha! Anyway, I hope my advice helps!

Thanks for reading! :-)

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36 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Hey Shan,

Glad you’ve heard of them and are taking advantage of what Brand.com has to offer. I mean they can really help you stay in the limelight.

Glad you enjoyed what James had to share and hope you enjoy your week.

~Adrienne

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37 Zac Johnson February 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Great article and advice. It’s always funny to think of online reputation management and branding from a marketers perspective and how “real life” internet users would see it. Most people who do online marketing already know how to protect their brand and the negatives of using services like Yelp to build out reviews for your site… but to everyone else it’s just “random” sites and info that appears in the search results for your name and brand. No matter what… you need to monitor your brand mentions online and what is ranking for your name. Great post!

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38 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Thanks, Zac! I appreciate your thoughts! :-)

You’re absolutely right. To the every-day person, what appears in the search engines are “random sites,” but to a skilled marketer, there’s a reason why those sites appear. Learning how to compete with that algorithm is half the game. Constant maintenance is needed.

As they say at Brand.com every day, “the internet never sleeps.” And neither does your online image. Thanks for chiming in!

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39 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Hey Zac,

Glad you stopped by and I think James did an excellent job with this post.

I know that from my perspective when I started this journey I didn’t realize all the different things we needed to have in place. Branding you is important but making sure that you continue to have a good reputation online although for most of use who walk the straight line we would think would be a breeze but I’ve encountered some people who just love to hurt others so it’s something people definitely need to stay on top of.

Appreciate your comment and hope you have a wonderful week.

~Adrienne

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40 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 11:00 AM

You’re too kind! :-)

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41 Sylvia
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Thanks Adrienne and James Halloran. I opened up a new window on Foxfire and searched my name and then searched my site on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Since my site is fairly new and have few followers, I wasn’t sure if I was doing it correctly because I showed up on the entire first page and most on the second page. So I opened a new Chrome window and did the same searches. Again I showed up on 1st and 2nd pgs. So, maybe I’m doing something right?

I will go to the other sites now that you mentioned. Thank you for all the great info.
Sylvia recently posted…Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage SausageMy Profile

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42 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Hi Sylvia,

I’ll let James respond to this because he can probably explain this better. I never know some times how to phrase it correctly.

Your site is awesome though Sylvia and you know I love your recipes. ;-)

Thanks for your comment and you have a wonderful week.

~Adrienne

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43 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Yep, you seem like you’re on top! It never hurts to close all windows and other tabs you may have open, too, just to be on the safe side.

I think your blog’s unique name actually helps you a ton, too. There’s a lot more competition for common names in the search engines. It’s usually a problem if you have a similar name to a celebrity or a well known brand, but your site looks good. Very aesthetic, too. Design matters a lot these days, so kudos!

Thanks a ton for reading! I hope you enjoyed it.

Reply

44 Sylvia
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Thanks for the affirmation, James. As a new blogger, it’s good to hear.
Sylvia recently posted…Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage SausageMy Profile

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45 Amiti
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Hi James,

Really helpful post! I had never heard of completed.com, but now it is the first thing that I am doing tomorrow. It looks interesting and if you say it helps, then it is worth a try. All around these were all useful tips, and we’ll find some time to Google and Bing ourselves.
Amiti recently posted…The Feedweb WordPress Plugin: Version 2.4My Profile

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46 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Hey Amiti,

Glad you learned something new and I love that. Have fun setting it up and thanks for commenting today. You have a great week.

~Adrienne

Reply

47 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I’m glad you found them useful, Amiti! Definitely take the time to see what’s out there in your name. You can’t fix what you can’t see.

Thanks a ton for reading! I hope my tips help.

Reply

48 Tim Bonner
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Hi James and Adrienne

I’ve been thinking about branding a lot more just recently and I have been using the service that Steve mentions above – BrandYourself.com.

You’re right, they are just an online reputation company although they have been useful to find out where and what I’m ranking for.

I do have an About.me account but it doesn’t do anything for me really.

So, I’m going to check out Completed.com. It sounds like it’s something I’d get some benefit out of!
Tim Bonner recently posted…Blogging Tips Shared – Jeevan Jacob JohnMy Profile

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49 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Completed.com is definitely better for ranking than About.me. It’s a shame because About.me is actually a nice-looking platform. It just under-serves in utility sadly.

But Completed.com works for almost all of our clients, so I don’t see why it can’t work for you. Definitely give it a shot!

I’m glad you see there’s a whole lot more to branding than reputation management. That was something we realized at the end of last year and re-branded ourselves to be more efficient in the overall process, not just one department of brand management.

Thanks again for reading! Hopefully it all works out for you! You are always more than welcome to ask me any more questions if you have them.

Have a great week, Tim! And thanks for the share on G+! I appreciate it. :-)

Reply

50 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Hi Tim,

Glad to hear that you’ve been paying more attention to this and sounds like you’re definitely on the right tract. You want to get signed up with Completed.com for sure and if you have any other questions please feel free to ask James. He’s the expert on this topic! ;-)

Thanks for your comment and you enjoy your week.

~Adrienne

Reply

51 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 11:50 AM

You are most welcome, William! I’m glad you learned a lot from this post. I hope my advice helps you a lot in your future endeavors!

Thanks for reading!

