Why You Need to Get On Google+
Hi there! The following guest post is by a Carlo Pandini, an SEO expert based in the UK who has been following Online Reputation Management closely. This news about Google+ is going to be a total game changer in terms of creating and sustaining your influential brand online. Please read it closely and then scroll down to the comments section if you have any questions about what this means for you and what you can do about it.
My best advice is: Get on Google+, even if it’s just to share your regular blog posts and an occasional shout out. I love it for keeping up with people whose content and personality I really enjoy.
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Google+ and a new way to prevent bad press
Let’s start with a test: type Coca Cola into the magic Google form. The results are just a calibrated mix of brand websites and PR initiatives such as micro-sites, social media accounts, news, images and videos.
One new feature you might notice however, is the latest introductions to Google+ – the authorship mark-up. Among its functions as a social media platform, is that the authorship system makes it possible to connect online journalists’ Google+ profiles into their published articles. In turn it provides journalists with abnormal ranking power for articles they are signing off on, using their Google+ profile
These can quickly build up ranking levels proportionally to the importance of their publishers and to the number of people in their Google+ circles.
Journalists with a high number of Google+ followers are gaining huge visibility online and their articles can jump straight to the first page under a brand name of a company if they were set to talk about this.
This can happen quickly and unexpectedly. Is this scary enough?
A strategy to become an influential voice in your industry
A way to avoid this outcome is to develop a public persona inside the company that can write articles and build up a competitive author rank.
Think of founders such as Mark Zuckerberg who have a high following with the public, a relevant CEO in a company, or a business owner.
These voices can build up a reputation (in Google’s eyes) relating to a specific community by contributing to online magazines. They won’t promote their brand explicitly, but focus on ideas and innovation.
In turn they are able to establish a high authority rank, therefore preventing journalists from ranking in high positions when they are talking about your brand name.
This tactic first started with testimonials for a company or product, real faces supporting business values and acting as ambassadors of the brand. Then founders became the online persona for a company, Steve Jobs was the face of Apple, Jack Dorsey for Twitter and David Karp from Tumblr, all people with great ideas and communication skills that are able to be quickly enhance the visibility of a company in the tech community.
Now everybody can exploit the ego and expertise of a company employee for marketing and online brand reputation techniques. Look at the following data that compares journalists vs CEOs, in terms of the number of Google+ users in their circles, and the number of search engine results on Google.
Number of search results in Google.com
How do you establish your business persona then? Please consider the following steps:
– Website presence
It is usually in the ‘about’ or ‘team’ section that employees of a company are showcased. You may want to include the company persona details in this section. Remember to include a link to their Google+ profile with the authorship mark-up, and involve them in updating your company blog.
– Social presence
Google+ should be your main focus. Don’t limit yourself to this platform and open as many related social profiles from Twitter to LinkedIn. Moreover, build a bunch of social media links by registering to the following social media directories.
– Start building up your Google Authorship rank
This will be the most difficult part of the strategy and the most controversial, so please evaluate any side-effects that might result from your actions. You may want to establish where your competitors have previously expressed opinions or have been interviewed before. If you have a PR agency, they can help you to do this and you may want to notify them about including a Google+ link to your profile when you are expressing an opinion in the press.
As online reputation is becoming essential in order to prepare customers for their buying decisions, the takeaway is clear: Google+ is another channel to consider for your online reputation, ask Mark Zuckerberg with his 649,492 friends that have circled him and would support him if bad press on his company tax benefits will come out.
Carlo Pandian is SEO account executive at Tug Search & Social Agency in London. He is a keen researcher on new solutions for individuals and businesses in order to manage their online brand reputations.