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Ted Leonsis is an SEO, too

Ted Leonsis is Vice Chairman of AOL. He wants to control the Google SERPs for his own name. He doesn’t need an SEO, because he is an SEO.

According to the Washington post story, Ted Leonsis was driven by a desire to rank for his own name about a year ago, so he started blogging. And now his #1 result is (allegedly) his AOL bio page, followed by his blog, and then his Washington Capital‘s web page. According to Ted Leonsis, this Google algorithm cracking thing isn’t so hard:

According to Leonsis, there are three major factors in Google’s algorithm: The more popular a Web page is, the higher it ranks. The more a Web page is linked to other Web sites, such as other blogs, the higher it ranks. More recent entries also boost rankings.

Now before you think I’m crackin’ on poor old Ted Leonsis, he is quoted like this:

“A few weeks ago, I e-mailed some people I told I would do this in a year, and I wrote, ‘My job is done!’ ” Leonsis said. His next project? Adding more video and photographs to his blog and then manipulating the results when someone searches for his photo on Google Images. Up to now, he said, a search for pictures of himself has turned up a lot of “weird ones” taken by The Washington Post. “I’ve got some nice photos,” he said. “I’ve got to get those into the algorithm.”

I hate to give good people bad news, but that’s not SEO Mr. Leonsis. You did not “get..into the algorithm”. You don’t own those top spots in Google for your name, you see, it’s simply that no one else wants them.

Watch a hoard of bored SEOs start optimizing for “Ted Leonsis” starting in 5….4…..3……2…..

Update: the Ted Leonsis SEO contest is moving along, but these pages seem to need some help:

Update: well, the Ted Leonsis AOL page that was showing a 404 “page not found” error has been (finally) dropped by Google. Also, the strangest thing… now at the very top of the Ted Leonsis SERP is the “canonical” domain (which is a redirect) and the snippet has been pulled from one comment on one of his posts.  Not a very useful snippet for reputation management.

Update: Ted Leonsis is speaking at WOMMA as AOL’s “champion of the member”.

Update: Since the AOL corporate info page has gone 404, I’ll try and preserve the Ted Leonsis information:

Ted Leonsis, Vice Chairman of AOL LLC, serves as a strategist and visionary for AOL, focusing on the transformation of AOL into a company that is driving some of the most exciting Web 2.0 technologies. He also oversees a unit focused on how AOL interacts with consumers and protects their privacy.

Leonsis is a pioneer of the Internet and new media, a sports team owner, and an innovator in the world of philanthropy.

He has been with AOL for 13 years and is credited with positioning AOL as a major media company and inventing the successful channel programming model.

As head of AOL’s core service, Ted became known as AOL’s “champion of the member,” delivering a world-class experience for AOL’s members. He led efforts to develop cutting-edge products and programming across the company’s dial-up, broadband, wireless, and voice services.

Prior to joining AOL, Leonsis founded and was CEO of Redgate Communications Corp., considered the first new-media marketing company, participated in launches of the Apple Macintosh, the IBM PC and Wang office automation, and founded four computing magazines.

As majority owner of National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, Leonsis has employed state-of-the-art consumer and interactive initiatives to dramatically boost the Capitals’ attendance and revenue. He is a minority shareholder in the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards with future purchase rights to the team and to Verizon Center in Washington. In addition, Leonsis’ investor group owns and operates the Washington Mystics, a franchise of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

Leonsis is a former mayor of Orchid, Florida, and sits on the boards of Georgetown University and several charities, where he has used the interactive medium to encourage greater volunteerism and involvement. Recently, he received an Andrew Heiskell Community Service Award from Time Warner, AOL’s parent company. Leonsis was named one of the 25 most powerful people in sports by Sporting News and businessman of the year by Washington Business Journal.




  1. LOL, this reminds me when one of the Google founders showed up at a conference and said there was no such thing as spam. Poor Ted doesn’t know what he has in store….

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 8:10 am | Permalink
  2. Carfeu wrote:

    Funny stuff.

    Friday, November 17, 2006 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  3. scoreboard wrote:

    Ted Leonis: I’m Ted Leonsis. You’re lucky to meet me!
    Michael Jordan: Who? Can you pull my car around front…it’s Ted, right?..

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006 at 1:37 am | Permalink
  4. Thanks for preserving the information on Ted Leonsis here. Fortunately you can now find the original document here.

    Saturday, December 2, 2006 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. James Little on » Oh dear, Ted Leonsis! on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 9:50 am

    […] Threadwatch (my first choice for SEO news) had a link though to John Andrews’ Blog and an article about Ted Leonsis (Vice Chairman of AOL).   It seems that Ted thinks he’s pretty good at that SEO lark as his blog, which started a year ago,  is Number #1 in the rankings when search for, err, Ted Leonsis. […]

  2. […] There’s a gentleman by the name of Ted Leonosis at AOL that wanted to rank well for his own name – I’m sure he’s a decent chap – and thought I’d help out by linking to Ted Leonsis at threadwatch, and Ted Leonsis at Johnon, and Ted Leonsis at He’s a great example of why folks should be proactive about rep management for their own names. […]

  3. […] So a couple of weeks back there was a post over at Threadwatch about a guy called Ted Leonsis, the vice chairman of AOL, where he pretty much boasted about ranking for his own name. Some feat. Here’s an of extract from John Andrews blog; Ted Leonsis is Vice Chairman of AOL. He wants to control the Google SERPs for his own name. He doesn’t need an SEO, because he is an SEO. According to the Washington post story, Ted Leonsis was driven by a desire to rank for his own name about a year ago, so he started blogging. […]

  4. TagMan Blog on Saturday, December 2, 2006 at 7:03 pm

    Ted Leonsis SERP Update…

    Ok, so I\’ve reluctantly joined this SEO contest. Read my rationale via Ted Leonsis SEO Contest is Misguided……

  5. - John Andrews - » Ted Leonsis on Friday, December 15, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    […] The Ted Leonsis pages are moving along, but these pages seem to need some help: […]