Reply

52 Jennifer Kennedy
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Hey James!

Great meeting you over here on Adrienne’s blog! I wasn’t sure what would come up for me when I searched the 3 search engines, but I’m so glad I did because now I have an understanding of where I stand.

My name is VERY common so when I search my name, nothing really pops up for me. The person who pops up is a body builder! But, when I search my site name, Teach Good Stuff, I do have a few spots on the first two pages, so I’m happy to see that!

Love the idea of linking your social media with your website — I haven’t done that at all! I don’t have my Social Media buttons anywhere on my site and haven’t even thought about diving into Google+. Thanks for the reminder!

Love your tips! Thanks for encouraging me to think more about my presence!!

Reply

53 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Hi Jennifer!

I’m glad to hear this post helped you think about your web presence. It’s very important for people who run an online (or offline) business of any sort.

Common names are definitely the toughest to rank for, but like I said before to another commenter, it’s not impossible. The fact that your Teach Good Stuff ranks on the top two pages should make this relatively easier for you.

Once you link all of your social accounts together along with a G+ Authorship, it should become a piece of cake to rank more frequently. Every time you share a new post, share it on all of these social networks. After a few months, those search results should look much differently for you.

If you’re posting and updating more frequently than Jennifer Kennedy the bodybuilder is, you should eventually push her results down while yours elevates.

Let me know how it works out for you! Thanks again for reading.

Reply

54 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Hey Jennifer,

Glad you enjoyed what James had to share and sounds like you learned a few things from this post. Yay! His recommendations are definitely spot on girl and glad you’ll be setting up those social sites to link to you. You definitely need to be on Google+ that’s for sure but I think James can explain more of what that’s necessary.

Appreciate the comment and great to see you. Have an awesome week.

~Adrienne

Reply

55 Mary Stephenson
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Hi James and Adrienne

Interesting! I never heard of Completed.com. Little late getting here as I went over and signed up. I wrote a bio as suggested and did a save, but when I went back into see it, there was no bio to be found. Would there be another way that it is seen? Anyways I did learn some new things today and I suppose just having my social media connected in another place is probably a good thing. I have heard about Yelp problems and I can see why you suggest it is bad for business.

Mary

Reply

56 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Hi Mary,

Glad to hear you’ve found a new site too through James’ recommendation Mary. I haven’t completed my profile yet so I’ll let him answer that one of course. He’s the pro on this one.

You definitely want to link your social accounts to your blog, just one more thing to keep up with right!

Thank you for your comment Mary and hope you have a wonderful week.

~Adrienne

Reply

57 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Hi Mary,

That may just be a cache issue. Clear your cache and it should update. If it still doesn’t appear, just give it a rest for a moment. I’ve learned sometimes things take a while to update. I guess it’s something that varies from server to server. Not sure honestly, but that’s my best guess for now.

I’m sure it’ll update eventually. It usually always does.

Other than that, I’m glad you learned something new today! I’m always here to help, so if you have anymore questions/ concerns, feel free to ask. :-)

Have a wonderful week!

Reply

58 William Butler
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Greetings James,
A pleasure to meet you here on Adrienne’s blog and learn from your wisdom.
I must say, a very informative post! There is plenty to consider here and I am grateful for the incognito tip. That will prove useful. I had also never heard of Completed or Yelp before, so more to learn :)

Thank you kindly! Color me grateful.
Bill
William Butler recently posted…Identity Theft is Epidemic: Are You Getting Ripped Off?My Profile

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59 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Hey Bill,

Glad you found what James had to share very helpful. I know that his tips are spot on and his suggestions are great.

Appreciate your comment and you have a wonderful week.

~Adrienne

Reply

60 Lisa
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Hi James and Adrienne, wow, I learned a lot of new things here James. I have never hard of Completed.com or OwnerListens. I just was introduced to your site via Adrienne the other week. Interesting to how to search for ourselves and see what comes up without the cookies :) Thank you James for sharing all this! I’m in New England and am getting tired of all this snow, hear more is coming tomorrow, hope you miss it!
Adrienne I’m so glad you had a wonderful time at the dance again this year and that your mom was fine too. I hope the rest of this month goes smoothly for you.
Hope you both have a great day and the rest of the week!
Lisa recently posted…Tumblr Tips To Help Grow Your Blog and Social MentionsMy Profile

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61 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Hey Lisa,

So glad you learned some new things from James’ post and about these sites too! I love hearing about these things as well.

I’m so glad I don’t live where you guys are, we have weather in the 70′s all week with sunshine so I’m enjoying this for sure.

Thank you Lisa and we had a good time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed as well about the remainder of this month! ;-)

Appreciate your comment and you enjoy your week. Try to stay warm.

~Adrienne

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62 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Rub it in, Adrienne! Haha. :-P

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63 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Hey, I’m glad we got a break from that nasty 40 degree weather James! LOL!!!

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64 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 2:16 PM

40 degrees? Pshh! It was 26 degrees this morning in Philly! lol.

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65 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 2:48 PM

And that my friend is why I live in Houston! Oh and it’s 72 right now with the sun shining brightly. Our high today will be 78! Nice! :-)

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66 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Lucky you! Looks like six more weeks of winter here. :-(

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67 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Hi Lisa,

I’m glad you learned a lot of new things today! Those two platforms certainly deserve a lot more attention than they get. They serve anyone’s public image very well.

