John Chow Effect

You’ve done a terrific job branding your website. Now disaster strikes: Google bounces you out of the SERPs. And you can’t even rank for your own brand or name – say it’s John Chow. Searchers are using your name to find you. The top results in the SERPs are feeding off the brand you built.

So what’s a webmaster to do?

If you haven’t prepared for this already, get a site up there, and fast, that will rank in the top spot for your website name. A new domain, or a free platform (Squidoo, WordPress.com, Blogger, LiveJournal, etc.–or all of them). Direct that traffic to the real domain. Use javascript on the links, nofollow, whatever you have to do to keep the ranking site safe (linking to a ‘bad neighborhood’ excuse goes *poof*).

Chances are it won’t be that hard to rank, unless your name becomes a ranking sport–like John Chow, :wink:, and everyone has fun trying to rank for it. You know, a sport for bloggers and webmasters.

Another good reason to own as much of the Top 10 as you can with whatever means you have available. Call it your brand’s “Emergency Preparedness Plan”. No harm done if you prepare a domain or two for this now, a step or two ahead of any Do-Evil Internet Overlords. Just in case you’re the next John Chow.

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I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.