1

So I have a friend with an online retail store and a separate personal website. For some reason, searching for his business's name will show his personal site in the first five Google results.

Example:

Store -> ://rbai.example.com, "Ron Burgundy's Awesome Imporium" (fake, of course)

Personal Site -> ://rbhomepage.wordpress.org

He doesn't like this; he doesn't want his store to be connected in any way to his personal site and doesn't know why Google is finding him.

So I suggested that A) his store is linking to his personal site somewhere, B) his personal site may use his business name somewhere, and/or C) somewhere someone has published some content that mentions "Ron Burgundy's Awesome Imporium" with his link rbhomepage.wordpress.org, and Google has just made the connection.

I've looked through his Wordpress site and indeed, he has not mentioned his business name anywhere in content or meta tags. He doesn't link to his homepage anywhere from his store.

What other ways might Google (and other bots) be making that connection, and how can he reverse it?

  • The possibilities are broad. – JMC Sep 17 '14 at 19:56
  • Welcome to Pro Webmasters! I read your profile. It sounds like you would be a great contributor to this site. This is a great group of folks here and some real experts. Jump in. The water is warm. – closetnoc Sep 18 '14 at 4:09
2

There's a lot of ways Google can associate a web page with a search term. Some of the more likely ones include the keywords being present in anchor text linking to that site and the other being those terms being in the content of pages that link to that site. That can happen anywhere. So, if another site has published a connection between the two then Google will know about it.

It can also be a link made through social media. This includes tweeting about that company from a personal twitter account. If there's enough information posted a link can be established.

There really isn't much you can do about it other then identify the links and/or content that is doing this and changing it (or requesting a change on the site if it is owned by a third party). And taking down anything he's posted personally about the company in social media.

But, as I'm sure the comments that are yet to posted will say, there are a lot of ways this can happen and the options are very limited.

  • Another way that is often forgotten is registration information. This does bleed into the search results as it is a part of Google's citation and anti-spam mechanism. – closetnoc Sep 17 '14 at 22:24
  • @closetnoc that was something else I had suggested... maybe he had put his company's name somewhere in his Wordpress signup and it maybe published it somewhere on his site unbeknownst. I personally don't mind getting links wherever I can, but I can understand his wanting to maintain public anonymity from his work presence. – Phil Tune Sep 18 '14 at 17:39
  • @philtune I am a big supporter of private registrations not because I like to hide, but because that data is so sorely abused. The registration is something to look at and possibly to change. While changing to a private registration helps, and most sites have short-term memory, Google and a few others do not forget. Still Google (et al) has behaved itself well over the years with registration data. Something to look at and consider. – closetnoc Sep 19 '14 at 0:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.