Google Plus is the Creative Class of Social Media

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

Richard Florida, author of Rise of the Creative Class, points out that well over 60% of Americans will never move more than 50 miles away from the town in which they were raised. These are individuals who are not part of the creative class. They are hesitant to change, they tend to keep the same beliefs they had growing up and they do not strive to seek out different cultures or a different way of life. After reading Matthew Calouri’s Why Facebook is Home article it became apparent to me that Google Plus is the creative class of Social Media and the Internet. Here is why.

Creative Class Individuals Enjoy Change

I think we all have a high school friend or two, maybe an acquaintance, that will stand proud of his or her beliefs that were ingrained in them from birth. Where I grew up, in the small town south, everyone is southern Baptist. Very Southern Baptist. So much so that there is not a single church in the town that is a different denomination of Christianity. There are definitely no other types of religions or beliefs represented. This town is so strong in their Southern Baptist beliefs that when I was in high school the science teachers read the Bible to the class. Yes, the science teachers.

This same small town graduates about 70 people per year from the local high school. Out of the 70 people about four or five go to a college that is more than an hour away. Five years after college maybe one or two of those individuals still live more than 50 miles away from the town. If you were born and raised there, you go back. Fortunately, I was not born there and my parents urged me to get out and see the world. As someone who has opened their eyes to diversity and an understanding that everyone is different I have no desire to go back.

Change is sometimes very hard for people who have been set in their ways since birth. I would imagine that a 35 year old individual from my hometown would have a very hard time living in San Francisco, Austin or even Raleigh-Durham. When voting on the “Gay Marriage” bill in the state of North Carolina that particular county had a 92% vote against gay marriage being legalized. Yes, that means 92 out of 100 are completely against gay marriage. Change is difficult for these individuals.

Google Plus Thrives on Change

Every single week there is a major change on the Google Plus platform. Early adopters can remember going through almost all of these changes. Some of us remember when hangouts were not on air or streaming live to YouTube. We can also remember the day Google Plus brand pages were released. That first major profile change was enormous. When communities was introduced by Vic Gundotra I know it was an exciting day for me. Plussers embrace and enjoy change.

That other place absolutely hates change. That said, it is the small “back home” town. They are not accustomed to something different that may challenge their mindset or the way they interact. Every time Facebook has a minor change the user base goes completely crazy. They like the way things have always been done. Individuals that have always done it the same way and they are standing firm in that belief system are not part of the Creative Class.

Why Facebook Wil Always Be Home

I started out this article by saying that over 60% of people will never leave “home”. I see it every single day in small town south. These individuals have no desire to break up the monotony. They went to elementary school and high school where their mother and father went to school. Their children will go to that same school. They will likely see their grandchildren graduate from that same school. Mom and dad live just up the street and their children will live on the other side of town. This is very comfortable for these individuals.

Facebook was their first social experience online. In fact, Facebook was likely their first experience online altogether. Some of my “back home” acquaintances have no idea what Pinterest is. They would never consider using an alternative social media platform because that is different. That would be like moving across country for a job in a “different” environment. They just cannot do it. That said, it has been proven that the creative class is taking over in the United States. They are individuals creating companies which provide jobs, they are starting movements, they are getting new laws passed and they are the future.

If you are willing to expand your horizons and accept that everyone is unique and special you are probably part of the Creative Class. You accept and love change because it makes you a better person. It is also true that you see the “back home” mentality on Facebook and the creative class growing on Google+.…

Google Plus Page Analytics is Finally Here, Sorta

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

Late last night Matthew Calouri tipped me off on a very important announcement by the Google Developers Team. I will post the seven minute video below but it you do not have time to watch it I will do a brief overview. The major announcement included Google Plus Page Analytics along with a change in Google Organic Search to show highlights of activity on Google Plus. If you want any type of click through rate (CTR) when it comes to Google search this is huge. No, this is enormous!

Google Plus Page Analytics Announcement

If you have seven minutes to spare please watch this video. The two Google employees explain how the new Google Plus Page Analytics works and how it is set up. If you already have a Google Plus “Page” and you have installed the Sign in with Google button it is really easy. Rather than trying to explain it myself I will let the Googlers do so:

This is very exciting news, but there are still some issues. First of all, this analytical data only tracks users that are signed in with the Sign in with Google. The data tracks how they are using interactive posts. For more on installing the interactive posts Google Plus feature use this link – Sharing Interactive Posts. So, let us get something clear. This is not the Google Analytics like you see when you sign in to analytics.google.com. This will be analytical data to see how Google Plus users interact with your posts that have the correct call to action share buttons.

