Personal Branding Weekly

Editor’s Note:  This weekend was tough for so many in our nation.  Those who are suffering continue to be in our thoughts. We continue to mourn for them and to pray they’re provided strength and support.

This past week in the Personal Branding Blog, we covered effective engagement, using MOOCs to enhance your brand, and the importance of persistence and resilience.

Here’s this past week’s posts:

For this next week, get ready for some powerful posts about a determining success or failure at work;  how being paranoid is a good thing and traditional principles and new media practices.

We look forward to your feedback!

Google Grader

Because the online world is so vast, search engines like Google help narrow down results according to their relevance. Keywords can be any word you wish. Nevertheless, when it comes to your brand, the brand name is what counts. Names aren’t normally unique though, and are often replicated, which can be witnessed with just about any browser search. But we’re not really concerned about all the results; it’s the top ten that matter the most since they are the first, and often only, results users will see when they search on your brand name.

Google Grader: What’s in It for You? 

For those who are trying to establish themselves through the online world, BrandYourself has designed an app that can help grade themselves and their online personal brand. Users can sign up through the Facebook app, or by using an email address (linking with a social network is strongly recommended), and it provides results almost instantly.

Basically, the app filters the top ten Google results for your chosen name and presents them to you. Then all you do is scan them and select what are positive, negative, and not yours. Afterwards, it grades you on how much of your initial search page will show regarding you and your brand.

How does this affect you? We know people search people they’re meeting, considering doing business with or considering hiring. Also, consider the fact that every time your name is searched, you’re missing out on some excellent marketing opportunities if you are not in the top ten results. The Google Grader results allow you to see what users are going to see when they search for your personal brand.

The creators of Google Grader then have an excellent product that we’ve featured here many times (and that I personally find great value in using) and that’s BrandYourself. gives you easy ‘to do’ tips to boost your links to the front of a Google search after you find what your Google Grade is.

While it may seem that the grade is all that matters, the app also provides analytical tools to help tune your online approach. You can see what positive links are on the rise (recently appearing in the top ten) and the negatives that get buried or made irrelevant to a search of your name.

Google Grader is a fun way for you to know how well you’re doing and also how well your friends are doing. What a great way to introduce your friends to the importance of managing your personal brand online!

Then there’s the issue of negative results. Remember that name sharing is common due to the wide usage of the internet. While those negative comments may not be connected with you at all, they are still what the user sees when they search your name. They may perceive them as yours. For this reason, it’s wise to utilize your full name (include middle name) always to help reduce confusion and funnel down the search results.

Ultimately, the best use is to tune your online strategy by marketing with essential keywords for your website and personal brand name. Also keep in mind that you can help maintain a regular high-level position on search results by promoting blogs, videos, and other material that are fresh (Google loves fresh material).

I visited with Evan Watson,Co-Founder and CMO of BrandYourself, last week and asked him how the new Google Grader was being used.

According to Evan, “the response has been amazing so far, in just over a week, we have already have over 4,000 people that have tried the Google Grader  and according to Facebook insights, the comments, likes and shares on the app are well above the average of most facebook applications. We received a lot of feedback in the past from people wanting to see how their Google results compare to other people in their networks, and this app makes finding that out extremely easy.”

I wondered if the Google Grader appearing as a “gaming” function on Facebook was being met with any resistance.  That concern was quickly addressed by Watson who stated that although the app could be viewed as a game, –

Google Grader is ultimately more of a user experience which has gamification elements that makes the process more engaging and fun for the user. [tweet this].

The Google Grader app is easy to use and provides excellent analytical data for growing your personal brand. Not only does it help people keep track of where they stand on Google, they can also invite friends, and by doing so they’re helping them become aware that what shows up in Google is important. Being someone that has their finger on the pulse of the newest tools for monitoring and improving your online brand is in and of itself a benefit to your own brand.  Beyond that, if people aren’t happy with their scores, the app makes them aware that they can improve their Google results by using BrandYourself’s core product.


Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is co-founder  and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.

Annette Shaff /