I Googled my name recently.
Almost immediately I felt a slight sense of frustration and embarrassment.
These feelings were not evoked by the ‘egocentric’ act of ‘Self Googling’ (honest), I mean everyone does that…don’t they?
The frustration was that Google perpetually (ahem yes I checked repeatedly) self corrected, assuming I was actually searching for another Gary Monk, (actually spelt with 2r’s and captain of Premier League football team Swansea City)
This meant I had to click through to the ‘right’ Gary Monk every time.
The acute embarrassment was not created, by finding something I would rather not see about myself online, rather by noticing that once I had clicked through to the ‘real’ Gary Monk, my most recent blog post was August last year.
Well I have been busy etc etc, but still my gut reaction was that I needed to post something, anything. Just write absolutely anything, at least with a revised date it will look more current!
The goal (no footy pun intended) I immediately set myself was for this blog site to be number 1 in Google and of course for Google to no longer assume ‘gary monk’ was a typo in favour of the 2R version.
I have cheekily employed some immediate tactics in this post. Not wanting to help the other Gary Monk (with 2Rs) in the search engine stakes I have refused to write his name correctly anywhere in this blog, referring to him henceforth as 2Rs. I have ‘generously’ used the name Gary Monk throughout this post, even in the blog title and alt tags of the images (in case you didn’t notice) in the hope that this increased ‘keyword density’ might appeal to Google when Gary Monk (1R) is typed into the search field (most likely by Gary Monk himself)
Maybe my blog will not have the gravity to usurp the captain of a mid-table premiership footy team, but it will make this Gary Monk feel like he is doing something positive towards his goal. Also I am not against 2Rs owning his 2R space but would prefer his gets his online hands off the 1R territory.
Now I am not entirely comfortable with peppering Gary Monk throughout this blog post especially resorting to speaking about myself (that’s Gary Monk to be clear) in the 3rd person in order to shoehorn a few more gratuitous Gary Monks in there, but it is a means to an end. (although I am not sure which of the 50 shades of Grey Hat SEO this falls under)
Longer term I have also committed to writing regular blog posts to meet my objectives of being Google’s preferred Gary Monk and getting this site to the top of the rankings.
After some reflection, I realised I have a goal of personal Google domination and at least the semblance of a plan to get there (admittedly it may need some work!) but I have not explored my purpose for doing this?
Is it ego driven? to generate some discussion and debate? provide useful content to the relevant online communities? for fun? to generate leads for my business? to increase my online presence and impact?
Any one of these is ok, if I am clear about it. I should of course establish success metrics where appropriate, for example being able to quantify business leads gained (or possibly increase in head circumference size for the more self-indulgent purposes)
However this quick fire reaction, actually means I am actually guilty of what I often challenge Pharma on, in the course of my work. The knee-jerk “We need to do this now and this is how we will do it” without exploring the purpose and what real success actually looks like.
‘Let us try to optimise our websites for search’ without considering whether any of our target patients or doctors will actually go there.
If we do get them to our website, what will they actually do differently as a result, what call to actions are in place to both drive and measure these behavioural shifts?
The list goes on… ‘we need to ‘do a social media campaign’, create a series of mobile apps, maximise hits on our site…’
These objectives are often formed without understanding how our audience or company will actually benefit as a result.
So then, I need to go back to defining my purpose, or simply wait for 2Rs to retire from professional football.