I think this is a step in the right direction but there is still a lot of work to do. I can honestly say that a significant amount of my traffic from Google Plus comes from users that find me through Google search yet never sign in to Google Plus. I have tested this and I have seen it time and again. Here is a case study. All the visitors that are not signed in with Google are not providing data with the call to action share button. To my knowledge. Please comment below if I am wrong in this statement.

Another issue is the fact that you must be getting this traffic through a brand page or business page. There are no opportunities for personal profile analytics. My personal profile is my brand and I get the most interaction from my 10,000 followers there. If I wanted to start building a “business” page it would take me a very long time to get that type of engagement. Most likely several months or even several years. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Ok, I would make time if I saw a true value, not the hardware store, in the Google Insights and Google Plus Page Analytics.

Google Search is Changing Its Look

Along with the announcement of Google Plus Page Analytics there was an announcement that the interactions on these posts will show up in the Knowledge Graph of Google search. It will look something like this:

For a comparison of the current look of search and the future look of search check out this picture. Now, this is huge! As you can see on the comparison, a brand can truly distinguish themselves as a player through their Google Plus account. Even the smallest of brands can beat out the “big boys” if they are getting high levels of engagement on Google Plus. The fact that the front page of search will show latest posts and what is popular with Google+ users will definitely catch the eye of a Google searcher.

Something else that has been brought to my attention is that Google is finally putting profile pictures of brand pages in Google search with Authorship. Prior to May 2013 it was only profile pictures with a face that showed up. There is now evidence that brand page Authorship photos are popping up. Once again, huge! This may very well get the big players to use Google Plus more. If HHGregg or Fry’s Electronics has a brand picture beside Google search results and Best Buy does not some heads are going to roll. I think they will be contacting Mark Traphagen very quickly to find out how to get a picture beside the Google search results.

What to Make of This

We are still very early in the process, just like with Google Plus comments. This type of analytics is very limited because users may still be reluctant to sign in with Google. In time, this will be an amazing tool. Today, it may be very limited. If you have a small business or a brand I would suggest testing the waters ASAP. The coding might be a little difficult to understand but there are plenty of individuals on Google Plus who will be more than willing to help. If you plan on doing some testing let me know as I would love to hear some positives and negatives when it comes to Google Plus page analytics.…

Should Companies Install the Rel = Publisher Google Authorship Tag [Opinion]

Are you using the Rel=Publisher tag on your site? - 100 Million Cameras

Google Searches

 

The Rel=Author and Rel=Publisher tags have been a very hot topic of debate over the last several months. If you are unfamiliar with these terms just know that when a Google Plus profile properly installs the correct tag a photo can show up beside their search results. As of July 24th, 2013 we are only seeing profile photos showing up in search consistently but more and more Business Page profiles are starting to be released into the wild. When it rolls out completely Google will likely make a major announcement. This is a cause for concern as some business do not know whether they should install the Rel=Author tag for individual authors or the Rel=Publisher tag for the overall business. Let us jump into the details.

Rel=Author Increases CTR

If you have searched on Google in the last few months you have probably noticed there are some search results with photos beside the URL as shown belo. When searching through a text based page a photo of a face jumps out at the user. I have not completed any studies but I have noticed that my CTR has increased for lower level page 1 results. In the past I was lucky to get a 5% click through on a #8 or #9 result. With a photo beside the search result that click through can increase to as high as 25% or 30%. The results will vary.

Knowing that a picture within search is valuable most business want that logo beside every single search result. Unfortunately, this is not available yet. I would imagine that Google will roll this out over the coming months but what about right now? Some business have done a work around by installing the Rel=Author tag for individual Google Plus profiles just to get the picture to show up in search. When trying to understand the technical of installing the Rel=Author and Rel=Publisher tags please feel free to contact Mark Traphagen or join his Google Authorship and Author Rank community.

