One problem many people encounter is the fact that they don’t appear on Google and other search engines the way that they like. If you have an uncommon name which is not referenced in any popular web pages then a single mention in a popular site can immediately become the top hit, this may not be the post you want (EG you send a dirty joke to some friends and it ends up on the archive of a popular mailing list). If you have a more common name then you may want to compete with other people who share the same name with similar problems. The solution to these problems is known as Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO).
- Recently to improve things in this regard I have registered the domain RussellCoker.com. Domains that end in .com are often regarded as authoritative sources of information on the topic in question, and are also often typed in to browsers. If you visit the RussellCoker.com domain then you’ll find that it’s quite bare, just links to some other things that I do. I will make it a little more user-friendly but the main aim is just having links.
- One thing that I have been doing for almost a decade is to include URLs of some of my web pages in my signature of email that I send. When I send messages to mailing lists with public archives (or when other people forward my mail to such lists) these links will become visible to search engines. So I now have thousands of links to my web site from hundreds of sites all over the world. Some of these links are old (which may make them more highly rated by search engines). This not only gives benefits for direct hits from search engines, but when people search for terms that are relevant to my work they will often hit archives of my mailing list postings, and then they will often see a benefit in visiting my web site.
Most strategies of SEO that apply to corporate web sites will also apply to individuals (do a web search and you’ll find many pages of advice on these issues). But the above two are the only ones I have discovered which apply specifically to individuals (registering an appropriate .com domain name if possible is a standard practice for companies and something that is done long before SEO is considered).