Google has evolved a lot in the last few years. Getting a good ranking is no more about keyword stuffing and irrelevant link building. There is much more to it. After the Penguin and the Panda updates google attaches more weight on how a piece of content is ‘liked’ by humans rather than search engine bots.
So what metric does google use to find out how much a particular content is liked by humans? The answer is easy. Google looks for social signals. If a content has been tweeted out say 300 times in twitter, or has got 350 facebook likes then by all means the article is worth a read. Hence SEOs utilize the potential of social sites like facebook and twitter. But what is often overlooked is the potential of Google Plus. Google Plus has been around for sometime now and it is high time we utilize its potential to rank well in google.
The About Page in Google Plus
A great way to feature your business is to use the About page in google plus. The About page lets you write a tagline and an Introduction about your business. So use it judiciously. Fill in your business introduction by using most relevant keywords that define your business or your services. While doing this be careful not to overuse the keywords in any way. This will amount to keyword stuffing to google again. For example writing something like this would be disastrous :
“We deal in furniture. Our furniture are the best furniture in the furniture industry. We retail wooden furniture, plastic furniture, iron furniture, office furniture…”
These type of introduction will clearly be marked as spam by the google bot. So be natural. Write your copy in such a way that humans like it. Help humans find a solution to a vexing problem or write something entertaining. Forget about search engines.
Another great feature of google introduction is the use of live links. Google allows hyperlinks in its introductions. Use links to your business website or blog with relevant anchor texts. In this way people who find your service or business interesting might land directly on your business website.
So long we were talking about the About page. Now let us take a look at what you could gather from others’ About page. In fact any user’s About page is a wealth of information about that particular individual or company. It can tell you a lot about them. It can tell you about their circles, location, profession, interests, habits, hobby and of course Authorship. Authorship is what articles or content that individual or business has produced.
Another curious thing is that the images uploaded in google plus have EXIF information embedded in them. This can tell you a lot about the camera make, camera settings when the picture was taken, at what time was it taken, the GPS info, etc. This can be a wealth of information to a marketer. Most people forget to remove such information in the image while uploading them.
How to use Google Circles Effectively
Google Circles is a great feature of Google Plus to segregate your contacts into groups. Now you can classify them into Relations, Work buddies, Clients, Friends etc. What is the advantage of classifying them? Say you play golf on Sunday mornings and you want to send out a message regarding the tee off time to all your golf buddies at once. At the same time that message might be irrelevant for others in your google plus account who do not play golf. So you specifically make that message visible to your Circle called Golf Buddies. In facebook you have to send an inmail to all your friends and select your recipients manually. Another advantage of this feature is that all your posts become interesting to everyone in your friend list because you target those messages specifically for that interest group. Thus you become more noticed amongst contacts.
When you search something in google you will often find that some headshots show up beside some search results. You might have wondered what they are and how do they appear! This is what we are talking about here. You can claim the ownership to an article written by you by adding what is called the “rich snippet” at the end of the article. It is basically a link to your google plus profile with rel=’author’ in the link. In addition you will have to add a link back to the article in your google profile. This two way exchange will make google believe that the article or post has actually been written by you and it will show your image in search results.
There is another way to verify ownership of articles. If you own the domain then you could verify any email id from the same domain through the google authorship verification page. A verification link will be sent to your email id and you will have to visit that page in order to complete the verification process. You can also add a link in your google plus about page under the heading “Contributor to” to the site you are writing for. If you have a bio page in your blog then you could link to that as well. If you don’t then loin directly to the post that you have written.
There is a particular problem while doing guest posts in some other blogs. It is fine that you add a link to the google plus account. Then when you need to link to the article back from your google plus profile then linking to the homepage will not do any good. You have to link directly to the post form your Contributor to section. The problem is that as you keep on writing guest posts, the number of links will get accumulated into a very long list here. Amazingly it is found that search results with an author’s face have a much greater click through rate. It has also been found by Catalyst Research Marketing that by adding “rich snippets” you can increase your CTR by as much as 150%.
Finally we should all leverage the power of google plus as a social media. Marketing is often about the small things that boost your credibility and give you an edge over others. So get ready with your best headshot images because you are going to get famous as an author very soon! Happy blogging!
We would like to know your take on google plus and some ways to leverage it. Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section because we would love to hear from you. Also if you liked this post please share it with your friends and family. If you want to be notified about our future posts the moment they are posted then please sign up for our newsletter.
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