My Opinion

Patience can be very difficult when money is involved. Businesses are created to make money. If a competitor is showing up in search with pictures beside the results there is a good chance users are going to click the result with the picture. Until Google releases Authorship photos for businesses I would think they are not going to punish those that have installed the Rel=Author tag for individual Google Plus profiles. Before jumping on the bandwagon and installing a Rel=Author tag for all of your products or different web pages I would first ask a second and third opinion.

It is important to note that a Rel=Publisher tag can be used along with a Rel=Author tag. From my experience, the Rel=Author tag will allow a profile picture to show up in search even when both tags have been installed on a particle webpage. Once again, get a second opinion before going through the tedious work of installing these tags on all of your websites.

Right now there is not a set in stone answer. I wish there was, but there is not. If you absolutely want a photo to show up in search install the Rel=Author tag and wait for further notice. In the main header of the website I would install the Rel=Publisher tag just to help build authority when and if Author Rank is released. I would like to have a much more definite opinion right now but I am going to remain patient until Google tells us more. If you have a business with multiple services it is probably best to have one Google+ Page. Keep up with multiple pages and multiple Rel=Publisher tags would be a job in and of itself.…

Why Google Does Not Index All Google Plus Posts

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

Google indexes millions of Google Plus posts but not all of them. There are a number of active Google Plus users that find that it takes weeks, sometimes even months to see their posts crawled and indexed in Google search. From personal experience, it took about three months for my Google Plus posts to be crawled, indexed and ranked within organic search. Even after three months Google was not indexing all of my Google Plus posts. There is a very good reason for this.

Google Fights Spam Every Second of Every Day

Being on the front page of Google search is very powerful. So much so that entire business models have been developed to increase the likelihood that a website will rank on the front page for specific keywords. Most of you know these companies as SEO companies. There are some fortunate individuals that have websites that rank #1 for a specific keyword and they make over $1000 a day. These are few and far between so don’t quite your day job in an attempt to rank #1 for “New York Defense Attorney”.

The fact that the real estate on the front page of Google is so valuable means that many will try to manipulate the system. Not only will they try but they will pay someone else to do it for them. We have all seen those website that will post 25 articles a day with the same keyword. They will spam your blog posts with comments related to the same keyword. If this is not enough they will create a Twitter account with that keyword, a Facebook Fan page with that keyword and a Google Plus business page with that keyword. Ahhh, about that Google Plus business page.

If any spammer makes a Google Plus business page they are basically telling Google, “Hey, look at me! I am the one trying to manipulate your algorithm!” This makes it very easy for the Google Spam team as they can track all the bogus accounts and blogs that have been posted from this individual. I would hope no one reading this article is stupid enough to do that.

Google Does Not Index All Google Plus Posts

While most spammers are not the brightest individuals they are also not stupid. Many will come up with systems or programs that allow them to not look “as spammy”. Some will create multiple Google Plus profiles on multiple IP address. If they would only use this type of energy to create amazing content they could sail of into the sunset with $100 bills falling out of their pockets. I digress. These manipulation systems can get quite sophisticated. The following results are from those that have built authority and do not spam.

Google recognizes that spam can be detrimental to the health of search results. They are very weary of allowing just anyone to rank in search. There is a reason it takes a few weeks for Google to crawl, index and rank a new website. Many new websites do not see search results for several months and possibly even years as they have to prove to Google that they are a viable option for searchers. The same is true with a Google Plus profile or business page.

If you went on Google Plus today and started posting about home loans in Atlanta you are not going to have much authority on the social platform. Over the next six to nine months if you consistently post about updated trends and the 10 year treasury rate yield you would naturally become an authority. Then, and only then, would Google consider indexing your Google Plus posts.

There is much more to it than just age. You will also need to prove you are an authority through engagement and follower count. I am not a firm believer that follower count is the be all, end all, but there is a reason Google shows it in the search beside anyone with Google Authorship. If you have built a following of 500 people who are interested in the Atlanta housing market Google is likely to index and rank you within search.

