Archive for Google+

Get Your Blog Out & Let’s Toast to This Post!

There are two simple rules every blogger must follow in order to grow their brand and audience: update frequently and produce fresh, interesting content. The previous is a simple matter of motivation, while the latter requires a bit more creativity.

Tumblr has almost 102 million blogs, while WordPress and Livejournal combine for more than 120 million, according to Snitchim.com. Though several million of these blogs are unattended, it is safe to assume that you are not the only person blogging about the subject matters covered on your website. The way your blog looks and its timeliness will help get you regular readers, but fresh, unique content is what ultimately drives organic traffic. Here are some proven techniques that can help you generate new content and gain more followers.

Google+

Though Facebook and Twitter get most of the headlines when it comes to social media, Google+ is becoming an essential tool for any blogger who wants to be relevant. Trendstream, a UK market research firm, found earlier this year that Google+ is now second only to Facebook when it comes to active monthly users. Bloggers can tie their websites to their Google+ accounts, which in turn will display their photo and biographical information next to their blog entries that appear in web search results.

Google+ is also a great tool for content generation. Following people, companies and organizations that are relevant to your blog basically creates a feed of information that you, in turn, can crunch into content. iAcquire, a Phoenix-based SEO company, is using the social media platform to great effect. The iAcquire G+ page has 135 people in its G+ “circle,” most of whom work in content strategy, SEO or some other related field. A travel blogger, meanwhile, would want to follow airlines, hospitality sites, and even meteorologists. Google Alerts is another tool bloggers can utilize to have the newest articles with certain keywords emailed to them as they are published.

Interactive Q&A

Whether you blog about daily happenings in the world, or about a product or service you sell, feedback will come in the form of comments and emails from readers. For instance, you may receive an email from a reader declaring that your company caters only to certain individuals and that you are losing business because of this. That one email can be turned into a 500-plus word blog post explaining exactly who and what your company is, along with addressing that individual’s concerns. Not only does this show that you care about individual customer or reader concerns, but shows you are willing to answer criticism. These types of blog posts are great opportunities to retain old customers and gain some new ones in the process.

Re-purpose Old Content

Many bloggers write year-in-review articles at the end of December, basically summarizing and re-hashing some of the things they’ve blogged about throughout the previous year. You could also compile a list of the ten best (and/or worst) comments ever posted on your blog and publish it. Polls are excellent for keeping customers engaged and the results could be made into a story.

Don’t let stale content keep your blog from becoming a player in your industry. Remember to keep it fresh and intriguing, and they will come.

I Think Google Wants To Kill The Search Engine

I think Google plans on killing the search engine? OK! OK! OK! This might sound weird, so read this article in full before you make a snap judgement. Then you can leave and call me nuts (or sing my high praise with a “+1″ and a comment at the bottom.) Either way, listen in to this sordid tale of greed, lust, authorship, fuzzy animals, search, and murder most foul!

It all began on a bright sunny day over a year and a half ago. Google introduced a new furry friend, by the name of Panda. Who would have thought then that this furry and his sidekick the Penguin would slowly killed all traditional indicators of search engine rankings. Backlinks and keywords have less relevance then they did two years ago. Not only that, we now get search results filled with our Google+ connections. Google Authorship is requested, so we can link back to Google+, instead of linking back to our own website in many cases.

So what is the problem with this exactly? Google+ has a number of cool features, primarily Google Plus Hangout. Whats not to like?Google Kills Search

The problem, however, is deep. The problem is that they have stopped judging a site by it’s relevancy, and started rating sites by popularity when you use strong social media indicators.

If you are ranking a site by their Google+ account for example, then you have a major disparity. A site like Mashable will more than likely always rank higher than my site. At the same time, anyone starting their business today has a much steeper hill to climb against their competitors than even those who started a blog even a year ago. This might be a bit of a simplification from Google’s algorithm, but an important piece of the puzzle.

Therefore, let me break down the statement in the previous paragraph.

At the current moment, Pete Cashmore, the founder of Mashable, has 1,634,101 people put him in their circles.