As for the snow, I’m done with it this year. I want to move to Brazil pronto! I spent the past four days holed up in my house. If the Winter Olympics weren’t on now, I probably would’ve caught a severe case of cabin fever or something, haha.

But anyway, thanks a ton for reading! Stay warm in good ol’ New England! You probably have it much worse than we do here. :-)

Reply

68 Brian Newmark February 17, 2014 at 12:23 PM

I have worked with James, his insight is invaluable and I go to him whenever possible for suggestions.

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69 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 12:46 PM

That’s great to hear Brian and thanks for sharing that with us. I’ve definitely learned some things from him as well.

Enjoy your week.

~Adrienne

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70 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Thanks for your kind words, Brian! I appreciate it. (I haven’t forgotten about those side projects for you yet either. I’ve just been very busy as you can see lol.)

Thanks again for dropping by!

Reply

71 Carolyn Nicander Mohr
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Hi James, It’s great to meet another Philly native. We can commiserate about the winter we’re enduring, with more snow due tomorrow! I’m just glad the snow and Polar Vortex haven’t visited at the same time.

I definitely link my social media accounts to my blog and have Google authorship. Unlike the brilliant Adrienne Smith, I have a unique name. When I started blogging I included my middle/maiden name so there would be no confusion with others. There are plenty of people named Carolyn Mohr in the world but no others named Carolyn Nicander Mohr.

I took your advice and searched for myself on Google, Bing and Yahoo, both logged in and incognito on a browser I never use. The results were the same and all positive. Yea!

I don’t own a local business but I do use Yelp as a consumer and was fascinated to learn about its requirements.

I never got an about.com listing because I figured if people wanted to know about me, I want them to come to the About page on my blog, not a different website. That would also be true for Completed. I could see if I didn’t have an About page on my blog that I might need a different source for people to find me, but I’m often checked out on LinkedIn and my About page on my blog (the only two places where I get those stats) so I think people are probably finding me without difficulty.

Any thoughts on whether a Completed page would be of benefit to me?

Thanks so much for this fascinating and insightful article from a fellow Philadelphian!
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently posted…Mustbin — Securely Store and Share Your InformationMy Profile

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72 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 3:54 PM

It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance on here, Carolyn! That’s heartwarming to know you’re from Philadelphia, too! At least someone understands my weather woes today, haha.

Anyway, as for your question regarding Completed.com, you may not necessarily need it, but it will still help you claim another listing for your name in the search results nontheless. It’s true that many people probably already find you through your blog and your social accounts, but if someone’s searching for you in the search engines, it’s only one more direct link to you and your accounts.

It never hurts to have more exposure for yourself, am I right? It’s better to have that than a blank ad that says, “We found Carolyn Nichander Mohr – Sign up with our Local Pages Listing” on the first page of results. Why lose an opportunity to rank more for your own name? Just a thought.

Completed.com is also a very dynamic site. There’s a whole extra layer that LinkedIn doesn’t have like personal and fitness goals you attain, favorite quotes you like, etc. All of these things you can update frequently, thus keeping your page fresh and relevant — something search engines look for. (And that’s why it ranks so well.)

Anyway, thanks for sharing this article on Twitter! I really appreciate it. If you have any more questions for me, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Thanks again for reading! Stay warm this week, fellow Philadelphian! :-)

Reply

73 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Hi Carolyn,

That’s a good idea Carolyn and I should have included my maiden name when I started because there’s definitely no other me out there with that one. Had I left off Smith then that would have been much easier.

That’s great news and I’m sure you came up with flying colors on all accounts.

I’m sure James can help you with these others questions Carolyn and I’ll leave that up to him. Thanks for the comment and you enjoy your week. Stay warm now.

~Adrienne

Reply

74 Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Hi James,
Welcome to Adrienne’s blog. It’s great seeing you here.

Thanks for a very informative post. Searching for ourselves in incognito mode is an excellent suggestion. I have not completed a profile on Brand.com.So, thanks for highlighting that site and sharing Brand.com’s profile with us. I will definitely create my profile soon.

I do have a quick question for you. Do you see value in connecting our social media accounts to our websites using Bing Webmaster Tools? I connected mine back in November (when Bing first announced that feature as being available) but I honestly haven’t gone back to check on it.
Sherryl Perry recently posted…Connect Your Social Media Sites to your Website Using Bing Webmaster ToolsMy Profile

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75 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Hey Sherryl,

Glad you enjoyed what James had to share and you’ll look into using some of what he’s told us about here. I mean we do need to brand ourselves everywhere right!

I’d like to know that answer too about connecting it with Bing. I actually went and did that and it would never recognize my blog. Like I don’t know how to do that, duh! I finally just gave up and said to heck with it. I know Bing brings me traffic though.

Appreciate the comment and enjoy your week.

~Adrienne

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76 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Hi Sheryl,

To be fully honest, I’m not all that familiar with Bing Webmaster Tools. But I can’t imagine how linking your social accounts and your blog to it can hurt you. Making connections with another search engine certainly doesn’t hurt in my opinion. I’ll ask Zac Johnson and see if he might have any better idea for you. Hang tight.

Thanks a ton for reading! I’m glad you found it insightful.