Build Authority Through Expertise

If you have an area of expertise use Google Plus to build that authority. Even if you are not getting any +1s or comments you are still telling Google what you know. Every single time you mention the words “Atlanta” and “home loans” you are giving Google the opportunity to give you another stamp of approval. I know most people talk about the fact that everyone is on Facebook. I will say this a million times, “I don’t care if there are only 10 people on Google Plus, it gives you the opportunity to tell Google what you know!”…

Why You Should Google Plus More Than You Tweet

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

Over the last few weeks I have taken the head first dive into Twitter. I have had a personal Twitter account since late August 2012. I will admit that I only used it for personal (non professional) reasons until recently. After working the Twitter angle for almost a full month I can say, without hesitation, that I feel you should Google Plus more than you Tweet. Let me state up front that I am not an expert or guru but I do have personal experience on both social networks. Here is why you should “plus” more than you “tweet.”

Exposure for the Not So Rich and Famous

When I first jumped on Twitter I honestly thought I could build my following quickly. I clearly remember having a discussion with a friend while at a golf tournament in Greensboro in August of last year. I had just over 4000 followers on Google Plus at the time and I assumed I could convert those followers to Twitter. I was quickly proven wrong. I tried to “force” my Google Plus following to use Twitter and that was simply a bad idea. I could not understand why Plussers did not want to jump on the Twitter bandwagon. Over the course of the next several months I decided to use it Twitter for personal reasons and to get more involved in the community of Chapel Hill.

Over this course of time I saw that celebrities and those with the Twitter check mark had a distinct advantage to the not so rich and famous. Any time a well known athlete, media mogul or movie star Tweeted something it was retweeted over 50 times almost instantly. There was no way the little guy could compete with this. During the college basketball season I increased my activity on Twitter during live events. I started to see my following increase. I can gladly say that I am now over 300 followers on Twitter. Woo Hoo! That is all fun and games but I now have over 10,000 followers on Google Plus.

Why is it that I can gain almost 50 new followers a day on Google Plus yet I can only gain one or two on Twitter? I know that I am an early adopter to Google Plus and I am likely considered a bigger fish in a small pond. Even though this is true, I should not be getting 50 times the followers on a daily basis. In fact, over the course of the last month I have been more active on Twitter when compared to Google+. This is a personal opinion but I feel as if Google Plus allows the not so rich and famous to reach a broader audience and here is why…

Search, Search and More Search

Google is a company built around a search engine. Every product they create is to enhance the search experience. When a new user goes on Google Plus for the first time the search bar is front and center at the top. I would like to think Google has the search thing down pat. Twitter also has a search bar but the results are swayed. From personal experience, I have seen that celebrities and popular Twitter profiles receive preferential treatment in the search results of Twitter. Even when searching during a live event I see Tweets from celebrities or athletes that were Tweeted hours before the event started. I know there is an option to click the “all” search but how many novice Twitter users are actually doing this?

Let us take search within the social network completely out of the picture. Google Plus indexes every single post and eventually these posts get indexed in Google organic search. This does not happen overnight. Users have to build authority and some type of following before they see organic search results. That said, it is possible in a few short months. I have no idea how many followers I have accumulated through organic search but the number is definitely higher than my total number of Twitter followers.

Just last week I did a test case to see how many people accessed a single Google Plus post related to the NCAA College Basketball National Championship Game. I found that 344 people clicked on a link within the post. That means that well over 400 people found this particular Google Plus post through organic search. Once again, I have no idea how many of these people followed me but it allowed my profile to be seen. I cannot do this with Twitter.

More Exposure Equals More Followers

As of April 11th, 2013 I have 10,269 Google Plus followers and that number seems to be growing exponentially. I realize that plussing is more valuable than Tweeting for my personal brand. In January I wrote an article about using Google Plus even more in 2013. After my Twitter analysis I have decided to write more content for Wojdylo Finance that is going to get shared to Google Plus. I asked my following if they would like more content and I received very positive feedback about the idea of producing more quality articles.

I will continue to utilize Twitter. I have created the #googlepluschat Twitter chat for every Tuesday at 2:00 pm est. I even created a Google Plus Community to help those who are wanting to learn more about Google Plus. If I can just get help a few Twitter users better understand Google Plus each week I would consider this a huge success. All that said, I feel as if you should definitely Plus more than you Tweet.

If you are interested in implementing unique web marketing and SEO strategies please check out my services here: Web Marketing and SEO Help.