Peter Cashmore Google Plus Snippet

I have 4,670 people in my Google+ circles. Check out my Google+ Profile, so I can defeat the mighty Pete Cashmore! :p

Andy Nathan Google Plus Snippet

If you base the algorithm around Google+, then 99 times out of 100 Peter will rank higher in the search engines then I will. Why? Because with 1.629 million more followers than me he has an 350x greater chance of getting more likes, comments, and general engagement on his account.

The problem is that he will not necessarily deliver better content. In fact, because of his broader audience his content might not be appropriate for a good portion of his readers. Keep this in mind, because this is what will kill Google’s traffic eventually.

Now, let’s think about this from Google’s perspective. They want to deliver the highest quality search results possible to their audience. Would they rather share the person who has 100 +1 on every post or 5-10+1? From the Google robot perspective, Peter is a much better choice. In a lot of respects I would have to agree.

In fact, if the case were not him versus me, I might just stop checking all the time, and start going straight to his website after a while. And that is the problem.

Google is so intent on driving traffic to the best and greatest that it might be their undoing. If everything I need to know from Google is found on Wikipedia, why not just put Wikipedia as my home page at some point instead of Google. Just as I changed my home page years ago from Yahoo to Google, because I could be more effective. Imagine this on a broader scale. Millions of people would not need to search online, because Google will give us the predictable answer we already knew. Therefore, might as well skip the middleman and go straight to the source.

Do not believe me? Then tell me the last time you used a Google search to go onto Facebook? I type in “F” in the URL bar, and Facebook pops up immediately.

What if we stopped needing Google for search, because they were too good at their job. In this case, they deliver broad, generic answers that everyone has heard of time and time again. Google needs to re-think their strategy towards the big, and well-known. It only works for so long, until new competitors come in with fresh and unique content.

The same thing happened in the eighties to network TV. After years of dominance, people got bored with the three standard versions of Vanilla. The MTV generation finally had chocolate, and the kids went nuts!

In our gotta get it now, instant gratification society, search must deliver not only the predictable, but also the curiously unknown as well. Otherwise, why would we search for it in the first place. If video killed the radio star, does that mean Google Plus killed the search engine?

 

 

 

 

How to Use Google+ For Your Content Marketing Strategy

With more than 250  million users, Google+ has proved its popularity and has asserted that it deserves SMB’s (Small and Medium-Sized Businesses) content marketing plan and time investment. Because of that, many small businesses are using Google+ to market their product. Though Google+ is still new, using its content marketing strategy  is the best way to kick start your business. Here are six ways to find success in your business using this social networking site .

google plus oneUse formatting to grab reader’s attention

Though content of your website is crucial, your site will attract more people only if you format the content effectively. If your site suffers from poor display and readability problems, the visitors will not be able to process the content easily.  The content on Google+ keeps changing rapidly, making it essential to format the updates for effective readability and visibility. Google+ allows you to make your content pop up on  the viewer’s Google+ timeline through formatting codes for ‘bold’, ‘italic’ and ‘strike-through’.

Include Hashtags and +Mentions

Since, most entrepreneurs are on Google+ to improve their brand awareness and visibility, it offers two features called hashtags and +Mentions. These features help you increase traffic and brand awareness for your site. Mention is a feature similar to ‘@’ing ‘ option on Facebook and Twitter. The main purpose behind developing +Mention is to let brands and people know that you have mentioned them on your wall so that they might share the content with other people.

Hashtags have now become an important aspect of internet overnight. Hashtags are used in   social media sites like Twitter helping us understand online conversations. When you attach hashtags to your status updates, you will see that Google immediately links the hashtag to the search results for your Google+ query. You can attract more traffic if you link your status to Google+ queries.

Visuals are important

You can improve the content marketing technique by sharing images. Google+ places lot of importance on photos. You can also create images that suit the content of your blog articles and share it. You can attract more users to your site by sharing personal information about your office and staff.

Make use of targeted sharing

The best feature about Google+ is that it allows you to share content within the segmented circles that you create. You have the option of defining your audience and also provide content specifically targeted to them. You can create segmented circles like customers, blog commenters, local businesses and vendors. After you create your circles, you can make them visible to everyone and share content.

Participate in real-time conversations

Google+ offers a special feature where you can have conversations with your visitors using the real-time chat facility. You can post questions, blogs, advertise your product on your wall and get responses from visitors instantly. Before expanding your content ideas, make sure you know what your audience expect from you. You can market your product better by posting videos and adding links to your site.

