The Great Land Rush: Online Reputation and Grabbing the Top Spots on a Search Engine Results Page

In 1889, President Harrison opened up the Oklahoma territory to anyone who wanted it. On April 22, thousands of settlers lined up across the border ready for their chance to sprint for a choice spot of land. Whoever got to the land first could lay claim to it for free.

Of course, nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find a great deal on property like that (although he falling housing market is coming close). However, space is always available on the internet and it is always up for grabs. As long as you have the right tools and skills, you can occupy just about any space on the internet you wish. But in terms of reputation management, the space you want to occupy the most is the top few places on a Goolge search for your brand or company name. And you can do it quite well by diversifying your tactics.

Link Diversity to Push Negative Results Down

In order to maximize your search engine results page real estate, you’ll have to take up as much space as possible at the top of the page. This means you should be maximizing your SEO for PPC, local results, your homepage, and subdomains.

PPC (Adwords)

PPC ads (Pay-per-click) are the types of ads you see at the top of a search engine results page. On Google they’re also called Adwords. When you buy an Adwords spot targeted at your brand name, your paid link will appear at the top of the page, pushing other results further down the page, giving you more page real estate right off the bat.

Local Results

When you optimize your Google places page, it will also appear in the search results along with a map, taking up more room on the page and pushing undesirable information further down. In fact, if you have multiple locations, create as many place pages for them as you can, so you can dominate that list as well.

Homepage (with sitelinks)

Of course, you want your home page to appear in the number one spot on the page, but if you are consistently the number one spot on the page, and Google trusts your website, they may automatically create sitelinks for you. Sitelinks are the little links that appear underneath the main page listing for highly-trusted sites. These sitelinks take up more room on the page and highlight your page as the most important.

Subdomains

Subdomains are like separate websites that are connected to your main site. For example, “products.yourcompany.com” would be a subdomain for” yourcompany.com” and is treated by search engines as a separate website. When you can create subdomains for your site with specific themes and optimize them for search, you can crowd out the competition by snatching up more real estate on the page.

Real estate is free

Although you can’t pay Google to rank you #1 on the page, there are a number of ways you can grab the real estate at the top of a Google search for your company name or brand by diversifying your strategy with different types of links that will crowd out the competition and leave you with a page dominated by positive information about your company.