Someone stole my name, Lucas Jubb. In December 2013 ALBA High School (San Diego, North Park) councillor was accused of having sex with a minor. As bad of a story as this already is, this is how it’s effected my SEO and my website Lucas Jubb Graphic Design and Illustration.
My name is Lucas Jubb. Odd name really when you look at it. Lucas is a name recognisable across the world with origins in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German etc etc something which benefited me greatly when travelling around Europe last year. Jubb, however, is not as common. In fact I’d go as far as saying it’s obscure, it’s hardly even a name, it’s more or less just a single syllable sound. Jubb. Anyway I’ve always felt pretty confident that there aren’t many ‘Lucas Jubb’s’ in the world, so when I started as a freelance designer it was never an issue for google searches and SEO (search engine optimisation).
As a freelance designer my website and web presence is highly important, with 80-90% of my work stemming from something a client has seen online. Therefor I’ve had to learn a little bit about SEO in order to make sure my website comes up in the right searches on google. So as I was saying, having this obscure name ‘Lucas Jubb’, I never had an issue with someone typing my name into google images and seeing my work. I’ve always kept a low profile and I’ve never really plastered loads of pictures of my self on social media, so I’ve always been pretty confident when you search for Lucas Jubb, you’re going to see my work and not just pictures of me. Which means a lot of the time, people don’t recognise me personally, just my work, and never really get change to put a face to the work.
This brings me back to my first paragraph. In December 2013 local high school councillor was arrested on suspicion of abusing a minor. His name….. Lucas Jubb. Shit. All of a sudden I go from top 5 websites when you type just ‘Lucas’ into google (below Lucas Arts, Lucas Oil, and a few football players) to not even been top search for my full name Lucas Jubb. So just to clear this up, I am Lucas Jubb, Graphic Designer and Illustrator from West Yorkshire, U.K.
If you were to type the name Lucas Jubb into google right now, you will see screen grabs from news reports with a photograph of San Diego’s Lucas Jubb with titles all referring to his arrest and pedophilia charges. This kind of sucks, because as I was saying I rely on my internet presance for getting work and also its rare that people see my face to put it to the work. It’s not that bad when you search google images as I think it’s clear that the top images of San Diego’s Lucas Jubb are un-related to the illustrations below.
Unfortunate, but it could be worse. The problem here is when you simply do a normal google search, and you see this:
Okay so at least the news articles have been replaced by my website links now (took a month or so to change over) However look at the pictures. Suddenly www.lucasjubb.co.uk design and illustration is linked to pictures of a pedophile. Not what you want when running a business when your website plays a huge role. So when this all happened in December this year, I thought, shit, that’s my SEO ruined, forever. I contemplated changing my persona and picking up a studio name to replace Lucas Jubb, however that would of un-done a lot of the work I’ve already put in to getting this far.
So I’ve made a few changes. My twitter and instagram pages went from @Lucasjubb to @ljjubb straight away I didn’t want any tweets coming through to me that were meant for him, or from people thinking I was the San Diego Lucas Jubb (in a small scale version of the H from steps indecent) This did undo some of my SEO as people who’d shared links or my social media handles were not un-linked and people could not click through, however I figured the sacrifice was worth it.
I then deleted my facebook account. There was no way I was going to have any of the few personal pictures I do have online, coming up in internet searches along side pedophiles, child abuse charges or any of that. There was no way I wanted any confusion as to who was who. So my personal facebook page has gone now (that’s a blog of its own, coming soon).
I’ve then gone on to creating a new website. Which has taken a long time, because every time I started it, I got a big project come in which took over months at a time. However that website and new work is finally up and I’m taking the next steps into beating the online battle with San Diego’s Lucas Jubb.
SEO is constantly changing and improving so that people cannot just ‘cheat’ their way to the top of google and although I still know very little about it, heres the steps I will be taking to clear my name from San Diego Lucas Jubb back to Lucas Jubb Graphic Design and Illustraiton.
So obviously I’m keeping a blog now. I think one of the key things when having a website you want to achieve good results on google searches for is good and regular content. Google like websites that have useful content for it’s users and websites that ‘work well’. For example.
User Visits Webstite > Clicks Blog > Reads Content > Views Portfolio > Shares Link On Social Media.
To google that’s a good working website (from what I’ve gathered) . Therefor an interesting blog with regular updates that have good content and are useful are going to help. Don’t copy and paste lots of information, keep the title short and sweet and try and keep the reader interested (ironically you might of had enough by now).
Keep keywords in the opening paragraph so when search engines read the site they know what that content is going to be about.
2. Offsite SEO
It goes without saying that as a freelance designer you should have social media. So for me, I have instagram, twitter, facebook, dribbble, linkedin, behance and google+. This helps. A lot. Social media is a powerful tool for creating traffic to a website, and the more traffic to a website, the higher up the search you go (technically) . The top social media sites already have good SEO, which usually means images you post on their end up higher than your own website images, at first. Look at my search for example.
In there I have a picture of my Krusty The Clown lego (instagram), a video still from an art event I did (vimeo), an old menu design (Behance), a picture of my pet Axolotl (instagram), my simpsons patches (twitter) and so on and so on. None of those images are from my website. Therefor I’ve been keeping on top of my social media outlets keeping them majorly for work purposes and keeping people up to date with my design life.
Alt tags, meta tags, key words, blah blah blah. This is all important. Keep your image names named correctly, keep the alt tags, relevant and keep your key words in there. However don’t over do this as google can take this as spam. If you just put illustration, illustrator, illustrating, illustrate, illustration, illustrate all over your website, google will ignore this. Theres no real ‘trick’ to getting high up on google searches but just make sure everything is listed properly so that google can pick up what it needs to.
So anyway, to finish off this long rant. It’s been a nightmare since December trying to rectify my web presence and SEO issues, and to be honest theres no easy way for me to put things back to how they were. However I am taking the necessary steps to get back up there and remove the images of San Diego’s Lucas Jubb and get pictures of my work back up at the top and along side my website. I did try contacting the sites who have posted about the case, however they were not interested. So I am dealing with this in my own way, which can only be helped with good and regular website content, website traffic, people sharing my links, and keeping up to date on offsite social media pages. I’m still learning about SEO so if theres anything you disagree with please do get in touch.
Keep up to dated because I will be posting regularly on the blog from now on. Hope I didn’t bore you too much! And check out the new website (any sharing of the link will help me get rid of the San Diego Lucas Jubb) Thanks! Make sure you follow me on twitter for more updates