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How to Get More Traffic with Google Plus
Google+ is today the 2nd largest social network in the world. Due to Google's revised search engine algorithm after launching Google+ in mid-2011, it is now no longer possible for a hub, blog, or website to drive massive traffic from Google Search, without participating in Google+, according to many experts.
Google+ is a social networking and identity service that was launched by Google in June 2011. It is a seamless integration of various Google services, such as Gmail, Google +1, Google Profiles, Google Buzz, and Google Talk, as well as new features such as Circles, Sparks, Hangouts, and Huddles. Because of this integration, there is no need to create a dedicated Google+ account. Google's ability to leverage on its existing services has made Google+ the 2nd largest social network in the world today. With over 500 million registered users (235 million of whom are active in any one month), it surpassed Twitter in January 2013.
After Google+ was launched, Google changed its search engine algorithm, such that It is no longer possible for a blog or website to drive massive traffic from Google Search, without participating in Google+. Google has about 62% of the search engine market share, worldwide, in mid-2013, while Bing, at 2nd place, has 9%, and Yahoo, roughly 5%. Isn't this reason enough for you to learn how to use Google+ to your best advantage? The more attention and authority you have and the larger your Google+ network, the more traffic you will receive.
Below are some pointers on how you can make Google+ work for you, if you are a hubber, a blogger, or a webmaster.
Set up a great profile
As with all social networks such as Facebook, make sure you set up your profile. Users are more likely to link up to you, if they know something about you that they like, e.g. a common hobby. An eye-tracking study commissioned by Mashable showed that Pinterest users tend to respond better to images of faces, so make sure that you use a headshot of yourself in your Profile.
If you are in business, ensure that you use appropriate keywords in your profile to describe your product or service, and create clickable links to your official websites or blogs. In other words, add your website to your profile. If you make your best keywords clickable, Google will rate them higher.
In theory, the value of a link from Google+ is like any other, i.e. it depends on the authority of both the page and the domain. If you get more people to engage with you, or link directly to your profile, your profile links will become more valuable, due to your increased visibility.
Build a Google+ network
Add as many friends as you can from your other social networks, so that you do not have to start from scratch. Google+ has a feature to link to Yahoo! and Hotmail. However, it cannot invite Facebook contacts, as Facebook views Google+ as a direct competitor. Nonetheless, as Facebook allows its users to download their data, there is a workaround. (However, the format is not easy to import into Google+.)
Also, look out for influencers and add them into your Circles because whenever they 'like' any of your posts, it will spread to their own circles. Circles allow you to choose who you want to share your posting contents with. By default, Google+ create the following circles for you:
You can also create new Circles, e.g. if you are a hubber/blogger, writing primarily on travel, say, you can create a circle called "Travel" and then put all those contacts whom you think would be interested in topics on tourist attractions under this Circle. If you have several blogs/businesses, or if you write on a wide variety of topics, you can create many specialized Circles. A contact can be put in 2 or more Circles.
Just like you have "Groups" in Facebook, so also are there "Communities" in Google+. "Communities" are one of the best place to interact with like-minded users who share a common interest. You can also create your own "Communities" in Google+, just like you can create your own Facebook "Group".
Social Networking Success offers 10 great ways to get people to join you. Needless to say, you must always give people a reason to want to be in your Circle. This means that you must fill your page with posts, before you can start to approach anyone to join your Circles.
What is Google+ and Why Should Small Businesses Get Involved?
Share content and information
Share your hubs or articles on Google+. Just as with Pinterest, you don't necessarily have to use your own unique content all the time. When you share content that others have written, other people are more likely to share yours, too.
Work hard at populating your page with new and interesting posts every single day. It is very much like blogging, if you really want to encourage others to join your Circles. You will start losing followers, If you are inactive for a period of time.
Post at the right time. The best time to post is between 10:00 am - 2:00 pm on weekdays. Determine what your targeted traffic is and post accordingly, based on their time zone and not yours.
Your first sentence in Google+ is always given more weight when it comes to Google search. This is because this sentence becomes part of the title tag, Always, therefore, include your best keywords in the first sentence of your post. By so doing, you can easily make Google+ posts work for you to improve your position in Google Search.
Unlike many other sites, such as Twitter, you can edit your Google+ post, whenever you like. Use this feature, whenever you see that your post is not getting as much attention from Google Search as you had wished. You can also edit your post to incorporate the latest updates.
Google+ also has a hashtag feature to help you organize your post and also find posts by other users that also use them. An example of a hashtag is: #googleplustips. A Google+ hashtag actually serves the same function as tags used in blogs.
Google takes a while to notice a new blog or a page on your website. But if you share your new blog posts on Google+, Google will “indexed” them much more quickly. Sharing your hub or blog posts on Google+ is also a quick way to get them noticed and placed at the top of the Google search results.
How to set up a Google Plus page
10 ways to build the audience for your Google+ Page
Create Google+ Page
Just like in Facebook where you can create a Page, you can also create Google+ Page. What then is Google+ Page, and how is it different from your Google+ Profile Page? Put simply, unlike your profile page, a Google+ Page is not a person. It acts like a blog where you can put related contents together and add new contents, as and when you like. And the best part is that, like Facebook, you can create any number of Google+ Page, with each page catering to a specific purpose and a specific target audience.
Link your Google+ page to your own website and get more recommendations for your website in Google Search. Google+ offers 2 slightly different versions of its badge for pages and profiles, as the two are different:
- Google+ profiles: This badge allows people to find you easily on Google+ and add you to a Circle directly from your website.
- Google+ Page: This badge has additional functionality, apart from the above features. They help Google consolidate +1's from your website and your Google+ page, making your website eligible for Google+ Direct Connect.
For more information on how to to set up a Google+ Page, and then to promote it, read Martin Shervington's Complete User Guide: Google Plus Pages for business and brands.
Use Google+ to establish authorship
Many people are confused between Authorship markup and Author Rank. They are not the same thing. Authorship markup merely display authorship information in search results for the content you create. Why then is authorship important? While, by itself, it does not help you rank higher (you still need to create great content), Authorship can help you stand out in search.
With Authorship markup, you can also beat plagiarism, since your hub or article will be pushed to the top of the search results over content scrapers.
Copyblogger features an article: "10 Reasons Writers Should Claim Their Google Authorship Markup".
You can establishing authorship of your hubs or articles by signing up for Authorship at this Google page. When you sign up, an email will be sent to you and you will be asked to upload a profile with a recognizable headshot. To be eligible, you will need to have a decent headshot on your Google+ Profile.