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Before You Name Your Company, Consider How Google Will Rank It

February 20, 2012  
Naming a company or a product used to involve a number of factors—none of which related to SEO considerations. But no longer. "It doesn't matter whether your brand is online or not, "[I]t will be googled, " says Ann Smarty in an article at MarketingProfs.

"So, before you choose your brand name, you should understand ... three major facts about how Google rates and ranks personal and business names," she advises.

Here are the big three:

Some search results are 'obvious.' Google interprets queries in one of three ways: dominant, common, and minor interpretations. Type "Apple" into the search box and you'll quickly learn about dominant interpretations. Most people want information about the computer company, and your "Apple Vacations" agency stands zero chance of getting onto the first page of results. "You don't want to start a business to later find out there's no way to rank in the top 10 results for your own business name," Smarty notes.

'Generally known' does not mean 'obvious' (or 'dominant'). If we were playing word association and you said "Armstrong," we would probably say "Lance" or "Neil." But Google tends to favor brands, and gives most of the first page to the less obvious flooring company. "When no dominant interpretation exists for a keyword," Smarty explains, "getting ranked in most SERPs is easier than you might think. All you need is to build a strong brand name."

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