Adrian Dayton probably wasn't real happy when he Googled himself and found that the fifth entry wasn't a post written by one of his happy crew of social media fake experts. It was one of the posts I wrote about his background where he finally admitted his "work" on the 450 million dollar merger was nothing more than reading documents. (He still uses this "experience" in his bio though).
For those of you new to life, I've been writing about the wonderment of Adrian Dayton for a while now, bewildered how a 6 month lawyer could convince BigLaw that he is the answer to their rainmaking woes when it comes to social media. I've opened some eyes, and had my eyes opened by the ignorant lawyers out there who could care less who pretends to know how to build a law practice.
So what do we do when we see something on Google we don't like? Obviously if it's true, if it exposes our lack of experience or that we've been less than truthful about our background - we have to get rid of it. Someone may read it and, well, we can't have that.
So how do we manufacture our own reputation on the internet?
Yes people, I'm here to put on my social media/SEO hat (for free) and tell you out there that there is a way to game Google. It's not easy, but it can be done.
Google reacts to your name. It reacts to "strong" sites where your bio exists. The best way to game Google is to a) have posts written with your name in the title, and b) have people link to you.
The best Google profiles (and by that I mean your first page search results, not the actual "Google profile"), are those that are "organic." This means they were established through your blog posts, blog posts written about you, others linking to you, and other sites where your information exists like Facebook, LinkedIn or Avvo.com.
The game is played when you try to "push" down negative results. And the way you do that, if not many people have something good to say about you, is to write about yourself, and beg for links.
This is where a disturbing trend appears.
A while back, I was trying to establish whether another lawyer was actually practicing law and using the technology they were writing about daily and encouraging other lawyers to use. Questions were raised, and internet chatter began to revolve about the person's true background. As a result, this person wrote a self-promotional piece about who they "really are." I found this sad, as manufacturing a reputation is weak and small. Reputations are established by what people say and think about you, not what you say and think of yourself (unless you're a marketing hack lawyer who has created their own fake reputation to which no one but the naive can attest.)
This post I describe was the inspiration for Adrian Dayton's latest puff piece: "Who is Adrian Dayton?". Dayton obviously feels that his view of his background, including his "work" on the 450 million dollar merger, needs to be told, again, and would appreciate if you would write your own self-promotional piece and link to his. By linking to his, you help him with his goal, to have a better Google page. Since the only person telling the story of Adrian Dayton is me, he's got to tell his own.
So write about yourself, tell us who you really are, and help Adrian Dayton's Google Analytics.
This is what we've come to in our profession. Those with law degrees who self-admittedly "have no business practicing law," and are trying to earn a buck from practicing lawyers by playing the "I'm one of you" card, are out there manufacturing their reputations, and asking for your help.
Reputations are earned though.
Have you earned yours, or have you created it?
Non-anonymous comments welcome. Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.