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I know who Googled you last summer – Interview with Patrick Ambron

Well not really, but you can know who Googled you! Is personal brand important for your business? For your job? Did you know that 75% of HR departments have to look up job applicants online, meaning they have to Google them.

Come on, admit it! Even you were curious what are the first results on Google when you put your name in. What if it’s a really bad picture of you doing something stupid, or your ex-boyfriend trashing you, or worse, your crazy ex-employer!? What would you do if the first result is a news article about a criminal that’s not you, but has the same name?

This also isn’t as much about Googling as it is to first impressions. Researchers from NYU found that we make eleven major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting. In the online world, it’s probably down to 3 seconds, and you know where the first impressions are online. Google search results page.

After hearing that BrandYourself got 60 000 users in 60 hours (catchy line), I figured they solved the problems I’ve stated before. It took me a second to hook up with their CEO Patrick Ambon, and here’s what he said in a brief interview over Skype.

Patrick Ambron
Patrick Ambron

60 000 signups in 60 hours, 16 signups per minute. Unexpectedly? What happened?

Patrick Ambron: Our product helps people see what Google puts out there when other people Google their name. BrandYourself was up for a while, and growing pretty well, and then we struck a goldmine with a new feature we released. Some of our customers were requesting to know when and where they were being looked up. After releasing the feature, we pitched Mashable, and they published a story that happened to be really popular. It was on top of Mashable all day and because of that Huffington post, Index.hr, and many other international portals picked up the news. We published a lot of features that month, but we focused on putting the most compelling story with the best feature we had.

But not only that we are getting traffic, we are converting them to signups. As much as 30% per cent of that traffic converted to signups. We worked a lot on the snowball effect with sharing, easy signups, and sharing new profiles.

Is the problem of personal branding on the Internet really that serious?
Patrick Ambron: Yeah definitely! In the worst case scenario, you could have up there something that you don’t want people to see, or you could be mistaken for someone else. But also there are a lot of people who just say: “Hey, I know I am being Googled because 75% of the HR departments are required to. I want to make a good first impression, I want to make it edged.” Some people want to be proactive, and they want the control.

Do you have any plans in becoming a domain registrar and offering people to register their own domain names? Domains such as lastname.com or firstnamelastname.com?
Patrick Ambron: Actually premium members, which is a $100 a year, one of the features you get is domain name with your last name, or first name last name .com. It definitely does help.

BrandYourself logo
BrandYourself

How long did it take for you to build a working service so that those 60 000 signups could actually become happy clients?
Patrick Ambron: Uh, it took us years, 2 years actually to get it right. We are still constantly improving. I mean that’s the point. Getting press and reviews is great, but the fastest way to kill a bad product is good advertising. The most important thing is to: a) have something people want, and b)work really hard to make sure it works, and that it’s easy to use.

Can you tell me how are you making the Internet awesome with BrandYourself?
Patrick Ambron: Simply put, you your Google results are becoming more and more important of your first impression. But it’s getting harder and harder to control that. Our lives are more and more online, and it’s more important to put your best foot forward, but it’s also getting harder to do that. Before us people had no one to turn to, because they didn’t understand how to do that. And traditional reputation companies charge literally thousands of dollars. We are helping people control their first impression, just to make sure there’s an accurate representation about them on the web, and that it’s a good one. I think that’s really important.

 

If you like the interview, and you end up signing up for the service at BrandYourself, why not monitor that page or your website for changes in uptime, Alexa, PageRank, nameservers, blacklist, and other domain data.

Written by Goran Duskic

I am the founder and CEO at WhoAPI. Entrepreneur for more than a decade in the hosting and domain industry. Sold my previous company. 500 Startups and StartLabs alumni. Author of a white paper "Domain Disclosure: Dirty Dozen" and eBook "26 Fundraising Questions for Startups".

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