How I Handle 500 Google Plus Notifications a Day

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

I wake up at 8:15 am excited. I know this is another day in which I will be challenged while also enjoying every second. I take a few moments to prepare then I hit the ground running. After the first few minutes of my morning ritual I pick up my Nexus 4 and check the Google Plus app. I tend to have between 15 and 20 notifications every morning. “I just checked all my notifications around midnight thirty last night so how can there be this many?!” The day begins…

The Life of a Social Media Marketer

Finding a way to handle all of my Google Plus notifications has been a process. I did not start on Google Plus and immediately have 10,000 followers. In fact, back in March of 2012 I wrote this post explaining why I didn’t want thousands of Google Plus followers. At the time I was at 300 and my wish did not come true. I currently have around 11,000 followers. I am also very active on Google Plus as I tend to post over 15 times a day and comment as much as I can. So, here is how my day goes.

Photo by AndroidCentral

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I volunteer from 10 am to noon at a retirement community. While at the community I rarely check my notifications. Prior to leaving for my volunteering efforts I will post an article to Wojdylo Finance that is shared through my Google Plus profile. The morning post that is shared may or may not gain traction. I get to the retirement community around 9:50 and I check my Nexus 4 before going in. I usually have five to eight notifications. I will respond to anything that is absolutely necessary.

I enjoy every second of my volunteer experience. It is my opportunity to get away from the computer and social media. It is a true joy to sit and talk with those who could care less what others think. They definitely have no desire to be online. That is an article for another time. Around noon I leave the retirement community and, once again, check my Nexus 4. If the morning post gained any traction I can have anywhere from 10 to 20 notifications. Before leaving I do my best to respond to anyone that has a question or has left a great comment. I also thank those that have shared my article.

Just after 12:20 I arrive home and I start making my lunch. I grab my MacBook Air and set it on the kitchen table. I usually post a picture of what I am making or what I am craving. By 1:00 I have about 10 more notifications. I do not address these until after I eat. With a full stomach it is time to really get the day really going. Over the course of the next four hours I am inundated with Google Plus. I write articles, I read as much as possible and I interact with my following. I also try to search Google Plus for new users that might be of interest.

From 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm I get well over 250 notifications. I am checking them constantly. Sometimes it is a simple +1 and other times it is a friend or business partner privately messaging me about a hangout or a business proposal. During this time I also post about 10 Google Plus posts related to social media. It ranges from graphs to articles from major publications. Let us just say that I am very busy and the “little red number” never stops. While I am on my laptop my goal is to keep this number under seven. It can be difficult at times.

I am also writing articles for Wojdylo Finance this whole time. My ultimate goal is to get three or four quality articles shared on Google Plus during this time. There are some days this is a piece of cake and other days I have to turn everything off and work diligently to produce the content I desire.

Time to Relax After 5:00 pm

As 5:00 pm is approaching I know that my Google Plus following is closing shop for the night. I try to get one last article written and shared by about 4:45 pm. It is sometimes a scramble to do this, but I get it done. Around 5:00 pm it is almost time to relax. If that is what you want to call it. From 5:00 pm to about 9:00 pm I know there is little engagement on my Google Plus posts. Trust me. I have tested it multiple times. This is the time I like to read, exercise, clean up my website, eat and just relax.

During the school year I take part in Crossfit at UNC at 8:30. This means the timeframe from 8:00 to 9:30 is blocked off as I like to get their early and stay late. I am a bit of a socializer if you didn’t notice. I tend to be physically drained after Crossfit so I will lay on the track and rest until I gain my composure. Once this happens, I grab my Nexus 4 and check my updates. The number can be anywhere from five to 20. I will respond to anything that is necessary.

When I return home I take a shower and relax for about five minutes and 17 seconds. I grab a nutrition shake and I am at it again. I try to write an article or two and share it via Google Plus. From about 10:30 pm until midnight thirty I am getting notifications. I do not use my laptop as much as most of these notifications are addressed via mobile on my Nexus 4 while I am reading. “Turning it off” by 11:00 pm every night is my goal but it does not always happen.

