Let me boil my last post, Here’s why it make sense to use Google Plus, down to practical pieces. Part of what makes a technology premature is that you have to be careful how you use it, because it isn’t mature enough to just work no matter what you do with it. To help you carefully handle Google+ for maximum advantage, I’ve assembled eight steps that help you get the best search visibility from your Google+ posts. These tips are simple, but some are easy to overlook. I hacked this awful-looking graphic as an example:
Here’s a list of things that you need to consider before you invest your time and energy in Google+:
- Make sure all your posts are Public. You can add more circles in order to spur interest among your friends, but be sure you explicitly tell Google, through your willingness to share publicly, that they can index your content in their public search engine. Check this every time because sometimes Public isn’t always selected, depending on the situation. Here’s my Google+ public profile.
- Use a clean URL when you add your content to Google+. Google+ hasn’t been translating URL shorteners well, so use a link from the source. This will not only allow Google to better populate the content as you see above, including the Title, Blog Name, Description, and an Image from the post, but it will also allow that content to be cross-referenced to any Google +1 “likes” from others within Google+ and the rest of the Googlephere. Site URLs are translated the way they are on Facebook. You need to paste the URL into the “Share what’s new…” text box.
- Prefixing names with a plus sign links that name to the person’s profile on Google+. You can include your friends and people you’re connected to on G+ in a similar way you do in Facebook, but Google+ has a gimmick that you may know or not. In the graphic above, you’ll see a light gray-blue rectangular box around the names Arsh S and Jenna Levy — I did that by adding a plus symbol (+) before each name while I am writing the article. G+ then populates a pull-down, offering pre-populated names of people I am connected to. I just need to select and go. Sometimes the profile’s privacy setting prohibits the link reference to persist after posting. Linking to people is a good way to engage, inform, and initiate conversation.
- Even though Public should cover your inclusion in Search, you still need friends, circles, engagement, and sharing. In the same way that increased engagement levels and shares result in a higher placement, a greater “bubbling up,” and a longer life on the Facebook Walls of the friends and Fans/Likers on Facebook, the same goes for Google+ — and with both G+ and Facebook, the greater Social Graph is much broader than just shares, likes, comments and +1s on their respective platforms, it also includes +1s and Likes and comments that from the polling on websites, blogs, newspapers, and magazines Internet-wide.
- Always make sure you populate every single page of your your blogs, corporate sites, personal sites, and e-commerce sites with the Google +1 button. The simplest way is by embedding code directly from the Google +1 widget embed page. For WordPress, I like to use the Google +1 Button by Alex Moss. If you use Drupal, check out Google Plus One +1. If you use Blogger or Tumblr, you’ll need to hack the template, in which case you’ll need to hack in Google’s widget yourself.
- Spend all the time needed to fill out your Google Profile self-creates based on a lot of little choices you have made over time. But you can always add to it and even curate and help it grow and get it right. So, check out your Profile and make it as good as you can. I recommend you give ’til it hurts because in this economy of information, Google rewards authenticity and relinquished privacy very well, historically. Here’s my Google Profile and I have surely given ’til it hurts. as completely as you’re comfortable. The
- Optionally, consider checking the “Also email X people not yet using Google+” check box. Consider including the people who you’re connected to via other Google apps like Gmail in the post as a way of calling “olly olly oxen free” — a form of clanging the chow bell. However, this advice comes with a caveat: only do it on your best posts and only rarely; otherwise, you’re going to elicit a negative response. I made this error and regretted the simple click made too breezily and too often, so heed my warning.
- Finally, commit to participating in Google+ by becoming an authentic part of the community. This is what Google Search wants more than anything, and it will reward accordingly by ranking your relevance in a similar way that Klout does: the number of people you influence, both within your immediate network and across their extended networks; amplification of how much you influence people; and your network impact of your influence on your network.
In short, Google juice and yummy organic SEO on Google Search. And quality rules. All Google cares about is relevance and its entire search algorithm revolves around this principle.
And, it all depends on how many people read, click, share, +1, and comment — and the more the better, resulting in higher real time web search ranking results over in Google Search, optimizing your SEO.
And, in case you didn’t get the memo, the Social Graph (be it the Facebook Like embed you can put on your site or the Google +1) are part of the new generation of Link Juice. The more sites, shares, and comments that happen even outside of Google + are all part of that — even the little +1 buttons that are all over every search result you see in both organic results as well as in the current crop of Google AdWords/AdSense contextual ads.
And it could all start with jumping in, feet first, into Google+ and committing time, passion, and resources to it over the long term. And, when Google+ Brand Pages are finally launched for public consumption, you can use the gravity you’ve already built up in your private profile for your company also.
That’s all I have for now. Before we end, I want to remind you that Google is working hard to make sure you can’t just call it in to Google+ the way you can on Facebook and Twitter. And, we all know that calling it in, cross-posting, and aggregating strategies are only a smart part of a good social media strategy.
Please let me know if I missed anything. As I have learned over time, all the best tips and tricks are generally always revealed in the comments of the readers.Chris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz. Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.