Getting to Page OneThe Experiment

For a long time, I’ve been the guy behind the curtain with many of my websites and projects. As one of my business associates put it, I’m like the Wizard of Oz. You don’t completely understand what he’s doing back there, but you know he’s pushing levers and buttons to make things run. Frankly, I’m not the kind of person who enjoys the limelight. However, I’ve been getting into the website buying and selling business and have been putting my personal name on a lot of the products that we sell. Due to this, it makes business sense to begin getting some name recognition in the market as an expert on buying and selling sites.

So, let’s assume you’re positioning yourself as an expert in a field and someone wants to find out more about you. If they search for your name on Google, what do they find?

In my case, I searched for “Chris Yates” on Google and I was nowhere to be found. So, I decided I wanted to get to page one and preferably number one on Google for the term “Chris Yates” in 30 days.

The Before

I had a few things going for me before starting the experiment.

  1. I had recently registered the domain chrisyates.org. Search engines love it if the website address is the “exact match” to the search term for which you are searching. I would have preferred chrisyates.com but the Chris Yates that owned it wasn’t at all interested in selling it to me. Bummer.
  2. I had recently installed wordpress on my site and had set up a very basic personal blog type of website.
  3. I had several websites I controlled which could be leveraged.
  4. The term “Chris Yates” isn’t nearly as difficult to rank for as say “Weight Loss” because there are fewer competitors.

Even with those assets, I had a brand new website that was basically nowhere to be found on Google. Brand new websites typically have a tough time ranking in the search engines so this experiment is challenging. I’m also not the only Chris Yates in the world (obviously) so getting to number one means knocking out all the other Chris Yates’s of the world.

The Work

I did my best to document the steps I took throughout the month, but before I get into that, let me explain the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). I’ve been doing SEO for years, have taught it at seminars, and provided SEO services for companies large and small. There are two basics that you have to know to be successful.

  1. Create quality content which includes the keyword you’d like to rank for.
  2. Get other people to talk about you and link back to your website.

I could go on talking about all the other factors that affect rank in search engines for hours, but if you focus your efforts on these two, you’ll do well.

Before I started the experiment, I took care of item 1 above by writing a few hundred words on the About Chris Yates section of my site and fleshing out the homepage of my site with a few blog posts.

Here is a time-line of the work I did and my rank on Google for the term “Chris Yates” that day.

  • May 6th – not in first 10 pages.
    • Looked over every website I have control over and searched for mentions of my name. I linked each of these back to chrisyates.org.
    • I asked friends who had websites to link to chrisyates.org in the following fashion <a href=”http://www.chrisyates.org/”>Chris Yates</a>. I picked up a few links from that throughout the month.
    • I submitted a press release about my new blog on a free press release website with links back to my site. I randomly picked the press release site and if I could go back and do it again, I would have chosen to pay for a site like prweb.com because the one I chose never showed up in Google News. Here’s a link to the press release about chrisyates.org.
  • May 9th – first spot on page 7
  • May 10th – fifth spot on page 5
  • May 11th – Bounced around from second spot on page 6 to 4th spot on page 5.
    • I updated my Chris Yates YouTube channel and uploaded a video with a link back to my site in the description of the video.
    • Updated the about Chris Yates section of my site.
  • May 12th – second spot on page 6
  • May 13th – Bounced around from second spot on page 6 to 8th spot on page 5.
  • May 16th – Second spot on page 6
  • May 17th – Seventh spot on page 1. Bingo!
  • May 18th – Seventh spot on page 1.
  • May 19th – Seventh spot on page 1.
  • May 20th – Seventh spot on page 1.
  • May 23rd – Eighth spot on page 1.
  • May 24th – Seventh spot on page 1.
  • May 25th – Eighth spot on page 1.
  • May 27th – Eighth spot on page 1.
    • Hired someone to build 115 quality links to my site. Cost about $20.
  • May 28thInterview published on IdeaMensch.
  • May 30th – Eighth spot on page 1.

The After

As you can see, it only took about 10 days to hit page one. From there, I kind of got stuck near the bottom of page one. I suspect with a couple more weeks time (considering some of the things that occurred near the end of May and with this post going live), I’ll take the number two spot. I think it might take me another one to three months to consistently take over spot one.

Sorry to the other Chris Yates’s of the world, but I’m determined to get to number one!

Have questions about SEO or would you like to know some more specifics on the work I did? Make a comment below.