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77 Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

James,

I felt the same way that you do about connecting our social accounts in Bing Webmaster Tools. It can’t hurt and it’s one more place to tie our profiles together. It would be interesting to hear from Zac Johnson or someone else who has additional insight into this. I really haven’t read much more about it. I’s still relatively new.

Thanks for getting back to me.
Sherryl Perry recently posted…How Are You Building Your Online Brand? #FridayFindsMy Profile

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78 Balroop Singh
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Hi James,

I am so glad to see you especially because you have an interest in literature too!

Thanks for sharing very informative tips and presenting them in an interesting style. I am not that tech savvy but can follow all you have said as it has been said in such a simple way… not using many technical terms! I often search for myself on Google on a browser I never use but never done it on Bing and Yahoo…must do so today!

Thanks to Adrienne too for inviting you to write this enlightening article.
Balroop Singh recently posted…Where is He?My Profile

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79 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Hi Balroop,

Glad you enjoyed what James had to share Balroop and I hope you have good luck searching for yourself on the other search engines. I haven’t done that myself in awhile. LOL!!!

Have a fabulous week young lady and we appreciate your comment.

~Adrienne

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80 James H.
Twitter:
February 17, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Hello Balroop,

I am an avid lover of literature. From Rumi and Shakespeare all the way to contemporary literature, I love it all. To me, literature is the greatest study of what it means to be human. And I’m glad to hear I’ve made a new acquaintance here with a similar passion!

I really like your blog’s banner. I have to say I agree that emotions are like clouds, and yet, they change like them, too. Very smart. :-)

And thanks for your compliments! As a wise journalism professor taught me back in college — never write in jargon. Write as if you’re a clueless reader about the subject and educate them as you go. I’ve learned it to be the best way, especially for technical things like this.

Anyway, thanks so much again for your kind words! I really appreciate your comments.

Have a wonderful week, Balroop!

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81 Kaloyan Banev February 17, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Never heard about Completed before, but I am going to create account. I suppose that by “Negative SEO”, you mean “reverse SEO” am I right?

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82 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 18, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Hey Kaloyan,

Glad to hear that something that James has shared you’ve found helpful and I have no doubt he’ll respond to your question about SEO.

Thank you for your comment and enjoy your week.

~Adrienne

Reply

83 James H.
Twitter:
February 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Hi Kaloyan,

Actually, no. Reverse SEO and Negative SEO are two different things.

Negative SEO is an ailment to your brand’s image. It’s the negative things you find about your brand online, or what competitors purposely plant online for other potential clients to find about you.

Reverse SEO is actually the REMEDY to Negative SEO. Some tactics of Reverse SEO include creating content — blog posts, news articles, a Completed.com account, etc. — that feature your brand in a good light. Another name for this is called “suppression” in that you’re suppressing the negative SEO with positive mentions of your brand.

Does that make sense?

Thanks a ton for reading! I’ll be more than happy to answer more questions if you have any.

Reply

84 Pritam Nagrale February 18, 2014 at 4:56 AM

That is really great tips Adrienne. I am very much concerned about my personal branding & did a little hard word towards it so that it gives me desired results. Incogntio is available in Chrome only so you can use the word “private browsing” instead.
I think About.com is one of the great website because it can bring your profile very fast on the first page.

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85 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 18, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Hi Pritam,

Glad you’re concerned with branding and I hope what James shared you’ve found helpful. I guess we’re just use to using Chrome but yeah, there is the incognito feature in the other browsers as well.

Thank you for your comment and hope you enjoy your week.

~Adrienne

Reply

86 James H.
Twitter:
February 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Hi Pritam,

I’m glad you found the tips I shared useful. As Adrienne already mentioned, other browsers also have incognito modes. I use FireFox and the incognito mode works on that browser just the same as Google Chrome’s version.

Also, I honestly have no experience with About.me, since I don’t have my own profile on that platform, but my supervisor — Zac Johnson — does and he says his page hardly ranks.

But I checked up on your claims, and you’re right! You do rank on the first page with About.me. Maybe we should ask you how you did that? :-)

I’m guessing part of the reason Zac Johnson’s About.me page doesn’t rank that well is because he competes with the famous golfer who also has the same name in the search engines.

But, you know what — I think you inspired me to experiment with that platform to see how it works for me now. So, thanks for mentioning that to me!

See, Adrienne — even I learned something new on your blog. :-)

Reply

87 James H.
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Hi Pritam,

Just wanted to follow up with you on About.me. I created my own profile recently and now it’s already popular on their site. Check it out: http://about.me/people/popular

I already got a lot of nice hits on my personal page from it, but it’s still not ranking in the SERPs yet. But I know these things take time to rank, so I’ll be patient and let you know if it does eventually rank for my name.

Thanks again for your suggestion! I appreciate it.

Here is my About.me page in case it disappears from the “popular” listing before you see this message: http://about.me/JamesHalloran

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88 Susan Cooper
Twitter:
February 18, 2014 at 1:25 PM

I so agree with all your points. I do a good many of the things mentioned and recommended. The truth is I could do a much better job then I do right now. It all gets done to time. I think develop a check list of these things would be a good place to start, yet another project… LOL.

BTW: I have just started an account on Completed.com. Thank you for the recommendation. Now I just need to get it completely fleshed out. :-)
Susan Cooper recently posted…Ode To My Garage: Poem (Podcast)My Profile

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89 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 18, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Hey Susan,

I understand what you mean Susan because right now there just continues to be things that crop up that were not expected which take me away from what I should be doing but they can’t be ignored. Then we have all of this that still needs to be done. LOL!!

