September 22, 2010

Google Expert: EVAN BAILYN

We all take for granted the effortlessness of Google: type in a search term, and voila! Results. While this functional understanding serves most of us just fine, Evan Bailyn set out to uncover the way we receive these results and, more specifically, how the results are organized. After graduating Columbia University in 2003, Evan spent 16 months questioning, investigating, and ultimately cracking the Google algorithm. In other words, he figured out how to claim the top search return of the world’s largest search engine, based on any term. His career has soared ever since. The self-proclaimed “Google expert” capitalized on his discovery by founding First Page Sage, a search engine optimization and social media company that achieves a near-perfect record of getting the websites of Evan’s clients (celebrities and Fortune 500 clients alike) to appear at the top of a Google search. Evan then went on to apply his knowledge to founding the Cartoon Doll Emporium, now one of the largest children’s websites in the world, reaching over 70 million kids and parents. Evan’s commitment to child advocacy was born out of this project, and he has since utilized Facebook to provide inspirational messages about self-psychology and childhood, attracting over 50,000 fans in 5 months, making his page the second most popular non-celebrity fan page. In 2010, Evan established The Evan Bailyn Foundation, which awards grants to groups that promote emotional awareness in children. And if that’s not enough, his first book, Outsmarting Google, will debut in bookstores in early 2011.

The internet entrepreneur, author, and child advocate, has it all: self-made success, serious levels of publicity (ABC, Fox News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, International Business Times, Crain's, and will be featured on an upcoming segment of Joan Rivers' reality show "How'd You Get So Rich?"), a girlfriend, great brother, and sense of humor and compassion that never fails.

Before we delve into your other accomplishments, we need to know where you got the idea for "Evan Bailyn's Cartoon Doll Emporium.”
Ha. Well, it came into being during an entrepreneurial spree that followed my cracking Google's algorithm. I was starting all kinds of businesses, getting their websites to the top of Google for the most popular industry keywords, and seeing if there was a way to monetize them. Cartoon Doll Emporium (CDE) was a website owned by a teenage girl hobbyist. I bought it for $350 because it already had a few hundred visitors per month and because the keyword "dress up dolls" was one of AOL's hot searches. I thought this "dress up" thing, whatever it was, could have been a sleeper phenomenon. And it was! We had almost 70 million unique visitors in 2009.

Describe your day-to-day activities.
I wake up and read or write in my journal for about 20 minutes. Then I get ready for the day. Usually by the time I emerge, my home office is bustling, as my assistants have arrived. I do press interviews for First Page Sage, speak to some of our high profile clients, and check in with my assistants to find out what exciting stuff is going on in the various areas of the business, on both the for-profit and non-profit side.

How many companies use your services?  
Over 200, ranging from small businesses to big businesses to celebrities.

What makes you a “Google Expert?”
The word "expert" is always a matter of opinion. I consider myself one because I've gotten my businesses to rank on the first page for some of the toughest keywords in various industries, generated millions in sales from SEO, and I'm writing the book on it.

And how did you come to “Outsmart Google” (and write about it)?
I cracked Google's algorithm through 16 months of trial and error. Nothing fancy. I thought it would never happen but since it did, I've been going like the Energizer Bunny. I got my book deal when I was contacted by an editor at Pearson who had heard about some of my recent SEO triumphs.

How many times a day do you think you Google something?
Approximately 50.

Weirdest thing you ever Googled:
It was probably a small alpaca farm in New England. My brother and I used to Google Alpacas because they made us crack up. There’s a particular alpaca farm whose website is very entertaining.

How many hours a day do you spend on-line/social media sites?
Maybe 1.5.  And all of it is on Facebook.

Your most visited website?
Facebook, TechCrunch, and are my top 3.

Best Social Media Marketing tip:
Create honest, good content that you find interesting, useful, or funny and tell people about it.

How many Facebook friends do you have?
I currently have 339 friends on Facebook, and 56,508 fans.

How did you get so many Facebook fans?!
By being comfortable with myself and writing my status updates from the heart.  And also from knowing how to make my page viral (that's part of my secret sauce).

When and where were you happiest?
Happiness has a few definitions.  I was most excited being on cruises with my family growing up.  I am most content when spending time with my girlfriend Sasha. And I am most free when I focus on how I’m feeling and advocate my ideas to groups that affect children.   

Your current state of mind?
At this exact moment, I feel stressed because I have so much work to do on a weekend when I want to be out having fun, but I also feel strong and resolute because I know that I have gotten some really important things done today.

Your real-life hero?
I have two heroes, both no longer with us.  The first is Alice Miller a psychologist who did some of the most honest and selfless writing I have ever read.  The second is Walt Disney, who gave us a means of experiencing the joys of childhood again and again.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement was learning who I genuinely am by examining the childhood situations that shaped me.  My second greatest achievement was establishing The Evan Bailyn Foundation For Emotional Awareness.

Tell us about the concept behind the Evan Bailyn Foundation:
I believe that 99% of adults do not allow themselves to be the people they naturally are; instead, they conform themselves to the expectations their parents laid out for them when they were children. I believe that if kids were brought up feeling comfortable being themselves, we would have a much healthier and more positive generation. The goal is to create confident, emotionally healthy kids.

What was its inspiration?
The inspiration for the foundation was the work I did discovering my own self with the help of books, friends, and my girlfriend.  Once I got to know the real me, I started seeing the world in a different way and it was so easy to perceive the limitations that many people unfairly place on themselves.

What makes you a New Yorker?
My work ethic, the fast pace at which I walk, my Columbia diploma, and the fact that, no matter where I am in the world, I always instinctively try to hail a taxi cab.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I love this! This guy seems so genuine and wonderful, and so accomplished. Haha Al, we should get him to help us make our sites Google-able!