Recipe for a Great Google Plus Experience

Google Plus – The Recipe For a Great Experience

I see a lot of folks who don’t leverage the power of Google Plus to its full extent. Let me share some insight and advice to help you get the most out of your time on G+. Lisa wrote about why you should use Google Plus a few months ago. Learn more today on how to have a great experience on the Google Plus Social Network.

Google Plus Recipe

Why should you care about Google Plus?

It’s where the most interesting conversations and connections take place. Just ask Brian Clark — one of my heroes and the inspiration for my entire career — and he’ll confirm that assertion. Unlike Facebook, Google Plus enables you to get inspired, engage in friendly debate, and have meaningful conversations with targeted groups of people who share a common interest with you.

Here are the essential ingredients for dishing up a great Google Plus experience.


Circles are central to Google Plus. Think of circles corrals into which you can sort the people you follow. You can group people based on the relation you have with them. For example, you may have a photography circle where you place professional photographers and serious photo hobbyists. You might have a fashion circle, a health care circle, and a sports car circle. You choose and you make up the circle names. Don’t worry the names aren’t public.

Here are some of my circles:

Writers – this circle contains all my connections that write professionally or on a personal blog. This includes fiction authors, content creators, bloggers, copywriters, and poets.

Business and related – this, my largest, circle contains all contacts who converse about any aspect of business.

Health care – I go here to find doctors, nurses, other health care professionals.

Technology – the folks here are the technology geeks that I’ve befriended. Google Plus Circles

CrossFit – I put other CrossFit obsessed folks into this circle so we can freely discuss the nuances of clean, snatch, jerk, double unders…and of course, Ryan Gosling.

You can also put one person in multiple circles. For example, I have Brian Clark in the Business and related circle as well as a special circle called Badasses.

When you share a post, decide which circles would find it most interesting and relevant. Don’t share your photography geek post with your Horseback Riding Enthusiast circle. Share it with your Photography group. Duh! Sharing a human-interest post that would interest a wide range of people? Share it with public or extended circles. Public means just that…the entire public can see the post. Extended circles means that circles of your circles can see it.

Use the circle system. It will help you have a much better experience.

Finish Your Google Plus Profile

Google Plus ProfileComplete your profile on both your personal page and for your Google+ business page, if you have one. You can find it in the About section tab. Even if you plan to do most of your posting and engaging as yourself (rather than as your brand), it’s important to have a business page as well. On the business page, make sure to include some keywords in your tagline.

My tagline says: Buzzing about content marketing, journalism, and social media.

These are all keywords that relate to what I do at All Medial Freelance, LLC.

Complete the introduction about your business and what you do below the tagline. You can include all of your other social site links in this About page area as well. Make sure you include your website and location.

Completing your profile on your personal and business page will help the search engine results page ranking for your business. In other words, people will find you more easily.

Add a cover image and profile headshot. You’ll need a cover image that is 480 by 270 pixels minimum. I suggest using an image that approaches the maximum size of 2120 pixels by 1192 pixels. This will make your image look crisper and clearer.

Don’t talk too much about yourself. Nobody likes a braggart, or someone who only talks about themselves. Promote others and talk about others on Google Plus. I just wrote a post about how to self promote without seeming smarmy.

Address negative comments. You don’t have to get into some sort of rabid debate with people who drive by and make negative comments or rants. But it’s critical that you respond to them respectfully and intelligently. Even with your best efforts, you may not have much success in dissuading the negative person. The point is that you did take action and tried to have a respectful discussion. That will resonate with others.

Join communities that align with your niche

Google Communities

You have countless communities to choose from. I suggest joining one or more of these. I belong to several communities:

Mind Mapping.

Branding, Marketing, and PR Authenticity.

Science on G+.

Bloggers and Writers.

…and many others.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a free service that enables one-to-one video chat or group chats with up to 10 people. It’s a fantastic tool for collaboration and conferencing with business partners and others. And it’s FREE! I love attending Mia Voss’s Social Media Chat hangouts. I get so much inspiration and creative ideas from the others there. You can get inspired with these video hangouts too. It’s the next best thing to a face-to-face meeting.

Have I missed anything? Share your ingredient list for a rich and hearty Google Plus experience.

Top Image courtesy of Sicha Pongjivanich /

Let’s All Bing It While We Search Online and Get Rewarded


 BING It Today

Last week many bloggers, SEO specialists and small online businesses were really upset with Google – myself included. Why don’t we all just Bing it and forget it!  Maybe Bing would account for more searches and help us all get more out of Bing vs. Google. Plus look how pretty their homepage is. And isn’t this one ironic with these Panda’s? Love it!

