From Anne Giles Clelland:
"When I’m asked to describe Google+ I often refer to it as Facebook without all of the drama."
- Patsy Stewart, You're Freakin' Kidding Me... You're Not on Google+?!
I've debated for more than a year about creating a Google+ business profile page for Handshake 2.0.
Content is king and queen for Handshake 2.0. People find their questions answered in meaningful ways by Handshake 2.0's writers through Google search results. We've shared our site's traffic stats for years - today, more than 50% of our traffic is from Google, 25% is direct, Facebook is down to 1%, and Twitter no longer even ranks in the top 10 sources.
I've thought we didn't need another social media channel. Patsy Stewart informed me that thinking of Google+ this way was strategically incorrect. Hesitant to allocate limited bandwidth to another project, however, I still haven't taken action.
Then Patsy sent a link to this Copyblogger post to her clients: Seven Ways Writers Can Build Online Authority with Google+.
To summarize the post, Google is announcing changes in search results that will assign importance not only to web pages with great content, but to the writers of great content themselves. We'll see more about "Author Rank" and "Google Authorship" in the days ahead. But individual authors who consistently create content that readers value are likely to see their posts ranked ahead of those written without attribution or with, well, lengthy, boring jargon.
“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
- excerpt from forthcoming book by executive director of Google Eric Schmidt quoted in the Wall Street Journal
What does this mean for people-focused, content-driven sites like Handshake 2.0? To help Google help people find great content, our great writers - our client authors, staff writers and freelancers - need Google+ profiles. And Handshake 2.0 needs a Google+ business profile page.
We'll learn more about what Eric Schmidt means by "verified online profiles" as the story unfolds, but a Google+ profile will certainly rank higher in Google search results than a LinkedIn profile - the convention we have followed on Handshake 2.0 to build "It's still who you know" connections - or a corporate bio page. I'm consulting with Patsy Stewart on best practices for managing Google+ profiles for authors, businesses and sites that consciously and intentionally create and publish great content. We'll share.
In the meantime, I'm taking to mind and heart Patsy Stewart's advice in her Freakin' post the three reasons a business should be on Google+: search results, search results, search results.
Thanks to Patsy Stewart for sharing this related post with us from Marketing Profs: Google Authorship and Author Rank: Big for SEO in 2013 and Beyond.
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Graphic courtesy of Social BUZZ Lab
Names in this post have been changed - to link to Google+ profiles!