7.6 Being Found

If no one can find what you’ve said about yourself, you might as well not have said it. Which means that if search engines can’t find you, you might as well not exist.

You should try to make your home-base site the first item on the first page of search results for your name, particularly in Google. This is not a matter of faking out the search companies—they look extremely askance at such attempts—but rather of providing them with the kind of information they need to recognize your page as the definitive item about you.

This may be difficult if you have an extremely common name or share the same (or even a similar) name with a celebrity. But if you’re the John Smith who blogs about mobile phones and lives in Seattle, you should be able to be found by anyone who has the slightest idea of who they’re looking for.

Commenting on other people’s sites typically won’t help get you into search rankings, though that shouldn’t stop you from doing it. The blog comment spammers have so polluted the system that most blogging software now tells search engines not to look at the links in comments.

Because search is so important, the field of “search engine optimization” (SEO) has evolved into a huge and somewhat controversial business. At mediactive.com we’ll be creating a list of some reputable SEO sites and companies, as well as offering some specific tips on how to optimize your home base so people can find you.

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