Bing it

Searching Online

How often do you use search in a day? 21% of our time online is spent searching. That is #2 behind time on social networks at 22% of the time.  3rd is reading content online at 20% of our time online. Google alone acounts for over 1 billion searches per day. Bing and Yahoo are right behind Google and Facebook for daily visits. (*Stats from Comscore, Nielson, TNS Digital Life and Pew)

The Bing Advantage

  1. You can see what your friends like on Facebook  when you log in. You can see their referrals. Just log in via Facebook on Bing.
  2. You can also sign in via Microsoft.
  3. You can earn REWARDS via their Bing Awards.

Bing Rewards

Bing Awards are easy to do. Everytime you search you get reward points.  You earn 1 credit per 2 Bing searches and up to 15 credits a day. That is 30 searchers per day that you can earn rewards from. When you have enough rewards you visit their redemption center to claim your rewards. You can earn Starbucks cards, Amazon cards and more. How nice is that! Is Google rewarding you for searching? They also offer sweepstakes that you can enter to win prizes when you sign up.

What others were saying about Google’s recent changes:

Nancy Cawley Jean – a Communications and Media Relations Pro blogged about the Google Reader changes a few days ago.

Google, you have gone too far. You’ve become a cyberbully! Yes, that’s exactly it. You’ve become a big, bloated, egotistical bully…… You can read more on Nancy’s blog.


Ana Hoffman from the Traffic Generation Cafe did a slideshare on the death of the Google Reader (You can click on image below to read more from her SlideShare)

“Google is on a killing spree 70+ dead products and counting….”

death of Google reader






SEO Updates via Google

SEO Panda update

Hubspot did an eye opening post the other day on the SEO Panda updates and it wasn’t pretty. It confirmed my suspicions on an Google update as one of my sites was tanking just on Google for the past 5 days.  (I believe messy coding was the cause, more to come.) Some of the comments on Hubspot’s blog on the topic included:

It is a shame when a regular site created for anyone that is interested in that content gets hit. A regular site being the everyday business person not knowing much about algorithm’s and such builds a site to help his business along creating no foul play or black hat tactics…..

My website has 2,200+ pages of original content written by experts, minimal ads (in a narrow right column), NO duplicate pages, NO purchased links, NO empty pages. But, still, Panda took my traffic from 22,000 visitors on a good day to 8,000 on a good day. Killing my revenue and losing me my expert contributors…..  Read more on their blog on this SEO topic.

 Will you be switching to Bing for your searches and earn their rewards?

Have you noticed a change in your traffic from Google in the past week or two?

Check out my guest post today too over at Adrienne’s Place.

What Is This SEO All About?

SEO – What is This SEO All About Today?

Everyone is talking about SEO. Just exactly, what is this SEO all about? And how does it affect your website or blog? I came across a great quote this week and I had to share it. It really rang true for me.

SEO Hints

SEO Now and Future

When applying SEO to your website or blog it’s not so much about what is happening now on Google but about what will be happening on Google. It is constantly changing. I am always reading about the latest Google updates and checking rankings of keywords, products or pages. I must admit not as much as I used to as traffic was going up and so were sales on our retail website. Until a week or so ago. And then I found the missing sitemap and broken links that were taking time to re-direct.

The good thing is that Google crawls websites faster than it did just 2 years ago with their caffeine update. One thing I have not totally figured out is how a new page can rank near the top in the beginning and then begin a descend sometimes. Other times it can remain high in the rankings. Google always leaves some things a mystery to me. But not for long. I continually do research. It’s a good thing I do not need much sleep to learn  SEO all about what it can do for us.

Years ago SEO included using many of your keywords throughout the copy and meta descriptions. Now you can have to be careful not to overdue it with Google’s latest Penquin update. Yes Penquin – not Panda this time! I learned yesterday it should be around 2.5-3.5% keyword density.

The penquin update

So what else has that penquin been up to over on Google? Here are some of the highlights:

  • Multiple Sites – Do not make multiple sites with the same content. That just saved a lot of people a lot of work!
  • Multiple Pages – The same goes for pages – Why would you have 2 pages alike to begin with?
  • Images – Label all images appropriately and make sure they are related to the content.
  • Image Sitemap – Upload image sitemap – They help Google to crawl your images.
  • Link Schemes – Glad to see this one going bye-bye. Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging. This was big when I first build our retail website and was very time consuming. I’ve dropped old links like those and kept only relevant ones.
  • Paid Links –  Gone! Buying and selling links that pass PageRank, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results. Glad to see this one gone too – money can’t buy you organic page rank through links anymore.
  • Doing No SEO? Did I read that right? Here it is from Google’s Webmaster Blog: “We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all).”
Do you think the bottom line is quality content above all for SEO? 

What Will The Google Changes Mean To You?

Google Changes Coming

Goolge Changes – are you ready?  I have been studying the latest news and blogs about the Google changes coming. It looks like the Google Panda is hard at work once again. What else do you have to do to your websites or blogs to keep up with this fast moving Panda?

