In case you had not noticed Google have finally rolled out their social networking platform, and it is called Google+.
Google+ is still in its early days and it is likely that there will be many future developments. At the moment it allows you to share news, photos, videos and links with friends and family, much like you can on Facebook. There are some major differences to the way information is shared in Google+ and how you communicate with other members. You can learn more about how Google+ works here: Google Plus: First Review & Expert Analysis.
In addition to Google+, Google have also recently launched their author markup and have started showing authors in the SERPs. Although this is not directly a part of Google+ I think that it all ties in to Google's way of doing social networking.
From the start Google have made it clear that Google+ is for people and not businesses. They are started to put people first before machines. So my strategy on the arrival of Google+ is to embrace the new Google social platform. To do this, I made 3 main changes to the way I work online.
1. Creation of Google Author Profile Pages
First I created some author profile pages for the websites that I run. I am the chief editor in most cases and with few exception am the only author, so this simply involved creating one author profile page and linking to it from each article I publish with the rel='author' markup. Out of curiosity I found a way to easily add author links in WordPress, and this system will work well on blogs with multiple authors.
The next part of this is to then add links to the Google profile page within the author profile page using the rel='me' markup and then linking back from the Google profile page to the author page. Reciprocal links are essential for the system to work. You can learn more about the author markup here: Google Authorship.
2. Adding the Google +1 Button to my WordPress Blogs
The next task was to add the Google +1 button to my websites. This was easy to accomplish as I simply used the code that Google gave me through Webmaster Tools and added it to my template. This then allows people to share posts via their Google+ profile pages. These may act as social votes for a website in the future, in fact, they may already count towards rankings.
3. Getting Involved On Google+
This is the heart of the plan. I have set up my Google+ account and created some circles. At the moment it is still early days but I am starting to see how Google+ could help to promote my site in an ethical way. If you create some very specific circles for your business you can start to find people who are genuinely interested in the topics that you write on. Then when you wish to share something you can share it with these circles and hopefully they will take notice.
I am hoping that in time as more professionals and business owners move on to Google+ it will provide some interesting business leads and hopefully future partnerships. It is still a little early to see exactly how it is going to benefit, but early indications are that it is going to allow me to connect to more people. Already I have seen conversations take place in a rather candid way which would not have happened on other platforms of forums.
Google+ is certainly going to be huge. With 200 million active Gmail users there are already a lot of people who can have Google+ accounts. Google+ reached 10 million members in its first week and is set to grow. In all likelihood Google+ will soon be bigger than Twitter and hot on the tails of Facebook. And just to prove how popular Google+ is, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is the most popular person on Google+ (although I suspect this is a set up by Googlers).
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