The Ultimate Guide on How to Rank on Your Name or Someone Else’s Name

This is something that people will call reputation management. Some call it just SEO. Some people call it Brand SERPs, but either way, it’s when you go into Google and search for somebody’s name, ideally your name and you dominate those search results.

So before we go into the step-by-step process, let’s think about why you want to rank. Probably the most common reason people want to rank are:

1. Name protection so people who search for you can find you easily.


So if I do a search for Dennis Yu, then I want to control what shows up there. So you can see that there’s my website and videos– and they don’t have to be videos that you made. They could be videos that feature you or have you in the name such as the below:

So this is a video with Tom ferry on Tom Ferry’s channel and my name’s in it. So Google’s looking at all these videos that have my name and they’re saying, “Well, it looks like these ones tend to be the best ones this time”.

You can see that Google even pulled out particular moments. And these are great highlights that we can make more content around.

Almost everything on the 1st page in Dennis Yu is me, even though there are a lot of people named Dennis Yu and there are 38 million search results, which is competitive. 

If you dominate the first page, then it’s harder for somebody to try to write a negative review about you, because they have to get past all the good results that you have. 

Even if you don’t have someone that is attacking you, because you never know in retail, or you have a client who goes crazy, you always want to be preemptive. 

Remember: The strongest defense is the best offense and vice versa. 

If we’re trying to rank on any kind of keyword, we need to look at related searches or what other people are also asking to see if we can rank on the secondary searches to then be able to rank on big searches as they tie together.  

So what do people look for in Dennis? 


They want to know my net worth. They want to know about BlitzMetrics. They want to know what is Office Hours. So Google is showing us what these related terms are as well.

2.  Brand protection


You can see that we dominate on courses. And we have site links and I want to say the maximum is eight. So the more trust you have, the more site links you can have. 

Though you can’t control how many site links Google gives you, generally the more authoritative you are, the higher your domain authority, and the more of these you’re going to get.

So I’d encourage you to Google your name, look at how many there are then phrase match and look at how many there are when you do a title search. And that should give you a sense of competition. 

When you do a search, put in PWS=0. What does PWS=0 mean? It means personalized web search is off. 

So when you log in without it, Google is going to show you results that are personalized for what you have done, for where you have been, for everything about you. Everyone gets a slightly different set of search results. 

So if you are in the industry of Search Engine Optimization or Digital Marketing or Consulting for a living, odds are there are certain URLs that you go to all the time. So you might think you rank better than you actually do. So to get the right result, you need to log out.

So instead of having to log out, you enter PWS=0. In other words, personalized web searches are off because you want to know what the true thing is. 

And if you’re doing SEO for a client, most of them may think they’re doing really well because they click on their website all the time, and every couple of days, they come in and check but in reality, they don’t rank as good as they actually do. They are just fooling themselves because they’re logged in while they do the search.

So how do you get started with it? Below are our best tips:

1. Network

Imagine the question, Who is the best in your industry? 

Let’s just say, there’s someone in your industry that you want to get to know better, but you don’t really have a great connection with them. 

For example, you really wanted to build your career with Mari Smith. Mari Smith because the head search results show that she’s the queen of Facebook, Blogging, Instagram, and Wikipedia and she wrote the original book on how to network and how to do social media reputation, and word of mouth before there ever was all social media stuff.

So whoever you want to meet, you want to stalk on every single channel and stalking doesn’t mean that you immediately reach out and say, “Hey, I’d like to have a five-minute chat with you”. The professional way is you:

  1. Follow her on different channels

You click like on some of their content but not all at once. Otherwise, you become creepy. 

  1. Start to comment and comment thoughtfully. You don’t just say, “Oh, here’s her interview.” And then you don’t just say, “way to go”. That would be very weak. 
  2. Say something thoughtful about the topic she cares about
  3. Figure out who is that intermediate person. 

Maybe you have some mutual friends. So if I look at Mari’s account, I can see that we have many mutual connections. I saw that she is also connected with a friend of mine which is Michael Stelzner whom I have made content together. So what I will do then is I could Dollar a Day boost the content that I’ve made with Michael Stelzner to fans of Mari Smith. 

This is a sophisticated technique, almost nobody uses. This is how you build connections using social and SEO at the same time. 

I’m sharing valuable content. It’s still worthwhile at the surface level, but on the second level, I’m trying to build influence. So I’ll run ads against those content for a dollar a day, targeting her audience because I want her audience to see that I’m doing stuff with Michael Stelzner. So the way to get to somebody is going to the other person that is the gatekeeper.

It’s the same networking strategy. We’re just doing this in a digital sort of way. 

Don’t just straight up make a connection request. You want to make sure that you build a little bit of rapport. Just like when you want to marry a girl. You don’t just go straight up to her and say, “Will you marry me?” You need to build that relationship over time.

Want to learn more about how you can Power Network? Here is an Office Hour Episode that talks about that.

2. Build your reputation

Google is getting smarter and smarter about showing rich snippets and diversifying search results.

So use social media to rank on Google for SEO.

So SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the result. If I want to rank on Google, I might have to do certain things like do social media or create content, or do these other things which result in being SEO’d. 

So I’m not actually doing SEO. I’m getting SEO from these activities that I do. 

People don’t understand when you put out good content, people engage, and they will blog about it. They will link to you. They will reshare it. They often won’t give you credit. They’ll just straight up copy the thing that you have and it’s totally fine. Copying is a compliment. 

Try to create content so well that each piece generates links.

Co-create Content

So let’s say, I’ve built my connection with Mari Smith and now there’s content with her.

So let’s see, we’ve got lots of great feedback on this course  I did with her. All these people say that the course is awesome. And now I can take the video and pull out different snippets.

