Optimize Google Search Results For Your Name With BrandYourself

Tina Sieber 17-07-2012

optimize your name google search The Internet is an unforgiving place – it never forgets. Whatever gets posted online, whether it’s a careless statement or a funny picture, it could very well backfire and hurt you in the future. It’s even worse when you share a name with a reckless individual who ends up ruining your reputation as much as their own. This is what happened to Pete, one of the co-founders of BrandYourself.


Pete was denied internships while in college because search results indicated he was a drug dealer. Fortunately, he had a friend, BrandYourself co-founder Patrick, who could help him optimize his search results. After they managed to solve Pete’s problems, the two of them decided to create a tool that would make it easy and free for everyone to control their online reputation. So, have you Googled your name, recently?

Taking Control Over Your Online Reputation

BrandYourself takes you through every single step of the process with clear and brief explanations. First, you set up your profile and the name you want to control in search engines.

optimize your name google search

In a following step, BrandYourself shows you the search results for your name on Google. You can now mark the results as positive, negative, or as a (neutral) link that is not you. Below is a screenshot of my top 3 results when I first set up BrandYourself two months ago. Two of my top three results I considered neutral because they were ‘not me’ (Facebook) or at least not specifically (LinkedIn).

optimize your name


Once you have marked all links, you can get your BrandYourself score and the site will take you through steps to improve your result and thereby your score.

optimize your name

Steps to improve your score include publishing your BrandYourself profile, submitting positive links you would like to see on your first page, and boosting your links to make them rank higher.

The boosting steps are particularly interesting. Essentially, there are four of them. First, you add the link you want to boost to your BrandYourself profile, then you link to your BrandYourself profile from the URL you want to boost (if possible), of course you need to add your name to the page you want to boost, and finally you share it with your social networks. In other words, BrandYourself uses its own reputation and that of social networks to pull your preferred links to the top of Google’s search results.


optimize your name

As the screenshots above reveal, the graphical user interface is very clear and simple. Nevertheless, if you are longing for more in-depth explanations, you can expand additional bits of information at almost every step. BrandYourself tries to be extremely transparent. While SEO is an incredibly hard to predict business, BrandYourself succeeds in using a few very simple rules to optimize your search results.

Does It Work?

Most likely yes, but I’m not sure it did for me. Below are my top 5 results after giving BrandYourself two months. As you can see, the LinkedIn result essentially didn’t move, the Facebook profile that wasn’t me dropped by two positions, and my own Twitter account moved up to position 3. While it is little wonder that the Facebook result was surpassed by my Twitter account and my more or less inactive Google+ account, I didn’t use BrandYourself to boost any of these links.

optimize your name search engine


On the other hand, my progress report shows that there was quite a bit of movement in my search results. Although my overall score didn’t change, the result is satisfying. That said, it is a fact that my name is closely tied to MakeUseOf, which has a very good SEO ranking itself. Hence, my search results are pretty much optimized already since MakeUseOf probably is the biggest factor in regards to my search results. BrandYourself will probably have a much bigger impact for someone who barely has any of their own results on the first page of Google search results.

optimize your name google search


BrandYourself almost turns SEO into a fun game. In combination with regular email updates that remind you to update your search score or boost your links, this may make it seem dodgy at times. However, BrandYourself doesn’t make unrealistic promises and all explanations are credible, which underlines their professionalism. Besides, it’s completely free, unless you decide to upgrade to use advanced features. Once you understand the basic principles of how BrandYourself works, however, you can start boosting links yourself, without the help of the tool. BrandYourself just makes this fairly simply process more convenient and fun.

If you have used BrandYourself, please share with us whether it worked for you!


Related topics: Google Search, SEO, Web Search.

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  1. bumpingbell
    September 20, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Why I've tried to sign up for an invite code but I haven't get it?

