In 2009 I embarked on a journey to become the “Coolest guy on Google”, numero uno for this highly competitive search term. The idea was simple, if someone was to type this phrase into the words most popular search engine, my page would be sitting pretty on the top of page one.
I managed to achieve this in a few short months on a blog I created and the site was able to hold it’s position for quite a few years. It wasn’t till recently I was out to dinner and someone reminded me that they ran this search and I wasn’t the top result.
While I have not done anything to maintain that position for over four years now, I was a little disappointed to see that the Good Guys now hold the number one rank for this search term? I mean they are good … but are they cool enough for this label?
There is only one solution. I have to reclaim my crown.
Look out Google, I’m back baby!
The question is … Can this be achieved in today’s internet climate? While I have been involved in search engine optimasation for years, it is much harder to rank for keywords today than it was seven years ago. Google has made many (much needed) modifications to it’s algorithm to stop blokes like me from manipulation the search engine results.
Google’s attempt to kill off SEO, while it has been largely successful has managed to produce a new breed of internet marketing cockroaches. People who will over promise and under deliver for a quick buck.
These dodgy people are what got me out of the SEO business and back doing what I love … my own projects, so I have to thank them.
But now that I have some free time on my hands, I will reclaim what is mine. Look out Good Guys, the coolest guy is gunning for you! You may have the coolest fridges in town, but I have more swagger than Mick Jagger.
How I became the Coolest guy on Google
It’s such a long time ago now, but in 2009 I was very much interested in Internet Marketing. At the time, I was working a full time job and running my web development and hosting business on the side.
I saw Internet Marketing as the future. Launching average people with decent computing skills to god like status and making them millions in the process.
It was around this time I discovered Brad Fallon.
A bunch of SEO gurus had a competition to see who could rank the highest for the search term, “the coolest guy on the planet”. Brad was number one.
He achieved this by anchoring thousands of links to his blog. A strategy that in today’s age would penalise your site and most likely make it impossible to recover and hold a rank for any keyword in the future.
I added Brad on Twitter and got one of those automated response DM’s.
The link took me to the search results where lo and behold, Brad Fallon’s website was sitting in that magical 1st position.
This inspired me see if I could achieve similar results. I started reading up on search engine optimisation techniques. I bought a handful of domain names to start my experiments on.
My early search engine experiments allowed me to dabble in all aspects of SEO to see what worked and what didn’t. This was in the early days where it was only starting to be introduced the concept of white, grey and black SEO.
As the search engine giants grew, the grey got blacker. Even some of the white optimisation techniques got a little grey-er.
I managed to learn on the fly. An in a relatively short time become quite good at getting proven results.
What works today?
Back when I started, things like having plenty of keyword links and keyword stuffing worked a treat. This is when you jam your keywords into the content. E.g. “Coolest guy on Google, something, something, Coolest guy on Google”.
These techniques would penalise you in today’s climate.
Google has made some massive changes to it’s algorithm. This is to limit individuals from manipulating their way to the top positions for their favoured keywords.
What these updates have done has leveled the playing field again. Sites are rated on quality content. In the past, you needed to think like a search engine to get the results. Now you need to think like a regular human as Google strives to make the results more natural.
The social aspect is huge in today’s world in terms of ranking well. If more people are talking about your site, that can be a huge green tick in the eyes of the search engines.
Variety is the spice of life
Looking at the top results as of mid 2016, I see quite a bit of variation to my original key phrase of coolest guy on Google. The new focus seems to be on “Good guy Google” which was a viral meme on just how awesome Google is.
So rather than regurgitating the same keywords, look to vary them up a bit. Jump onto an online Thesaurus and look for other ways to describe things.
Rather than coolest guy on Google, I could look at variations of coolest. These have been pinched straight of the Thesaurus:
- Superior and so on.
Roll with the times
If you want to be found online today, you have to implement new technology. Most visitors use their phone or tablet to browse these days, so it’s important to make sure your site is responsive to be view-able on as many devices as possible.
For example, when creating this post I discovered that my site was not mobile friendly. It actually was, but one of my caching plugins was working a little too well. This caused it to serve a static non-mobile page, rather than redirecting to the mobile version.