What a Day on Google Plus

When all is said and done around midnight thirty it is time to hit the Jesse Wojdylo off switch. Just before bed I check my Nexus 4 one final time and address any notifications. As soon as my head hits the pillow I sleep so very well. I have never had issues sleeping. I wake up on Tuesday and it starts again with a little bit different schedule. If this post gains traction I will be more than happy to explain how my Tuesdays and Thursdays go as they can be a little more hectic.…

Google Plus Comments Will Change Social Media Forever

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

Wow! I am in shock at what I am seeing on Google Plus and across the web. For over a year now I have been toying with the idea of how to utilize Google Plus comments when they are available across the web. It looks like it is almost time to take action. Today Yonotan Zunger announced Google+ comments for Blogger. For anyone that may not know, Blogger is owned by Google so it makes sense that it would go out to this product before WordPress, Drupal or any other type of blogging software. I firmly believe we are going to start seeing WordPress plugins very soon. I also believe Google Plus comments will change social media forever and there are a few reasons.

Google Plus Comments Will Help Google Better Understand You

Over the last five years we have seen Twitter comments and Facebook comments installed on most major websites. Unfortunately, these two social media entities are not our search engine of choice. They are social networks that help us correspond with others but we do not use them to find a place to eat or a hotel in which to stay. Most people use Google for that. Google Plus is the social layer that the search giant is implementing and today they took another big step in making our lives easier.

Google Plus comments across the web will allow us to sign in with our Google Plus accounts to comment on a website. This will help Google tailor search to better fit your needs. If you travel to Kauai, Hawaii on a yearly basis there is a good chance you read a blog or website that produces content related to the area. If you comment on several different snorkeling articles Google will better understand that you might go snorkeling when you get to Hawaii next year.

Let me make something very clear. You can make all of this information 100% private and disable personalized search if this is not for you. There are some people that feel insecure about Google digesting their information and making suggestions. If you want privacy it is built in to Google Plus. You can easily turn off Search Plus Your World when using the Google search engine. You can also post comments privately so only a certain group of individuals can see those comments on a specific website.

Relationships Will Continue to Strengthen

In a time when I doubt the depth of Internet relationships this could change things up. I am not a huge advocate of building relationships solely online but I will admit that some of my best friends were met through Google Plus or Twitter. By meeting someone on a website that is related to a specific subject you have something unique in common.

I am a huge lacrosse fan. I have learned more about the sport of lacrosse in the last three months than I have in the last 10 years. If I am constantly commenting and replying to comments on specific lacrosse websites I am building a unique relationship with these individuals. If they live in my area I might meet them at the ACC tournament or the NCAA tournament in the next few weeks.

Social media is about being social. Building relationships with infleuntial people that have a similar interest is exactly what social media is about. It is not about setting up an automated link sharing system. It is not about getting as many followers as possible. It is centered on building strong relationships over time. With Google Plus comments across the web we can take those relationships to a brand new level.

Your Google Plus Following Matters Even More

I just made a comment on a thread that went something like this, “Forget shared circles and forget the new Suggested User list. The new Google+ comments is going to explode a following.” If you can combine your area of expertise with multiple websites across the web you are going to see your following naturally grow without even realizing it. This is enormous for anyone that wants to build an online presence. It is no longer the case that you can only produce content for an individual website or blog.

If you are commenting on other websites that are of similar interest you are going to find people that not only follow you but share your content across their social networks. Before you know it you will have 10,000 Google Plus followers that cannot get enough of your content. This is so very exciting. With that said, get out there and start testing out the comments and building new relationships across the web.…

How to Use Related Hashtags to Build a Google Plus Following

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

Over the course of the last 36 hours I have seen engagement levels skyrocket after the release of Google Plus 2.0. In fact, it is all I can do to keep my notifications below ten and I check them constantly. Building a powerful network on Google Plus is very important to reap the benefits of the new features. I have seen that engagement matters to go full stream with a picture across multiple columns. I also know the SEO and search value of increased engagement. With that in mind, it would be smart to use related hashtags (another new feature) to build a following and increase engagement. Here is how.

Related Hashtags on Google Plus

When Vic Gundotra announced related hashtags at Google I/O 2013 I was in shock. This was a complete curveball to me. I would have never guessed that hashtags were even a concern for Google Plus. Remember that Google owns Google Plus so they see what people are searching through organic search. It is obviously the case that people are searching something like “what hashtag do I use for the NBA playoffs” or “what hashtag is correct for the Grammys”? If you have used Twitter for more than 15 seconds you know that everyone uses whatever hashtag they desire and it is hard to categorize all of this information.