Google changes

Last week Google announced these changes via an infamous Tweet of their algorithm changes on Google search:


I had been reading about this since March 15 when the Wall St. Journal did an article on the upcoming changes coming to Google and what it might mean for search for both the readers and website owners. Of course I started to check on some of our websites rankings and positions. Nothing had changed yet except we were getting more traffic. I cannot be sure yet if it’s related to the Panda over at Google.

What do these new algorithm Google changes mean?

  • Semantic Search – The process of understanding the actual meaning of words. The search engine is looking to better match search queries with a database containing millions of entities.  Google claims this process may take a full year. Google will blend new semantic-search technology with its current system to better recognize the value of info on websites and figure out which ones to show in search results. They want to provide answers without always giving blue links to other websites thus keeping visitors on Google for a longer time period.
  • Elimination of Link Networks – I see this a very positive thing. Most of them were using “Black Hat” SEO tactics to come up higher in search results.  You can read more on SearchEngineLand on this info.
  • Keep It  Simple – Keep it simple with your website or blog – Use real SEO tactics – no latest craze that tries to offer short cuts. See the Google’s Webmaster Blog for their 5 Common SEO Mistakes.
  • Continue to Keep it Fresh – Keeping your content fresh is a plus! Not only for your readers but for SEO and Google. Continue to update your blog or website – not just to update but with relevant content.
  • Be Careful of Over-Optimization – Do not stuff your content with too many keywords – I have been reading at different places that 3-5% the correct amount of keywords on a page.  Susan at Cirquedumont did a post on over-optimization today – check it out!
Are you concerned about the upcoming Google changes to your website or blog?
*You can read the last Panda updates that I blogged about in February and what the impact is for your website or blog.

The Panda Is At It Again At Google!

Panda is Back – Is Your Blog Ready?


Panda Updates For Your Blog To Know:

Panda Updates – What do these 40* updates all mean for you? I’ll pick the most important updates for you to know.

  • Links - Link evaluations that were used for years are no longer going to be used. They do not give away too much info on this one but it makes me believe the old link exchanges used in SEO may no longer be as necessary.
  • Local Search Rankings – Google is using a new system to find better results from a user in a more reliable way. If you are a local business take advantage of this and be sure your Google’s Places Pages is claimed.
  • More Coverage for Searches – A new data source is being used to refine what you are searching for and giving you more results and choices. This good lead to more traffic for your site if your keywords are on target.
  • More Accurate Detection of Official Page – Pages that were misleading will no longer be seen in search (that’s a great thing!) 
  • Fresher Images - Google adjusted their signals for fresher images – so your newer images will show in search. Another great reason to use images besides pinning.
  • Freshness Update- Google has added new signals to to update fresh content in the searches more quickly than before. Now more than ever it’s important to update your sites and blogs with quality freshness.
  • Safe Search Update – Irrelevant adult content is less likely to show up for many searches.  Good to know! Remember the days when white house turned up those porn sites? Those days are gone by the Panda wayside.

Have you noticed changes in your searches or your blog traffic due to the Panda’s latest work?
*You may read more here on the 40 changes via the Google Panda.

Has The Panda Affected Your Blog?

Panda Affected Your Blog Recently?

Has the Panda Affected Your Blog? Have you heard of the Panda updates by Google? Panda updates are algorithm changes to search and search results that can affect your website or blog’s ranking in searches on Google. There is an engineer who works on the updates at Google named Panda and that’s where the name apparently came from.

Panda affected your blog

When we first started our websites and I was reading daily on search engine optimization I wondered “what the heck is a panda update?”  and “what is all this talk about a panda?” Google has been updating their algorithm changes more frequently to provide higher quality sites in search than ever before and it’s important to stay updated on these changes that affect our websites and blogs.  You can stay abreast of these right on Google’s blog itself. And then if you need more interpretation you can find plenty of it online. I just Google it.

Here are some of the latest basic Panda changes you may want to be well aware of:

  • Duplicate Content – A big no-no! Do not have any duplicate content on your website or blog that is on any other website or blog./li>
  • Does the content have spelling errors or factual errors? Double check your spelling.
  • Does your page provide value over other pages in the search rankings? Do you know what your readers want to see and does it serve a purpose?
  • Excessive amount of ads – Another no-no!
  • Make your pages and posts for readers – not for search engines.
  • Do not have hidden text or links – (I don’t know how so I guess I’m good!)
  • If you use affiliate programs make sure you offer some original content too.
  • Avoid excessive link exchanges – only use relevant ones!
  • And here is a link to the latest 21 more subtle updates at Web Pro News

Some of these seem like common sense and some are not so black and white but if you produce quality content over and over you should be okay on the Google search. Just remember too that the age of a site or blog makes a difference in rankings. Patience is a must with SEO!

Have you been keeping an eye out on the Panda?  Has the Panda affected your blog? 

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