Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Adwords and Advertising Your Identity...

Ever go to Google and enter your own name as the search term? It's amazing what comes up - about 99% of the time, you're lucky if you get linked to at all.

Here's my challenge: I want to make it so that when someone goes to Google and enters "Rob Domanski", my website will be displayed at or near the top of the results. Since I only have one website, and my name is not all that common, this shouldn't be much of a problem, right? Well then why is it nearly impossible?

The problem I'm referring to actually has a professional sounding name: "search engine optimization". In fact, an entire industry has risen over the past few years, where companies charge a fee for improving your Google rankings. How brilliant! But does anyone else see a larger problem on the cyber-horizon - that Google has more control over our internet presence, identity, and visibility than we do over ourselves?

There's something beyond frustrating with the fact that when someone Google's my name, they are sooner directed to a quote I posted on a music discussion board in 1996 than they are to my personal website, this blog, or other up-to-date and more representative internet sites, each of which receives significant web traffic. Maybe this is just a technical problem with Google's search algorithm, but it's maddening nonetheless.

So how did I finally solve the problem? Simple. This morning I sucked it up and created a Google AdWords account - basically transforming my name into a business and advertising myself. So now when someone Google's "Rob Domanski", my name and website will (hopefully and sometimes) be displayed on the results page in the form of an advertisement. At least I'll be listed, but the catch is that I have to pay each time someone clicks on my link.

Is it only a matter of time until we each are forced to incorporate ourselves into an LLC company? Why not go a little further and have an IPO to sell stock shares in your own identity?

Is this crazy to anyone else?


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