I consult with clients everyday who are locally known as thought leaders in their industries - the best of breed. They regularly speak at community functions and industry conferences, sponsor fundraisers, and are quoted as experts in state-wide and national publications. They’re the type of people who actually are, really really good at what they do.
All too often, I hear how they’re frustrated that when they try to find themselves online, a far-less-qualified competitor comes up ahead of them … or worse yet, they’re nowhere to be seen. The Internet can be a cruel place, and it happens to all types of businesses: I’ve heard the same thing from hotel owners to restauranteurs to business attorneys to healthcare privacy consultants.
The sad reality is that Google has absolutely no idea who you are in the real world (though, for a lot of very different reasons, that’s probably a good thing). It infers who is the best (and therefore #1 ranked) by your activities across the Internet – your website or blog, presence on social media, listings and reviews on third-party sites, and who’s talking about you (and linking to your website).