Search engines like Google use complex and secret algorithms to decide which sites will be listed first in search results, but what never changes is that the most important sites will always be on top. If you don't have many mentions then all sorts of irrelevant and spammy pages will appear quite high in the list. You can easily push them down by getting your startup mentioned on sites that are ranked very highly. The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Mashable, TheNextWeb and Techcrunch all rank highly but getting covered on their pages is far from easy.
But there are many sites that are very highly ranked and also allow you to simply walk in and create a page for your business -- these are mostly social networking and social media sites. All you have to do is create an account of each of these and place at least some minimum content and very soon everything, or almost everything, on the first page of search results will be owned by you. Later when you get professional help and start getting coverage in major media some of these results will move down automatically to make space for these articles.
You can find suitable sites just by searching for some other companies and see which of the social sites comes up first, but to get fast results I recommend that you start by aiming to add nine more sites to your existing website so that you can fill the first page of results like this:
1. Your own website
2. Your own blog
3. Twitter account
4. Facebook page
5. LinkedIn company page
6. Google+ page
7. YouTube channel
8. Quora board (yes, Quora does allow this. See Quora answer on this topic)
9. Pinterest page
10. Soundcloud page
Depending on your business you might not find Pinterest or Soundcloud appropriate but you can replace them with other sites like Slideshare and there are new ones being launched all the time. You can find these easily just by looking at the sites that rank highly in searches for other companies.
Even if you are working on your own, to get a minimum viable presence on these social sites can easily be done before the end of today, giving a fantastic return for surprisingly little effort. Later you can try pitching to media -- though you probably need professional help for that -- and more creative ideas. For example, if your startup is located in a city covered by Gidsy you could consider organizing a visit to your office or a coffee-with-startup-founder event.
Lectures, Workshops & Coaching
For one-to-one coaching, lectures and workshops on this topic see andrewhennigan.com or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0033 6 79 61 42 81.
Related posts on Branding and Reputation Management:
Choosing Pronounceable Brand Names: Lessons from the Cuil Saga
Five Simple Steps to Improve Your Online Reputation
Branding in the Age of Search Engines
Why Having Accounts on Photo Sharing Sites Is Good for Your Image
Sign Up Now: Joining New Networking Sites Boosts Brand, Reputation
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