Google+ is a buzz word in social media at the moment. With so many different social media platforms on the web, you may ask why we need another one. What’s important is to choose those platforms you feel you will get the most benefit from and which align themselves to your needs.
Many have created a Google+ profile through their Gmail accounts but have absolutely no idea how to use it or know about the benefits involved. Here are some reasons as to why you should jump on the Google + bandwagon.
If you’re a beginner and haven’t set up a Google profile, start here and watch this video.
1. Authors Get More Recognition
Writers, journalists and authors around the world will now be able to get more recognition on Google. They are able to attribute the articles they write to themselves and to their Google+ Profile. If you are a contributor to a number of blogs or websites, you can add them on the right-hand side of your Google profile. But for Google to attribute these articles to you, rel=author must be installed on the blogs or websites you write for, thus creating a link to your profile as well. Once rel=author is set up and when authors search their name in the normal Google search, their Google Profile photograph and link to the profile will accompany all blog articles they have written. Your Google Profile will also show high up in the Google search results for your name and you’ll get recognition each time you are mentioned on Google. In addition, you’ll be able to manage your online reputation, customising what you want to appear in the Google search.
You’ll need to add as much information to your Google profile as possible, including a list of websites where your work appears online. Your Google profile will definitely help you build up more trust and credibility on Google.
Once you’ve installed rel=author, use the Rich Snippet Testing Tool from Google to ensure that you’ve set it up correctly. When you preview a URL from one of your blog posts, the search entry should appear as follows:
2. Kick Plagiarism in the Behind
Using rel=author will hopefully help kick plagiarism in its behind! Plagiarism is rife on the net and Google Plus will help attribute any articles that you write to yourself. This means that if you ensure the rel=author connection between your Google Plus profile and your blog, all your articles will come up with a profile picture next to them. No one else will be able to ‘steal’ your articles because they may be able to point one way to your article, but because only you run your blog, they won’t be able to point the rel=author link in both directions.
3. Obtain The Right Audience with Circles
One of the main concerns with Facebook is that it doesn’t fully allow you to share your content with a wider audience. Google Plus makes this easier and much more effective. At the top left-hand side of the page there are 5 icons, one of which is a circle. If you click it then you can add people to your circles and invite them to start using Google Plus as well.
A great feature of the circles is that you can connect to your email account and find the email addresses of people who you may think will be interested and who would want to be a part of your network. To add someone to your circles, you simply drag and drop their name to the group/list you want them to appear on. You can create as many groups or categories as you want. Categories could include business partners, friends, family, co-workers, prospects etc. This takes Facebook’s sharing to a whole new level because you’ll have access to a wider variety of people, including people you have never met but know of through Google and would like to follow.
4. Interaction Is Easier
Because people can now see you in their search results and if they love your work, they can choose to follow you with their own Google + profile and add you to their circles. Now they’ll be able to see all your work as you publish it. This is a great feature for journalists and writers!
Plus there’s a video function where you can add videos to your profile, a chat function and even a web camera option called Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts is a great way for conducting a free video conferencing call. You can invite up to ten people for free.
Businesses can now take advantage of interacting with their customers and expanding circles to include new customers and potential customers. Relationships built with customers and potential customers can be more direct and also more personal as interacting and commenting has never been easier.
5. Google +1 Button Makes Sharing Cool
Come across an awesome article that you absolutely want to share with others? Google +1 can be installed on websites and blogs so others can share your work with the world (similarly to the Facebook like button). However, as we know, Facebook has its limitations and when you like something on Facebook, only your friends will be able to view it. And let’s admit it; Facebook doesn’t make seeing your likes the easiest thing in the world either as it is geared more towards photo sharing. This is why Google + has so many advantages. You’ll be able to share articles with a myriad of people who you can clump into different groups or circles. This takes Facebook sharing up one notch and content with more +1s is likely to be ranked higher up too.
6. SEO Benefits
Similarly to optimising a web site to ensure a better ranking, you can do so with your Google profile. You may not get huge rewards from doing so but it will definitely help you be easily found in Google. How should you go about optimising your profile? Here’s a useful article and a video to get you going.
7. Find Unique and Personalised Content
You’ll now be able to find unique and appropriate content in easier ways. You’ll be able to separate business and personal content much easier and you’ll also be able to find content from a particular website or brand easily. Simply type in the name of the brand and find all content generated by the brand.
With ‘Search Plus Your World’, if you search for something on Google, you’ll be able to see how many ‘personal results’ you have on the topic. This means if you search for ‘technology’ for instance, you’ll be able to search via your own personal circles to narrow your searches – perhaps some of your friends or people in your circles are writing about technology? In this way you’ll be able to comment on articles shared or even written by your friends and circles. Then you can extend the search later on, should you need to search globally.
Haven’t set up a Google Profile yet? Here’s where you need to go.