Yay, that sounds awesome and I have to finish mine although I have it probably a little more then half way through. There we go again, thing cropping up that are getting in my way.

Thank you for your comment Susan and you have a wonderful week.

~Adrienne

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90 James H.
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Haha, yeah. Maintaining and improving a brand can definitely feel like a project of its own, but it’s all worth it! It may take a few months to finally see results, but I assure you your efforts will pay off.

I’m glad you found my tips useful, Susan! I’m still fleshing my Completed account out, too. It’s one of those things you may never fully complete, but that’s what makes it such a useful platform for ranking — the fact that you’re constantly updating it. The more you update it the more relevant you are for search engines. Make sense?

Thanks a bunch for reading!
James H. recently posted…Commenters Beware: Yelp User Goes to Trial for Negative ReviewMy Profile

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91 Andrew Healey February 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Thanks for the post, James. it was very informative. I must say I wasn’t aware of the problems with Yelp. I think the problem with consumer reviews is that people are much more motivated to write them when they’re angry.

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92 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 18, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Hey Andrew,

Good to see you and thanks for checking out what James had to share.

I tend to agree, people get really ticked about something and they’re always eager to tell you what’s wrong but never tend to tell you what’s right. What a shame.

Appreciate the comment and you enjoy your week.

~Adrienne

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93 James H.
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Hi Andrew,

That’s exactly the problem with Yelp (or any review site). The only people that usually write reviews are either emphatically pleased with a product/ service or they’re incredibly irate and unhappy. There’s hardly an objective medium in-between.
And that’s the kind of people Yelp is allowing to ruin your online image.

The fact that search engines allow their reviews to rank in the search engines is a bit counter-intuitive to their intentions of providing “unbiased” and “credible” information for its users, too. Am I right?

But anyway, I’m glad you learned something here. Thanks for reading!
James H. recently posted…These 10 Brands Own Everything You BuyMy Profile

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94 June
Twitter:
February 18, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Very informative post James. It was really useful. I did a search and came up in all the search engines, which was a good sign.

Although I’m on Google+ I still need to sort out the authorship. I didn’t know about Yelp and Completed.com. It was good of you to share that information.

Thanks to you and Adrienne.

Have a fantastic week.
June recently posted…A Strong Woman Is a Powerful WomanMy Profile

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95 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 18, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Hi June,

Glad to hear you came up in all the search engines. I have a post on getting your Google Authorship all set up if you need more assistance so just let me know about that.

Thank you for sharing this and hope you’re enjoying your week.

~Adrienne

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96 June
Twitter:
February 18, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Hi Adrienne,

Yes the post on setting up Google Authorship would be great. Thank you.

Please send me the link. I appreciate your help.

Best regards. :-)
June recently posted…Happy Valentine’s DayMy Profile

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97 James H.
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Hi June,

I’m glad you found the information useful. I’m happy to hear you rank on all search engines, too. You’re already ahead of the game then! But if you’re able to link in Google Authorship and a Completed.com account, it will only reinforce your listings.

Thanks a bunch for reading! I hope you’re having a great week, too!

Reply

98 Barbara Charles
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Hi James,

Great article. I learned so much. I definitely noted brand.com and Google+ Authorship. I also immediately went and checked my name on bing, google and yahoo. I’m actually there! Yeah and within the first 5! Double Yeah! But I can easily imagine that could change very easy. So I will be looking at other things you’ve suggested. I’d like to stay in the ranks and maintain.

Adrienne,

James is awesome. Thanks so much for inviting him as your guest poster. That’s what I call a write-up. When I can learn something new each time. Lately, all the blogs seem to be regurgitating the same old thing so I loved this completed. Great job James.

Barbara

Reply

99 James H.
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Hi Barbara,

Thanks so much for your kind words! I try to make all of my posts uniquely different from all of the same old material that’s already out there. I’m glad you you learned a lot from this post! It makes me feel like I really drove all my points home. So, thank you!

As for ranking in the search engines, that’s exactly what it is — a matter of maintenance. The more you update your pages the better. That’s why a Completed.com account should help you reinforce your listings.

Thanks again for reading! I really appreciate you stopping by!

Reply

100 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Hi Barbara,

Glad you found what James had to share helpful Barbara. I’m with you, I want to learn something I haven’t before and there always seems to be something I can pick up from a post like this. Glad you enjoyed what he had to share.

Hope to see you tomorrow and you have a good day.

~Adrienne

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101 Geri Richmond
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Hi James and Adrienne,

Wonderful, informative post. I didn’t know about Yelp and the negative connotation it has for bloggers. I bookmarked this page, so that I can refer back to it later.

Thanks so much for solutions. When someone presents a problem and then gives you nowhere to go to solve it, it frustrates me.

Thanks again,

Geri Richmond
Geri Richmond recently posted…10 Quick Ways To Monetize Your BlogMy Profile

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102 James H.
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Hi Geri,

I’m happy you found this page resourceful! I also hate blogs that talk about problems but don’t provide any possible solutions.

One of the most recent blog posts I can remember reading like that was about how bot traffic was giving advertisers false impressions about the number of REAL visitors the site was getting, but the author did not detail any solutions for solving that problem. That just bothered me. In fact, I’ve yet to see a post that detailed possible solutions to that particular dilemma.