Google is one step ahead of Twitter. The individual that created the hashtag for Twitter, Chris Messina, now works at Google Plus and I can assure you they are working diligently to index and rank these hashtags in Google Plus search (already happening) and, more importantly, Google organic search. The premise of related hashtags is that Google will use the content of a Google Plus post to suggest hashtags that are of a certain category. This means there is no variability as it will help new and experienced users create a topic or subject related to their post. It is like a tag cloud but one hundred times better. Let me give you an example.

If I am watching the 2013 Grammys I may think the hashtag is #grammys while others may use #2013grammys, #awards or #CBSGrammys. We all know that brands love to “brand” a hashtag with their name. We see #NBCGolf, #CBSNFL and #ESPNNBA all the time. I am a sports guy so this is what I notice. Brands in all industries are trying to get their name in the hashtag just for free advertising. This makes it very difficult for the common social media user to scour the best content. Some of the best Twitter users may use a unique hashtag or no hashtags at all. Google solved this problem.

Google Plus Related Hashtags Help You Meet People

Most of us can agree that Google Plus is about meeting new people that have similar interests. What better way to do this than related hashtags. Below is an image that shows you what it looks like. On the upper right of any Google Plus post of significant content you will see one hashtag but you can click the down arrow to see a few more. After clicking the hashtag of the Google Plus post the card will flip over and it will give you a different Google Plus post related to that topic. Notice there are arrows in the top column. This allows you to see up to five total posts related to this topic.

Once you have consumed all five Google Plus posts it will give you a list of suggested hasthags at the end as shown in the picture in the previous section. Having the ability to “explore related hashtags” is amazing. This will allow you to find those active Google Plus users that have a similar interest. I have already met several people that are interested in Audi cars. I know that communities is a great feature but users do not post all of their content in communities. In fact, I would say that over 80% of my following found me through public posts that were not in a community.

I hope that more people start to use the related hashtags as it will allow me to build amazing relationships with those of similar interests. This is still a very new product so it is going to take time to polish over the next few months. I have seen no flaws but there have been some Google Plus posts that have no hashtags. While this product is polished I would suggest using your own hashtags and seeing what Google “recommends” by flipping the card over and scrolling the the right.

Have you used Related Hashtags on Google Plus? Do you feel as if this will help you build a following and engagement?…

How Much Is Your Google Plus Profile Worth?

This morning I was notified of a very in depth study conducted by Joshua Berg in which he researched the possible PageRank of an individual Google+ profile.  For those that may not be familiar, PageRank is the value that Google assigns to any specific website that helps to determine how that website will rank within search.  There are hundreds, even thousands, of other ranking factors but PageRank is the foundation upon which the Google algorithm was created.  This means the PageRank of a personal profile on any website could be extremely valuable.

Google Plus Profiles are Ranked Based on What?

After having been active on Google+ over a year it seems obvious the signals that matter to Google.  Here are just a few of those signals that likely determine the “rank” of a profile page:

  • Engagement Levels (comments, shares, +1s)
  • Who is Engaging with Said User
  • Activity on Google+ (number of updates)
  • Value of Content Shared
  • Use of the Google+ Social Layer with Other Products
  • Value of Links to the Google+ Profile
  • Social Shares from other Websites

These are just a few of the many factors and I could do an article on each and every one but I will save that for another time.  What users must understand is that Google created this product to help them better search with social signals.  Even if you are not signed into “Search Plus Your World” you will still see Google+ influencing search.  So much so that some profiles are ranking very high for competitive keywords.  This is what started the conversation about a Google+ profile having PageRank in the first place.

The Value of Ranking in Google Search

Anyone that owns a business, works in internet marketing or has a pulse knows the value of ranking on the front page of Google search.  Just yesterday I had a long discussion with a brilliant friend about the long term business model of ranking in search versus a Facebook or Twitter based business model.  There is no comparison whatsoever.  There is a reason that Google makes tens of thousands of dollars a day on one specific keyword.  When a potential buyer is ready to make a purchase they are going to search.

This is one of the many reasons a Google+ profile is so valuable.  If you are a personal brand or have access to a major brand page it stands to reason that you would want to rank at the top of Google search.  Time and again we have seen that Google+ helps people and businesses do just that.  I will give you an example.