Grace is a senior writer with  Godot Media, a content writing service firm. She is a talented copywriter  and her interests ranges from social media, blogging to following web technologies and trends.

Google Plus Is The Next Step For Your Business

The rise of social networks has been the foremost phenomenon of a generation. Following the success of networking sites such as Myspace, networking saw a huge increase in popularity after a small group of Harvard students established a small and exclusive site to link students at universities around the world. The Harvard students’ site became Facebook, a social networking site whose presence is now universal.

Since the inception of Facebook in 2004, social networking has become ubiquitous and, with its rise in popularity, the market has expanded. The Web giant Google, is responsible for the latest phenomenon on the scene, Google Plus. The networking site has reportedly surpassed the mark of 90 million users already this year, etching it into the networking scene. But why should this be of any use to small businesses? Let’s take a look at what Google Plus can do for your business.

Be The First Ones On The Scene

Although the service has already seen huge success, it is still relatively young. This means that not every business out there will have a Google Plus account. Strike while the iron is hot and you may well see your business leap out in the absence of competitors. When the time does come that your competitors use the site, your own page will already be well established.

The Service Is Simple

With Google Plus, there are no complex tasks to master. You do not need to know how to build a website in order to sign up – all these features are taken care of. This means that anybody can set up an account, without the worry of their page looking inferior as a result of any lack of web development knowledge.

Promotion Unlimited

90 million users means that there is a market of 90 million people to whom you can promote. With advertising space is rising in price, Google Plus is a fantastic tool for spreading the word about your products and services for free.

Needless to say, Google Plus allows you to link your profile to your own web site, as well as your presence on other social media sites, which allows you to promote your already existing services to a new market, free of charge. Likewise, you can add a link to your Google Plus site from your other sites – this shows that you are a well established business, serious about innovation and development.

Google Is A Web Giant

Google’s already huge share of the internet market means that they are a great client to be associated with. There is speculation, too, as to the likelihood of Google incorporating their social network into search results. This means that an account with Google Plus could lead to better presence in Google search results – which could never be a bad thing for business!

This advice was brought to you by Webeden- an online website builder. If you need more online exposure and would like to learn how to build a website, visit Webeden.co.uk.

 

Guest Post: Google+ Versus Facebook

Through email marketing I am always receiving the latest updates from the Internet industry, and lately I’ve been hearing a lot about the impressive growth of the newest social media competitor: Google+. There’s been a lot of speculation going around that Google+ is going to overtake Facebook, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Facebook beats out Google+ in a number of areas, and unless Google+ addresses these issues, then Facebook will likely continue to be King of the social media world. Granted Google+ is still in testing mode, but here are several key features that are lacking with the newcomer:

Photo tagging

While photo tagging has raised privacy concerns, it is nonetheless the most effective way to let friends know when they appear in photos via Facebook. The interface to download and organize photos in Google+ seems simple enough, but the lack of tagging capability is definitely a glaring omission.

Search

It’s ironic that Google is lacking in an area related to search, but when it comes to Google+, it is. So far, only users themselves are searchable within the site, unlike Facebook where all public content is searchable. Say you want to look up reactions to a recent breaking news story; you can do that on Facebook, but not on Google+.

Events/Birthdays

The ability to organize events is a major pro for Facebook, and one that is lacking with Google+. Featuring friends’ birthdays on the home page is definitely another advantage for Facebook, and another major omission from G+. The newcomer doesn’t even feature birthdays on users’ profiles, so if you’re looking for that reminder on upcoming birthdays, then it looks like you’ll need to continue checking your Facebook page.
While Google+ is likely to fix these glaring omissions, it won’t fix the fact that the new site is nothing more than a Facebook imitation. Except for a few improvements, G+ doesn’t add anything groundbreaking to the world of social media. Almost every feature, from “Circles” to “Streams,” has a counterpart in Facebook. Google+ even looks like Facebook, only with a whiter background. This isn’t to say that Google+ is a bad product; it just doesn’t have any factors that would lead me to believe it will overtake Facebook anytime soon.

Richard is a father and an awesome chef. (At least in his own mind.) He writes about business and technology in his own time while attending school.