But anyway, yeah — I feel your frustration for such posts, haha. Thanks a ton for reading! I’m glad you found my tips very resourceful for future reference.

Have a great week!

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103 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Hi Geri,

Glad you enjoyed what James had to share and that you’ve bookmarked it for a later reference. One like this is always helpful to revert back to.
Appreciate your comment Geri and you enjoy your day.

~Adrienne

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104 Sherman Smith
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Hey James,

Great information here! I’ve been reading a book on Google Semantics and they mentioned many times how branding is so important when it comes to their algorithms.

I have yet to set up a profile with Brand.com or Completed.com, and this is a great reminder to go ahead and do so. I just checked yahoo and bing, and there is a lot of Sherman Smith’s LOL.. especially the football player. But my blog is on the first page .

Thanks for the valuable information here James!

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105 James H.
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Hi Sherman,

Thanks for stopping by! It’s true that people who share names with more prominent figures will have a harder time competing for the same name in the search rankings, but it’s not impossible.

It’s good to hear your blog ranks on the first page, though! That’s the one you really want to be on page one. From there, you should be able to build out your brand.

If you incorporate the Google+ Authorship along with a Completed.com account, you may be able to stand your ground in the search results a little more against Sherman Smith the football player and any other competition for your name.

Thanks again for reading! I hope your branding efforts pay off for you!

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106 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Hi Sherman,

See, that book is even telling you how important it is so I’m hoping that what James has to share here that others will finally understand just how important this really is.

Glad he was able to remind you to set up those accounts because they will really help and that you’re on the first page. I have an actress with my name but I beat here on all the search engines. Yay!!!

You have a great day and thanks Sherman for your comment.

~Adrienne

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107 Corina Ramos
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Hi there James and Adrienne,

Nice to meet you James :).

It seems there’s more about branding I need to learn and I need to get on it fast too because if someone were to ask me what my brand is I wouldn’t know how to answer that.

I must admit I don’t search myself but after reading your post I’m going to. I’ll be updating my to-do list to make sure I follow through :).

I’ve heard of Yelp but it’s been a while since I’ve checked out their site and it’s true that there were more negative reviews than positive ones.

Thanks for introducing me to OwnerListens. I had never heard of them until today. I’ll definitely check it out.

Thank you James for sharing such valuable advice. It was great to meet you. I hope you both are having a great night!
Corina Ramos recently posted…Simple Tips for Relieving Computer-related TensionMy Profile

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108 James H.
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Hi Corina,

When it comes to branding, there’s always new things to learn. I’m still learning new things every day about it at my work, on blogs everywhere and just from simple research. Branding is essentially an endless evolution, and the changes in technology, SEO and the like only catalyze those changes.

But anyway, I’m glad you found OwnerListens to be a useful app. I personally support any platform that allows a brand to fairly defend themselves without being extorted or chastised for doing so.

That’s why I like working at Brand.com. We’re all about helping businesses defend themselves from extortionists and other unfair disadvantages the online community presents for brands.

Anyway, I hope you’re having a good week! Thanks a ton for your comment! I really appreciate it.

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109 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Hi Cori,

Glad that what James had to share was helpful and I think it’s given you a few things to think about and consider. I know with having two blogs now it’s hard to narrow down exactly what your brand is because there is only one Corina Ramos.

Thank you for your comment and hope you have a wonderful day.

~Adrienne

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110 Andrew M. Warner
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Hi James,

Thanks for these tips honestly. Branding is something very important to do and there’s always alot of things to learn on how to brand yourself.

I don’t really research myself because when I do, it comes up with the other person that has my name. So for me, at this time, there’s no point. But your other tip such as the links to the social blogs is one that is key. I do that but I’m not active on my Facebook as much as I really should be and if I want to build a proper brand, I have to at least be active on all of the social media accounts I have.

And I haven’t heard of completed.com until right now. It’s something that I would have to check out.

And the thing about the negative SEO and how to get rid of it is really interesting. I try to post twice a week, but if I were to have negative SEO, should I be posting more than that?

Anyway, thanks for this informative post, James.

Adrienne, you chose a great guest poster.

P.S. Glad to see your site is back up and running again.

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111 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Hey Andrew,

Thanks for sharing your opinion and thoughts with what James posted here. He really did add to this topic and he really knows his stuff. I’m sure he’ll have an opinion about some of what you mentioned.

Thank you so much and so glad to finally be back up and running. I’m so thrilled my friend. Hey, have a great weekend okay!

~Adrienne

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112 James H.
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for reading! When it comes to Negative SEO, it depends on the amount of negative press/ reviews that are being produced for your name. If you’re generating more good posts than someone who’s generating negative posts for your name, you should be okay. The idea is to continually produce content for yourself. (And since you’re a blogger, you’re already doing that.)

As for your name, your blog name is what matters most, and you rank for that already, so congrats!

I also know it’s hard to keep abreast on all social platforms. That’s why I strongly suggest using an app like Buffer or HootSuite to share links on all of your social platforms at the same time. I’m just starting to mingle around with Google+, but I’m learning to like it more and more. My next social conquest will probably be Pinterest, even though I have no idea what I’ll be using it for yet.

