There were so many great questions that were asked in chat during my recent webinar, Google+ for Business, that I broke them into parts. Here’s part 1 and I hope I have answered your questions. And, if you have additional questions, please pop them in the comments and I will address them in future “Answers” posts. And than you for attending as well as reading now.
Q: Can we download the presentation?
Sure, I uploaded the presentation as a deck on Slideshare as well as a video on YouTube — heck, I even recorded an 80-minute extended Google+ walkthrough for your edification as a bonus.
Q: What if you are still a dinosaur and use Outlook for your mail?
Easy. You are welcome to engage with Google using your current email address instead of signing up for Gmail or using Google Apps for Business. It’s a little bit of a secret but all you need to do is sign up for a Google Account using your own email address and after that, you can set up your email preferences to receive updates and replies to your posts via email, so you will see them in your inbox.
Q: What is the benefit of a complete profile? What happens if you don’t?
There is no negative effect if you don’t fill out your entire profile honestly and completely but there is no positive effect, either. Let me be more precise: there is less of a positive effect. Google uses all of your quasi-private, personal, and accurate “real name” information to cross-reference you with other data about you. Like where you live, what you look like, where you share, what you do, who you know, and what you search for and buy. This cross-reference probably goes back in time a little bit. So, if you fill everything out, Google might recognize you and say, “hey, there you are, Chris Abraham! You’re that Chris Abraham, the one who grew up in Hawaii, attended GW, lives in Arlington, and spend too much time and money on blogging and target-practice. Oh! And look at all your 9,800 friends in your address book and in your online social network! Now that I know you and your friends better, I can deliver the most relevant content possible — as well as the most attractive ads.”
So, by sharing of yourself completely, including allowing Google to recognize faces and to know your demographic and psychographic as accurately as possible, given the limitations of the medium, not only will your experience “improve” but when anyone looks for you or your brand, they will more likely find you; and, if the person searching is in anyway explicitly- or tacitly-related to you online, your content — be it your personal or business Google+ posts — your content, your self, and your brand will show up on their first page of organic search at a much higher probability that could be seen as fair.
In other words, Google tends to return stuff it believes you’ll experience as magic — and one way of seeming magical and amazing is delivering content produced by your friends, people you like, things your friends like, and universally-popular content germane to your interests.
Funny story: every one of my hipster, fixie bike-loving, friends has reported stumbling upon my posts about my series of posts, articles, photos, and videos of one of my series of single-speed bikes: my Bianchi Pista (RIP), SoMa Delancey (RIP), Specialized Langster Gangster (somewhere in Berlin), and my current, wonderful, Surly Steamroller. They always find me.
While I am pretty high-profile and was an early adopter of the single speed, circa 2006, and I guess my blog, Because the Medium is the Message, is old-magic, circa 1999, and is deeply-integrated into Google’s index, I believe the more likely truth is that I am connected to all of my friends via Gmail in my inbox, contacts in my Gmail, links between our sites and blogs, as well as we’re all linked on Google Talk as well.
I bet you that Google has always been gaming organic search, favoring results produced or favored by people you know over people you don’t.
And I am not going to discuss whether that’s fair, I am telling you all this so that a light bulb goes off in your head and you get why it is so important to jump on board and take advantage of Google+’s stacked deck: the more connections you have with other people online — and not just your friends but your friends’ friends — and it may go further — the more likely all of your content, your marketing, promotion, and sharing — will automagically show up at a rate higher than average on all of their sites if and when they search for something that’s related to anything you have written explicitly and shared.
What I mean is that if I had not fawned so much over my gorgeous single-speed bikes online, there would be nothing for them to find no matter how stacked the deck might have been: get it?
Q: Can you set up multiple accounts? For instance for a company or an organization other than yourself.
Google is begging me to sign up for Google+ from all of my Google accounts and I can. But, my main account is attached to my email@example.com, which is good because I just left Gerris digital, my agency of 5 years, and don’t have account access any more, so, phew! I would be locked out now! So, I would recommend joining G+ privately using an email you will have forever.
Once you are on and committed, you can create as many Google+ brand pages as you want — as far as I know. And don’t be afraid to create as many as you need because G+ allows you to share the administration now over several people — and even transfer ownership — so you’re good to go.
More answers to your burning questions from my webinar next week…