Recently I gave a sort of “Google+ 101” presentation to my colleagues and promised to put together a list of resource links for reference. The Making The Case For Google+ series inspired some readers to request the same, so…two birds and whatnot. Bookmark this page, because here come ALL THE LINKS!
Start with Google+ Settings; this is where you set the basic parameters for your account, but you’ll find yourself coming back here to adjust as you become more familiar.
The Google+ Support Forums are your new best friend.
Google Webmaster Support
Sometimes the Google+ Support Forums don’t go into enough detail for things you’re trying to do on the back end. When that’s the case, Google Webmaster support is like a smarter older brother. The kind who would help you solve all the problems in the world…when you weren’t screaming obscenities at him because you’re so sick of looking at each other’s stupid faces. On that note…
A word about Google Webmaster support and forums: As I said to a colleague yesterday, people with English Lit degrees, little patience, and fair to middling ability to grasp highly technical language about building websites will feel, in the Webmaster Forums, like Marty McFly stumbling around idiotically in 1885, resembling a lost Easter Egg in sneakers. Things look familiar (“These are English words I know…) but the synapses are slow in coming (“What do these English words mean when arranged in such a way?!”).
Marty in 1885’s Wild West – like Heather in 2013’s Google Webmaster Forums – may as well be waving a sign that says, “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.” He’s an ‘80s’ kid in the wrong ‘80s’ – I’m essentially a professional reader in the wrong forum. But Marty saved Doc before getting back to 1985 and I eventually gained enough knowledge to train my colleagues, so don’t give up hope! Like most everything else, the more you immerse, the easier it becomes. You’ll go from a pastel-wearing outcast in sneakers to a more reasonably dressed poncho-wearing cowboy in boots if you persevere. (No time travel, though. Unless you know some Libyans with plutonium.)
The Google Webmaster Help YouTube Channel has saved me many times.
Also check out the Webmaster Central Blog for updates, new feature releases, and tips and tricks.
“Closing The Loop” With Additional Social Media Profiles
In January I put together a post on SEO And Social Media, listing five lesser known platforms with which I recommended creating and maintaining profiles. Following is the expanded list (with, of course, ALL THE LINKS!). You’ve already taken care of the big ones (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Vimeo, Foursquare, Yelp, etc.), but there are a number of reputable, globally recognized sites weighted heavily in the SERPs. Connecting these profiles to your Google+ page is the equivalent of injecting steroids into your SEO – only these steroids are free, legal, and there’s no noticeable shrinking of your unmentionables. From what I hear, anyway.
Google wants to prioritize content created by verified writers with authority in certain topics in its results. Credibility is what makes Google’s search results as efficient and useful as they are.
Following the initial steps you take before applying for Google Authorship (close-up headshot as profile pic, consistent byline, adding sites to which you’ve contributed to your profile, etc.), officially apply through Google’s portal here:
For more information on author information in search results, see this page.
To learn more about linking your content to your Google+ profile using rel=”author”, go here.
Upon Authorship approval, use the Rich Snippets tool to test it out:
This excellent piece from PandoDaily discusses how Author Rank is changing marketing and journalism; pass along to the doubters.
The following are additional resources for help:
Various Extra Resources
italics = italics *bold* = bold
Connect additional email services under the “Find People” icon on the Google+ toolbar to the far left to find more friends and colleagues on Google+. If you’ve never used this feature, you may have to hover over “More” (at the bottom of the toolbar) to see the option. This goes for all left-side icons – if you don’t see it, you’ll find it under “More.”
Browse, join, and host Hangouts!
Communities, especially for professional purposes, are amazing.
And don’t forget to check out my votes for Top 5 Communities For Social Media.
Download your circles and contacts:
Settings (gear icon, upper right-hand side) → Account → Download your data
Learn more about Google+ Ripples:
Brush up on basic HTML coding:
Personalize your Google+ profile URL:
Get the Extended Share for Google Chrome add-on.
Please feel free to add more in the comments, and I’ll see you out there!