There is always talk on sites like mine about how you have to actively manage your profile online. You have to be in control of your brand. But what happens when it isn’t your profile that has the problem. What happens when the honest content that you create (albeit for monetary gain, but actual content) isn’t as high on the search engine rankings that you expected.
It’s time for a little trash management. I don’t mean cleaning up of your content. If it’s actual honest content, it’s probably pretty clean anyways. But, what I do mean is to clean up the search engine results.
Take a close look at the results that are above you on the results page. Many will be sites with actual honest content that the owner did better SEO on, or the page has simply been around longer. But, some of the results will be downright spammy. Sites like Squidoo, Google Groups, and Blogspot blogs are frequently used for the proliferation of spam links. It’s fairly simple really, make a quick account, create a page or lens or blog, fill said page with keywords and affiliate links and viola! You have your very own spam page.
Cleaning up these pages can be fairly simple as well. You probably won’t get the job done on your own, but if you are consistent with it, the efforts of others will help you as well. In all of the cases, the hosting organization will have a way to report the page as being of “less than admirable” quality. i.e. Spammy. Report it.
That’s it. As you report the items, others will do so as well. When enough reports come in, that site will get pulled. Next time the search engine goes to crawl the site, it won’t be there. It then gets pulled from the index and no longer shows up in the results. Instantly, you’ve moved your listing up one spot on the results page. If you’re already on the first page, one spot can mean a lot.
One suggestion here though. Be honest about your reporting. Don’t report a non-spammy site simply because they rank higher than you. You wouldn’t want them to do that to you, so don’t do it to them. Report the truly spammy sites. The ones with the blocks of keywords that are gibberish to a human, but are golden keys to the search engines.
At the same time that you’re helping yourself out, you’re also helping the rest of the internet population by helping to weed out a few of the spammy sites and let the real content come through.
What non-standard ways do you have to increase your search engine rankings?