Google+ Newsletter

Posted 2 years ago

HI Folks

Before we get to the newsletter I just want to caution you about how you handle your one-way links program updates. I think some of you follow the directions well and do a fresh download at each update and for each site you are updating. But I think what happens sometimes is that you have an old download on your computer and when you’re doing the update, you’re actually uploading old files by mistake. Just recently, one of you advised that you’d completed the update and when I checked I found myself looking at page content that must have been two years old. I think the client did a fresh download but then unwittingly opened old files. When you do a download, delete the download files once they’ve been installed. And remember, if you have more than one site in the program, do a fresh download for each site so we have no duplicate content issues. By the way, for a modest annual fee, I offer a seamless, partners page updates service which includes 4 updates a year plus any ad hoc removals.

Maybe I’m a twit but I don’t tweet. I don’t even use my cell phone to check messages or search the Internet. In fact, my phone makes rude noises the meaning of which I can only guess. But social media is here to stay and the question is, what will it mean for your ability to rank on the search engines and attract customers to your website.

I’ve admitted in previous newsletters that I am weak when it comes to social media. Tweeking, texting, chatting are (almost) foreign to my personal life and I’ve resisted learning more about social media applications as they apply to the business world. What do you expect from a reclusive Introvert.

The exceptions, right now anyway, are Google+ and Linkedin and in today’s newsletter I want to focus on Google+ although it’s being called by some, a failed platform. But first, let’s quickly revisit a topic from a previous newsletter.

Several newsletters ago, I mentioned the potential value of getting .EDU links or even links from any established post-secondary educational institution even if they are not actually .EDU, which is the case in the Canadian or overseas context. Links from established post-secondary institutions are trusted links. I wonder if any of you have tried that yet or had success. If you have please let me know.  Of course, the same applies to .GOV links if you can get them.  For myself, I contacted the college where I taught for many years and I’m now on their alumni pages

http://www.senecacollege.ca/alumni/business-directory/website_services.html  Seneca Alumni

I suggested they create a new category for website services and they did.  I’m not really expecting to get any business from this alumni posting; it’s all about the link. But they will only accept graduates or staff on these pages and as I’d mentioned in the previous newsletter, such restrictions are becoming more common. Still a few .EDU links will significantly help your PageRank or Trust Rank.

Google+

Some of you refer to yourselves as Luddites or Neanderthals when it comes to technical stuff.  I just generally refer to myself as an idiot and leave genealogy to others. But I do stand amongst you.  What’s below involves some technicality but if you want to be part of Google+, give it a shot, and come back at it a few times.  It will sort itself out.  And it’s kinda rewarding on some level or other.

It remains unclear exactly what social signals are factored into Google’s algorithm, but it is clear that the more visibility you can get for your content, the better. Google+ is one way to achieve that.  By the way, what is content?  It’s blog posts, video, images, apps, etc.  Anything you can share that will bring people to your website or make them aware of your services.  Or maybe just have them feel that you are genuine and reputable.  Content can also bring you natural, organic one way links.

The first thing you should know about Google+ is that it can involve two types of pages, each with their own address.  The first type is the personal profile page or personal brand page.  It’s all about sharing who you are as a person, and developing a reputation as a trusted, reputable person.  The second type of page is the “entities” page, more about a business or a group of associates.  Think of it as your business brand page.  By design it seems, Google has made it so that the personal brand page is more important.  So, if you have a business, you will probably want to associate your business as much as possible with your personal brand page, although you should still have a business brand page.

Do you have a Google+ page?   If not you can start here:

http://www.google.com/+/brands/

For incentive, watch this video:

http://www.google.com/+/brands/thebasics.html

Here are my Goolge+ pages:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+daoofseo (my personal profile or personal brand page)

https://plus.google.com/+OneWayLinksToronto/ (my entities page, or business brand page)

Mostly, what I’m sharing with you today is the Google+ page I set up for Ken Sproul, not so much the page I set up for my business at One Way Links.

I keep saying “page” but in fact you will be setting up pages.  To start with, your “About” page and “Posts” page are probably going to be the most important. But make sure you include a Google+ profile picture of yourself, tagged with your name and a logo if you have one (the logo is only for the business brand page). I’m sure you’ve noticed when you do Google searches, that you often see sites listed in the search results that have a picture in addition to text.   Google+ is how that comes about. Those sites are usually perceived to be more clickable. The picture of you simply makes those listings more interesting.  In a way, I suppose, that picture is a little bit of social media making your #8 ranking more appealing than someone else’s #3 ranking.