Let us say you are a carpenter in Orlando, Florida.  There are many ways that you can get customers but one of the most efficient and profitable ways is to allow them to find you in a time of need.  The best way to do this – Google Search.  By using a Google+ profile to actively engage in related topics on Google+ you are telling Google that you have expertise in this field.  You also have the ability to reach out to customers that may be on the other side of the planet.  Every single comment you make with the words nail, hammer, fix, wood, construction, kitchen, renovation and so on will help Google understand who you are and how you should rank.

This is not an overnight process.  Like anything of value in life, it takes time and effort.  I am truly shocked to see my Google+ personal profile ranking ability.  That said, I have been very active over the last year and I am doing what most are not, I am putting forth a lot of effort.  When I see someone who needs a question answered (in my area of expertise) I do my best to explain, in detail, how to alleviate the concern.

Value Takes Time to Build

Since I have been active in the internet marketing industry (a long time) Google has delayed the update of PageRank value to users.  There is a reason for this.  They do not want website owners to obsess over the little things that may increase or decrease PageRank.  Just this week, one of the top Google Search engineers said that creating quality content that users want to read is the best way to rank in search.  This takes a lot of time and effort.  The same is true with a Google+ profile.

Do not feel as if you can get active on Google+ today and obtain a PageRank 5 profile ranking within a few weeks or even months.  My good friend Mark Traphagen has been very active on Google+ since day three (July 2011) and he has a PageRank 5.  I have been active since March 2012 and I have a PageRank 4.  These numbers are not set in stone as they are just an estimate based on some testing software programs.

Take the time to recognize that Google+ is a very powerful tool.  More importantly, understand the Google wants this product to help Google search by creating relationships across the world.  If you build powerful personal and professional relationships on Google+ I can assure you that Google will reward you in the long run.…

Photos or Photographers to Share on Google Plus for Free

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

Sharing pictures to an online social profile is a very hairy subject. Some users will take screenshots and share anything that is online while others are very careful with a social share. In the last two weeks I have been educated by some brilliant minds on Google Plus. What I learned is that only Creative Commons Non Commercial photos are the only photos free to share from any website. Proper attribution and a link to the photographers website or photo is also necessary.

Photos and Photographers to Share on Google Plus or Any Website

After having multiple conversations about the property of photos I have decided to use only Google Plus photographers when sharing only a photo on a Google Plus post. Within the post I either plus mention the photographer or properly display their name or brand. I will also post a link to the website where Internet users can find more of their amazing work. I have bumped in to some amazing photographers that are more than happy to allow users to share their content. Here they are:

Trey Ratcliff – Stuck in Customs

Michael Bennett – Michlin Metals

Chris Smith – Out of Chicago

Alex Hernandez – Android Dissected

Chris MacKenzie – Photography

Ingo Meckmann – Meckimac

I have received permission from the following individuals but please contact them before sharing as we have a personal relationship:

Jack Durst – Fabulous Lake Tahoe Blog

Micheal B. Stuart – StuStuStudio

Photo Credit

If there are any other photographers that would like to be part of this list please feel free to comment below or connect with me on Google+. I will be more than happy to share your photos through my personal profile and in some of the communities that I manage.

Must We Give Photo Credit?

Prior to my discussions with the Google Plus photo intelligentsia I was unaware that users could not share pictures anywhere. After some digging I found that anything posted to my Google Plus profile is the property of Google. Therefore, Google has to deal with the legal issues. The easiest way for them to alleviate the problem is to delete my account. I am not willing to do that. If you have a social media account that you do not care about you can share pictures all day but remember that Reddit, Imgur, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instragram or Google+ can delete that account at any time for lack of attribution to the photographer.

To cover your butt I would make certain that you get permission from the photographer before posting a picture. If this is not possible you can use the Google Image search to upload the picture and find the photographer. Most photographers are more than happy to allow you to share their content if you connect with them. I have only had one photographer that has told me that I cannot share their images. That said, may sure to cover your rear end.

The social media world is about sharing but there must be credit where credit is due. I would not be happy if someone stole this article word for word and did not give me credit. If you created an amazing video yet you were not credited, how would you feel? This is something to think about before taking that screenshot from Imgur or Google Images the next time you want to share a photo. A photographer worked very hard to get that shot so give them their well deserved credit.…