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May 2010

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Kevin Gamble

More information is needed. You need to know which page(s) the donor is preferring to be found. The problem could be completely with those pages, and have little to do with your gj burying the content.

Eduardo Peirano

Beth, I read your twitter calling for help. Your donor can't control other sites and Google ranking. She can control her site and social network profiles and hope they become authoritative for Google. I hope it helps.



I had a similar experience. I blogged on someone whose work I admire. Perhaps because I posted it to my blogger site (which I assume gets better rankings in a google search) and because the person's name was in the title of the post and my traffic was good at that time, when her name was googled, my post pushed her stuff down.

I deleted the entire post to help her get back the rankings. My guess is that if I had left it up as time passed and she increased traffic her traffic it would have been a non-issue. However, it wasn't a reasonable solution to her. For a variety of legitimate reasons she wanted to get her rank back immediately.

It was apparent she had a really strong emotional tie to her online identity and I did not feel very strongly about the post. I respected her feelings and let it be.

I recommend you remove the text thanking her. The bots will pick up the changes and push you down over time. The other solutions you are considering are just good advice to everyone.

Nathan Ketsdever

If she has a blog that uses tagging, she can add her name to the tags.

Use other social media to leverage against it. For instance, wikipedia entries, twitter, or delicious. (Wikipedia's entry on social software has a longer list. Linked in, stumbleupon and Digg are other options) MyBlogLog and Blogcatalog (I think the later more than the former) are similarly helpful in creating name rank (especially if you use the name heading trick)

My understanding of SEO rather mediocre, but the text you link to (anchor text) is rather important to google. So for instance, if the problematic post is linked to her name, perhaps linking to "click here" would shift how google searches the page in question. Or why not change the form of her name that appears in original post. For instance, omiting her first name might help. (I don't know how long it takes for googles spiders to realize the change has taken place).

Get more reciprocal links to pages that are important to her online identity. That says folks are pointing to you in the blogosphere.

Beth Kanter

some links I'm adding here
If you removed the name, it would eventually drop out of Google. You can speed up the process a little bit by going to Google's webpage removal tool ( and tell it that part of the page has changed, and to remove the "snippet" it displays. You don't have to own the site to do that, either, since you're not removing a page. It helps too say if your blog ever gets hacked and you get drug spam, you can remove the content then go and speed up the removal of the cache of those pages.

Here is a good post to forward to that individual about how to do reputation management for yourself.

Rachel Weidinger

Great questions Beth! Looking forward to seeing you at SXSW. In the mean time, here are some things I've learned about online donor recognition and the management of one's google results.

a.) Delete the thank you post and the donor name from the list on
my blog (I can't control the splogs)
Response: Consider removing her name only. Encourage the donor to build her own web presence. In the future, give donors a clear option to chose to have web recognition or not, and honor donor requests to be removed.

How long will it take to clear out of google?

Response: 1-3 months in my experience. Ouch.

b.) Would it also be a good idea for this person to grab the domain name with their name and set up a blog too?

Response: Absolutely grab the domain name. Only worry about setting up a blog if she'll actually blog, or consider just putting up a single bio post as a simple way to have a search result you actually want.

c.) What about also setting up a profile on linkedin and twitter and the like with the full name as the profile url?

Response: She should carefully choose to use her name on the web. We all should. As online social networks grow, change, merge, and get acquired we need to be able to anticipate and manage our online identities. It threw me for a loop when Yahoo acquired Upcoming (or was it Flickr?) and forced an un-doable account association.

If your search results are important to you (and they should be) use caution when choosing to join networks and use Google alerts to make sure nobody's using your name in ways you don't want them to. I'm also clear with friends who take photos likely to be posted online or link to my blog(s) whether or not I want my name used.

I'd love to talk more about this, feel free to ping me back. I've dug out of a few disasters. :)

Rachel Weidinger

One more thing..I've been trying to remember how to ask Google to crawl the website I just made for my mom & dad's otherwise delightfully Luddite jewelry store in Columbus.

Ah ha! Here you can request the spiders to crawl your site:

Searchboth is the first site to place google and yahoo side by side on one split screen. The web site takes the user's query and creates a browser window with two frames, with the results from Yahoo! on one side and those from google on the other. It has completely end up the hassles involved while searching different search engines at the same time.

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