Until Jan 2021, if I searched my name Alessandro De Simone on Google, I often found the website you are reading - https://alessandro.desi - only on the 5th-page results.

Boy Climbing Stick Beside Waterwalls

This website had very poor SEO. So it was the perfect anti-example, the ideal "what you should not do" (fortunately, it's a bit better now).

I do not mind being on the first result page by searching tech terms like Ruby, SQL, Programming, etc. Well, it's not that I am not interested, but it would require enormous efforts to land on the first search result page with the term "Ruby on Rails", for example.

What's essential for me is that people who search for my name - Alessandro De Simone - can easily find this website on the first page, or even better, the first three positions.

It only appeared on the 5th SERP page for two reasons:

  • First, I've neglected some of the crucial SEO techniques.
  • Second, my name is ordinary, and there are various people more famous than me with my same first and last name. Anyway, my full name is Alessandro Giacomo De Simone, but it is verbose, so I only use my second name - Giacomo - on formal documentation.

Unfortunately, I cannot rename other people's names (and the Linux move commands works only with files and folders). But for sure, I can improve the SEO of this website.

Here are a few basic things I am doing to rank up on Google:

  • Add the page /robots.txt. I've read that robots.txt is not required, but without it, the Google Search Console shows me the following message:

    URL is not on Google This page is not in the index, but not because of an error.

    Since I added robots.txt, the pages were re-indexed correctly.

  • Add sitemap.xml. It is not required, but it helps a lot, especially with frequently updated, with many pages, websites.
  • Improve internal linking of my articles.
  • Make the website usable on mobile phones. This website had low usability on small devices. The text was too small, for example.
  • Share some of my articles on Medium.com and Dev.io. Maybe just a summary of them to avoid content duplication.
  • Share my posts on Twitter and Linkedin. Sometimes I thought my posts were not worth to be shared. In that case, I should have improved them or maybe written about a compelling topic.
  • Refresh your content. Who likes reading outdated articles?

and last but not least:

  • Write more and better, and be sure those articles are reachable (See first three points).

Nothing advanced here. As often happens, paying attention to the fundaments can make a difference.

I've already started working on those points, and I'll write a follow-up post to update you on my progress.

Thanks for reading.

Photo by Thunyarat Klaiklang