Repurpose content

I can then turn into social media pieces. I can put them into Descript and then write articles. 

Leverage your partner’s SEO and Social Media Power

And I could say in our next update, I could reach out to her and say, “Hey Mari, what is your one tip for people that are Facebook advertisers, but are trying to move to TikTok? What do you think they need to know?” And I could record her for 15 minutes and she gives her whole opinion on why that is. And then she’s going to then share that with her clients buying her training programs. 

So I have leveraged the power of SEO and social media that she already has. So this is a combination of Social Media and SEO play at the same time or PR and Social Media at the same time. 

So these different pieces that show me and Mari Smith together all create signals.

So you have to think. Every one of these things is a signal and you can think of it as an edge.  You have to remember that Social Networks and Search Engines follow something called Edge Rank, which is the connection between these different pieces. So Google is saying, “Where is it?” So if we do a search “Mari Smith and Dennis Yu”, where are those connections?

So the more you are associated with these other people, the more you’re going to benefit from the search power that they have.

Built a Clear Lighthouse

And if you have a clear lighthouse and I could use Mari Smith as a lighthouse, for example, then I’m able to leverage the fact that she has a list and a community and trust and all that. As long as I honor that relationship.

Choose the Category and Keywords

Create a blog post in WordPress and make sure to choose the category and keywords.

It’s very important. I don’t think people realize how important it is to choose those particular components because that’s telling you, that’s telling the engine, what are the keywords you want to rank on. 

Link to other High Authority Page

Your links can go to another page on your site like navigation by definitions, all internal–can be the main category page, it can be a blog post, but it can also go outside the site.

 So we look at links as internal and external.

We don’t want to link out just gratuitously, like a lot of people they’ll just link out to Like why would you link to 

We have VAs do that or even just linking to because somewhere in there they’ll see like, “Oh, in today’s podcast or whatever, I talked about Facebook” and so they just go ahead and link to 

Well, what will happen is we’ve just bled a bunch of juice out to just for no reason at all. 

So the only time we’re going to send outbound links is if it’s to a partner or a client or some kind of article that we really think is worthwhile. We’re not just going to randomly link to some article or whatever because it’s just bleeding the juice. You only have so much juice. 

So it doesn’t mean that you can never link out to other people, but don’t just Willy nilly waste your juice. It’s like throwing out a hundred dollar bills. Like why would you do that? 

So we should link with each other and those links should be relevant. So don’t just randomly put a link.

Start using SEO Tools

Start using SEO tools to see:

  • How difficult is it to rank each term or keyword?
  • How many other pages are ranking? 
  • Is it a commercial term? 
  • Are there ads being run against it? 

If there are ads being run against it? That usually means it’s going to be a little bit more difficult.

  • What is your authority score is. 

How competitive are these other sites?

3. Create content

 Since you have figured out the strategies and what to look at, then you need to start creating the kind of content that you want–do you want to do a podcast? Do you want to speak? Do you want to interview? Do you want to go heavy on Twitter and LinkedIn? 

Start creating your content and assemble all this into your Personal Brand Manager

So you’ve got your Topic Wheel, the six topics that you care about, and the people that are mapped to those topics. 

Topic Wheel

Think about how you are going to use Inception. Try to reach those other people through connections you already have, through the content you’ve already created.

Need help to get your reputation building started? Here is a Do-it-for-You package designed for busy people like you!

4. Activate Content Factory

Content Factory 1

Once you are done creating these contents, then run it via the Content Factory to put those contents through Descript, to have the VAs from Fiverr or Upwork, Fancy hands, be able to turn each piece into lots of little pieces, which you then can amplify for a Dollar a Day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Want to learn how you can use the Content Factory for Personal Branding Success? Here is a podcast episode that talks about just that.

5. Optimize

Optimization is looking at where you have the most power stored inside your personal brand manager. The personal brand manager is your inventory of where you’re going to put all these assets and just re-amplify and get way more power.


Want to learn how you can Optimize? Here is a course in Optimization that will help you out.

6. Amplifying high-performing content via dollar-a-day ads

Amplification is not only ads but all the stuff in SEO. 

Create more content around relationships. So podcasts, speaking, webinars and zooms are all just different flavors of the same thing, which is getting authority from the connections you have with the topics that you have. 

Not sure how Amplification works? Here is a Course in Amplification that will teach you how you can magnify what’s already working well for your brand!

In Summary, the whole idea of the Topic Wheel is here’s what I want to be known for, so this is going to drive my tagging structure with WordPress and the categories that I choose which tie to the people that I know that are authoritative, that is well known in those topics, that then ties to the content. 

Then this content I’m going to repurpose and recycle it into other content that we could chop up and turn into lots of other kinds of content.

So don’t think that any one of these pieces of content that you generating is just one bubble. Any of your content can generate another hundred pieces of content, you just need to think about how you can get more power in the topics that you chose and how you can go deeper into the relationships and generate more content.  

And so your Topic Wheel is independent of your websites. So think of it like a website or LinkedIn or Facebook or email. Those are all just channels. So if your strategy is done correctly, you should not be worried. 

And if you have channels involved in your topic wheel, you’re doing something fundamentally wrong. This is not a channel approach. I’m just trying to get as many signals as I can over to Google.

And that’s what the power of personal branding is. That’s how you rank on your name or anyone’s name. 

You just need to be focused on the right things. Grow your brand by having the book, by having the course, by having the podcast, and all these other pieces. Because once you have that, that’s going to feed every other component of your personal brand

Listen to the full episode here. 

Want to grow your online presence and turn yourself into a thought leader? Here is a Personal Branding Course that can help you out.

Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.

You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.

You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.