Now this isn’t going to work for anything even semi-competitive, but if you are a small-to-medium sized business or an individual with a somewhat unique name it should do the trick.  Here’s seven simple things you can do to take control of the first page of Google:

1. Go to KnowEm.com and register your brand name / business name / individual name on all of the sites in your niche.  Then use the accounts to build authority, trust and credibility.  Engage with the community.  Share your ideas and insights.

2. Write a press release about something / anything even somewhat newsworthy.  Optimize it and distribute it through PR.com, PRWeb.com, etc.  Upload it to Scribd and other such document hosting sites.  Email it directly to blogs, news sites, etc in your niche.  Get the word out.

3. If you don’t own yourname.com or yourkeyword(s).com, go to your favourite domain registrar and purchase one of them. You’ll also need some decent hosting; I highly recommend (MT)MediaTemple. Then you’ll want to install WordPress, and start building your website / blog.  You might want to check out Chris Pearson’s excellent Thesis theme, too.

4. Write a couple kickass articles, and offer them up to related sites for publication.  This is called guest posting.  Don’t forget to give yourself some good anchor text when linking back to your blog or website. Use Google News to find publishing partners in your niche, and try to establish a rapport with them.

5. For the weaker articles developed in step 4, give them a quick copy edit and distribute them via article distribution sites like EzineArticles.  Again, give yourself some decent anchor text in the body of the article and again in the footer.

6. Build a slideshow and post it to Slideshare, or shoot a quick video and post it to YouTube. Optimize the titles, descriptions, tags, etc to reflect your brand name / business name / individual name.

7. If you are a local business, be sure to claim your local listings at the search engines, review sites, etc. If you’re an individual, claim your Google profile and link to a handful of the accounts you set up in step 1.

As mentioned above, this probably won’t help you much if you are trying to rank for something competitive (think credit cards, mortgage insurance, poker, etc).  Tip: don’t be afraid to buy some links to the pages / content you’ve created above (aside from your own site, that is) to give them some extra ranking power and to help flow link juice back to your main site.  I mean, seriously…do you think Google is going to penalize Slideshare or PRWeb for buying links? :P

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