This is what my About page looks like:

https://plus.google.com/+daoofseo/about

And my Posts page:

https://plus.google.com/+daoofseo/posts

When you click on someone’s profile, their posts page is like the “home” page; it comes up first.

SEO and Google+

One of the main reasons Google+ is valuable to your SEO campaign is that the first link added to a Google+ page post is a DoFollow link, which means it passes link equity, or link juice, on to the website you share. If its your website you’re sharing, you’re getting the link juice. DoFollow links are a core building block of SEO. They work in conjunction with PageRank, TrustRank and link context to determine how you rank for specific keywords.  The disappoint of many in the SEO world is that it’s only the first link that passes link juice.  But a Google+ presence is still worth the time it takes to develop a profile.

One of the things you will notice is that I have a custom URL. As you work on the About page you will have the option of creating a custom URL for your Google+ home. You’ll notice a section called Links Box. You’ll see your existing Google+ page URL, mostly just a bunch of numbers. Google will ask you if you want to convert that URL to a new custom Google+ page URL.

Custom page URLS looks like this https://plus.google.com/+YourCompanyName, for business brand pages.

For your personal profile page, it will probably be your name.

In my Link Box, Google had already pre-approved this one for me:

https://plus.google.com/+daoofseo/

They took the daoofseo reference from my Youtube account. I was also given the option of using my own name instead, but chose to stay with the one Google selected.

You will also want to optimize your About page. The SEO Title will simply be the name of your Google+ page and it’ll probably be your personal name if it’s your personal profile page or your business name/company name if it’s your business brand page. You will also want to optimize the Tagline and Introduction sections of the page (this is only available on the personal profile page). You can see mine in the example above. Don’t keyword stuff!!!

Google +1’s.   Maybe this is the real social media aspect of Google+.  You connect with others by becoming a “plusser”.   If you go to my posts page,  I’ve used +1 to link to an article by my friend Shelley Cates Martin and also to a Beatles puppet show.  I’m using social media to help my network find these people.   In other words, I really like the Beatles puppet show and I want to share it.

Of course, a lot of you reading this are way ahead of me. I’ve seen your Google+ posts and I can see you’ve been at this some time.

This controversial study from Moz.com suggests a high correlation between Google +1’s and higher search rankings:

https://moz.com/blog/google-plus-correlations

Good is good, let’s not worry too much about “how good”. We’re looking for tipping points.

But how do you add +1’s. It seems once you activate +1’s in your settings (you have to do this) the ones you’ve chosen to share will appear and you can add more as you come across them at Youtube or in search results.  This video https://www.google.com/+/learnmore/+1/ will (sort of) explain how you do this. Basically at Youtube or Google searches, you look for “Share” buttons or the little red g+ image.

g+

 

 

Linking to Google+ From Your Website. Once you have everything the way you want it, you should link to your Google+ page from your web site.  For example,  if you take a moment now to visit the home page of my website here at https://www.one-way-links.com you will see at the top right of the page the little red Google+ button.  If you click on it, you can add me to your “circles” (e.g. friend, acquaintance, business associate, etc.)  . Please do 🙂

This page generates some code so you can link from your website to you Google+ page:

https://developers.google.com/+/web/badge/

Do you blog? Do you want Google to associate what you’ve written directly with you? If you do, you will want to add Google author tags to each of your blog articles (rel=”author”). This is what will put your picture beside your linked-to blog in the Google results page. This is a bit more detailed than I want to get into here as I suspect many of you don’t have a Google+ page yet. But when you’re ready for Google author tags, this article will help:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/google-author-tags/

How can we help one another, folks? Can we find a way to connect with one another? Maybe post a review? One of the differences you’ll notice is that the Google+ “personal profile” does not include a review section presumably because it’s about an individual. But the “entities” or business pages do because they are associated with a business.

Here’s a way we can connect with one another. If you get a G+ widget on your site,  send me the site  URL. I can include a list of sites that have the widget in an upcoming newsletter with the invitation for you to go to those sites and click the G+ so you can connect with that person.

If you want a review maybe I can match you up with a list of sites interested in receiving reviews and you can reach out to one another. Maybe we can develop a strategy over the next several newsletters.

Newsletter Profile:  In this newsletter, I’d like to give a shout-out to long time program partner, Graham Robinson of Northern Computer Services, a website design and development outfit in Northern Ontario.  One thing you might not be aware of is that we have a number of designers, SEOs, and web development folks who bring many of their clients to the program. Since 2012, Graham has brought a number of quality small business websites to the program and has always been a reliable program partner.  Visit his home page (http://northerncs.com) to see a nicely done movie about some of his work.

That’s all for now, folks!

Cheers

Ken

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