But anyway, I’m glad you found my tips useful! If you ever have any more questions, feel free to ask! :-)

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113 Naveen February 22, 2014 at 2:00 AM

Hi James,

Its important that what others think about our website or brand is a matter.

These days everyone tend search engines and social medias to find customers,so it is important to optimize our brand names reach in to everywhere.

I heard it somewhere that one negative review on the web spoils 5 positive customers reputations, keeping our brands reputation is very important these days.

Completed.com, I heard it first time and will use it to connect with the people.

Thanking you.

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114 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 22, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Hey Naveen,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on what James had to share. Always good to hear your opinion and thank you so much for stopping by.

Appreciate your comment and hope you have a wonderful weekend.

~Adrienne

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115 James H.
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Hi Naveen,

I’m glad you agree that what others find about you online is becoming more and more of a serious matter. It’s very true. We actually have a blog post that goes live on our blog in a short while today about this very phenomenon of how one negative review can destroy a business or a medical practice.

I definitely invite you to stop on by and read about at 11 a.m. EST today at www[dot]brand[dot]com/blog. It’ll be one of the first articles you’ll see.

Thanks so much again for reading! I hope Completed.com really helps you out!

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116 Raviraj@mothers-day.org February 23, 2014 at 1:50 AM

I was not into branding any of my ventures so far. But this was a new learning about how branind matters . Got to create completed account and gonna make couple of brands for my latest ventures.
Thanks this was an eye opener regarding branding .

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117 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Hi Raviraj,

Glad you enjoyed learning more about branding and if you’re online building a business then I believe it’s a necessity. I’m sure that James will tell you the same thing though.

Good luck with setting up that account and I know you’ll do well.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend and have a wonderful week.

~Adrienne

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118 James H.
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Hi Raviraj,

Glad to hear you finally saw branding in a new light.

To be honest, I never thought much about branding until I started working for Brand.com. It’s one of those things as bloggers we underestimate and undervalue. It’s all irrelevant until you realize that people are judging you off these branding techniques.

The better you are at mastering them the more competent and knowledgeable you appear to your audience. And, therefore, ultimately the more followers you’re able to acquire.

Definitely take a stab at Completed.com. I’m still working on mine. It should eventually rank over time if you’re constantly updating it.

Anyway, I hope this all helps! Thanks a bunch for reading!

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119 Donald Thomas
Twitter:
February 23, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Hey there Adrienne and hello to James.

Thank you for the tips, the caution about Yelp and the turn on to Completed.com and Owner Listens. This is a big issue for me. Your brand matters and steps should be taken to protect it.
Sadly this is the last thing that a lot of new IM’ers think about and I know this was true for me.

Might I also add when you are setting up a blog name, either your own or a brand name such as “Smart Passive Income” that you get all of the extensions that go with it: ie .net .org etc… and that you immediately set up your social media pages accordingly including your youtube channel (even if you have no videos). Just a thought.

Thank you James and Adrienne for sharing this post.

Have a great day,

Donald

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120 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Hi Donald,

Glad you enjoyed what James had to share and I know you’re right about newbies not understanding this fully. But I can testify that I’ve shared this important tip with newbies and they just wanted to go with some other brand and failed to take the steps I had suggested. A few years later they’re regretting not having listened. I think a lot of people just think it’s something they can do later.

I know that over at Brand.com that’s a lot of what they teach as well. Also going to the domains that people could purchase to hurt you too. Those are a lot of steps to take but some serious ones to consider.

Thank you again Donald and good to see you as always. Hope you’re enjoying your day so far and looking forward to a great week ahead.

~Adrienne

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121 James H.
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Hi Donald,

Those are excellent suggestions! Opening YouTube channel is also another nice way to solidify your brand. It is the second-largest search engine after all, believe it or not. It only tails Google. Plus, it ranks well in the SERPs.

(And ironically Google owns YouTube. Now, you see the real reason why Google bought them, huh? It wasn’t for YouTube’s massive array of cat videos, I assure you.)

As for your thoughts on domain names, yes — Brand.com highly suggests you buy all derivatives of your brand’s name — the .com, .net, .org, .co, etc. But we also suggest buying the NEGATIVE associations with your name as well. For example, yourbrandSUCKS.com.

It sounds silly (and even feels silly) registering such a domain name, but it’s a good defensive measure from negative SEO. Check out McDonald’s, for example. They recently had a Web site ranking in their negative domain name (mcdonaldssucks.com). They obviously bought the rights to it and attempted to turn it around, but it’s still obviously a sham.

They still have a similar negative domain site (macdonaldssucks.com). So, you can see — even corporate giants aren’t immune to such a practice. If they had the foresight to buy all of these, they wouldn’t have to look like such dupes.

But, oh well. (They kinda deserve it anyway.) Thanks for reading! I hope you learned a lot!

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122 Rachel Lavern February 24, 2014 at 12:49 AM

Hi Adrienne,

It is interesting to me that I have been working with a Branding Coach for the last three months; however, none of the points raised in your post came up. I have some follow-up to do on all of your points. Going to look at Completed.com tomorrow. Shocked to know how Yelp operates since I rely on them so much.

I actually don’t think much of reviews anymore. Two years ago I attended a conference produced by a very high profile person. On the last day of the conference, time was carved out for us to give each other testimonials on camera. Testimonials from complete strangers. We told them what we did for a living and suggested a script. There were a couple thousand attendee, some of them also high profile, and almost everyone was doing this. What the?