  2. Jaxx D
    July 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Now this is something amazing.

  3. Hung Tran
    July 21, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Time for some serious self-marketing

  4. Satish
    July 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    This is really cool. But Facebook and Google plus will allow duplicate names and so as Google. This is some thing we need to take care of :) Quite interesting that even this kind of tools exist in market. Its just that i didnt knew about it :O

  5. Babar
    July 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Interesting article :) thanks for sharing

  6. VS Vishnu
    July 20, 2012 at 9:51 am

    good option..

    • Wael Yahyaoui
      July 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      yes in deed

  7. Chris Hoffman
    July 20, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Great tool, but my name is way too common. Trying to dominate the Google SERPs for it would be tilting against windmills.

  8. Danny Stieben
    July 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    It's great to see that something like this exists! I'd use it, but all of my top links are all good, and all mention me. :)

  9. Aditya Roy
    July 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you for the post. Very useful.

  10. Engagedots CRM
    July 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Good one. SEO plays a vital role in enhancing a greater visibility in search engine.

  11. motsmanish
    July 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Gonna try for sure.
    by the way, open id login using wordpress is not working.

    • Tina
      July 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

      Where and how did you try to log in using WordPress and OpenID? Do you mean logging into MakeUseOf using an OpenID account?

      • motsmanish
        July 19, 2012 at 8:54 am

        Answer to your question: Yes.
        Tried OpenID option to login using my wordpress account, but it redirects me to some page and no further action takes place. Its been from a month.

        • Tina
          July 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

          The login system is provided by Gigya. Unfortunately, we don't have direct control over it. I'll see whether we can get someone from Gigya to look into this issue. Thanks for bringing it up!

  12. gpvprasad
    July 18, 2012 at 8:35 am

    My search score is A+

  13. Fred Strong
    July 17, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Will definitely check this out....thanks!!

  14. PatrickAmbron
    July 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Thanks for the Article Tina, and thanks for all the comments guys! If any of you get put on a waitlist let me know!

    • Tina
      July 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Most welcome, Patrick.

    • Henrique F
      July 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Hi there, tks for creating this tool. Seems to be VERY useful not just for small business, but for everyone that's in fact concerned regarding its reputation.
      I've already subscribed to the waitlist. Cheers

  15. samy jain
    July 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    very well written...

  16. Charles Campbell
    July 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I needed this, thanks!

  17. Sharon Wiatt Jones
    July 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I have found BrandYourself to be very helpful. It convinced me to use my maiden name as middle name so I'm not mistaken for a major rap star, among others. Also, I didn't realize how many of my articles over the years have been cited or used in other publications.

    Also, in some cases my name was used in irrelevant postings and I was able to get those deleted.

    It's not easy to optimize writing I've done before using my new social media name, but I'll try to figure it out.

    • Tina
      July 18, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Thank you for the feedback, Sharon!

  18. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    July 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Will try.

    • PatrickAmbron
      July 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      Let us know what you think!

      • Shakirah Faleh Lai
        July 18, 2012 at 8:48 am

        It's cool but I'll try Brand Yourself later.

  19. Muhammad Ahmad
    July 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Good to know.

  20. Rigoberto Garcia
    July 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Great Tina... Thanks

  21. Angela Loupe
    July 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Interesting - we were just discussing "branding yourself' on an FB page. I'll have to share!

  22. Shawn Ashree Baba
    July 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    This definitely seems like a great thing to use, especially for those small business and personal brands trying to get their name out there.

    • PatrickAmbron
      July 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Thanks Shawn, let us know if you run into any trouble

  23. Ben Jones
    July 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Will have to check this out. While I'm relieved not to have any negative associations with my name, it's so common that it may be useful to do some intentional review and positioning.

    • Tina
      July 18, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Good point, Ben. Your results may be quite different on local Google / search engine pages.

  24. Yiannis Papanastasopoulos
    July 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    That's amazing. Thanks for this!

    • PatrickAmbron
      July 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Thanks Yiannis, appreciate it!