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123 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Hi Rachel,

Wow really! Maybe your branding coach needs to go back to school! LOL!!! But seriously, this is what their site is all about. Helping people and companies understand how important branding is to them and some steps they need to take in order to be everywhere with their particular brand. I’m sure James can fill you in more on that.

It’s actually kind of sad but I agree with you. I have testimonials on my blog but they are from people who are frequent visitors and that I’ve helped. But I’ve also been taught you can buy them so I’m not sure I even believe some of them anymore myself. What is this world coming to.

Thank you Rachel for your comment and hope you have a wonderful week. Good to see you again.

~Adrienne

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124 James H.
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Hi Rachel,

Thanks so much for reading! I can attest you need to be careful who you receive advice from. Testimonials are great and all, but you need to keep in mind that many people are able to “review the reviewer” nowadays. (This is something I learned from one of our own interviewees on our blog recently.)

In other words, he basically meant that people are becoming more and more aware of “biased” reviews that are either bought or unfair in some way. They’re able to figure out who is clearly a “sponsored” reviewer and who is legitimate. (It’s no longer 1998 where people fell for that stuff so easily anymore.)

I honestly don’t condone buying testimonials at all. It’s too much of a risk for your reputation. Someone will eventually connect the dots and expose you as a sham. The same is true about buying fake followers and the like. Your testimonials, like backlinks, are best earned.

It’s okay if the only people that are willing to give you testimonials are your closest followers. That’s honestly better because it shows you’re actually reaching someone. Things will eventually snowball in your favor. Adrienne herself is a great example.

As for all of my tips, I would be more than happy to hear how they work out for you! Completed.com is definitely a nice resource for ranking. But I must warn you, rankings take time. The advantageous thing about Completed.com is that you have to update it constantly, and that’s why it’s so good for ranking.

The more things you update about yourself the more signals you’re sending to the search engines to rank you. That’s why I strongly encourage you to blog, share and comment on other people’s post. If you’re not constantly updating, the search engines bots that crawl all of your sites and profiles will start finding you less and less relevant.

And that’s counter-intuitive to your branding.

Anyway, thanks again for reading! If you still need more advice, feel free to comment me on Twitter or on here. I’ll be more than happy to help you! :-)

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125 James February 24, 2014 at 4:12 AM

Hi James, and Adrienne,

Great post, with some tips here I had not heard of, especially completed dot com – I am going right there now. I do have an about me dot com account too actually – I love the design of the site but find I don’t visit very often. Do you have any tips for keeping up with my multiple online social network profiles?

Keep up the great work,,

James

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126 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Hi James,

Good to see you again and welcome back!

Glad you enjoyed what James had to share and I’ll let him help you with your questions. He’s the pro on this subject that’s for sure! ;-)

Thank you again and you have a wonderful week.

~Adrienne

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127 James H.
Twitter:
February 24, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Hello James,

I actually do have some advice for keeping up with your social profiles. I would strongly suggest opening an account with either Buffer or HootSuite to manage all of your social accounts. You can send updates and shares to all of your accounts at the same time from these two platforms.

You can also use Klout.com to oversee your activity on your social pages, but you can’t send any updates as far as I know through it.

Completed.com will definitely be an added benefit to your branding process, as it ranks nicely in the SERPs. I just started an About.me page over the weekend, and it’s already looking good! I agree; it is a very aesthetic platform. Not sure how beneficial it’ll be in the future, but I’m going to find out!

Anyway, I hope this all helps! Thanks for reading!

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128 James February 25, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Hi James,

Thanks for the advice! I’ve not heard of either Buffer or HootSuite so will check them out. I hope other people found this advice helpful too.

Thanks again!

James

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129 Samaira Rogers February 25, 2014 at 1:14 AM

Thanks James for this awesome post!

Creating a brand is not an easy task, it require lots of time and effort. I have a blog and it has been linked with all the social media accounts but still it is not making much difference in ranking. I never heard about Completed.com, but now I am gonna make my profile on it soon.

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130 Adrienne Smith
Twitter:
February 25, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Hi Samaira,

Welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by.

Branding is so important and like anything else it does take time. I’m sure James can probably offer his suggestions on that for sure.

We appreciate your comment and you have a wonderful week. Thanks again.

~Adrienne

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131 James H.
Twitter:
February 28, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Hi Samaira,

Sorry for getting back to you so late. You’re absolutely right about how hard ranking is. Many people get upset when they don’t rank in the first couple weeks after trying something new. The honest truth is it takes much more time than that.

For the average person, it usually takes anywhere between 3 months to a year before you see any true results. SEO is a lot like a fitness regimen. The results never come fast. But if you keep at it, you’ll eventually notice a difference.

First, one of your profiles will rank. Maybe then you’ll start noticing your blog at the bottom of the first page. Once you see these results, you’ll be hooked and you won’t stop producing content for yourself.

It’s always a matter of patience. If it makes you feel better, I still don’t dominate the results for my name yet, but I’m working on it. And one of these days, I will rank for all of it simply because I’m probably the only James R. Halloran in the world producing new content for the search engines to pick up.

So, as long as you don’t lose your grind, I think you will eventually start to rank. If you have any more questions, please let me know.

Thanks for reading!

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