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Guest Post by Diana Gomez
Everyone knows that Google is king of online searches, but if you run a home business online, do you know whether you’re using Google as effectively as you could be? If you even have to ask, the answer is probably, ‘No, you are not maximizing Google for your business’ benefit.’
For businesses looking to increase traffic, enhance community engagement, and raise awareness in general, a great tool to help you achieve those goals is Google+.
To find out a bit more the finer points concerning Google+, consider the following:
Are Google+ pages different than my Google+ profile?
If you haven’t done so already, set up a Google+ page for your business. This is different than your Google+ profile and it’s also the reason why HootSuite isn’t recognizing your Google+ account: HootSuite works with pages, not profiles.
If you are having trouble figuring out the difference between your profile and pages, think about it like this: Your Google+ profile is the first thing you set up when you create an account and everyone has a profile. Many people are perfectly content leaving it here and using Google+ as a straightforward social media channel for staying connected to those in their circles.
However, if you also want Google+ to benefit your business, you need to take an extra step and create a page for said business. In other words, everyone has a profile but not everyone needs separate pages for business purposes.
And because Google+ Pages was created to offer a unique, brand-focused environment to businesses looking to better use Google+ for business growth and engagement, you need to set up a business page in addition to your basic profile to enjoy the benefits.
How can I get Google to recognize Authorship when I write articles for my own website and for external sites?
If you are already familiar with the concept of ‘Authorship,’ then you are aware that one of the main purposes of claiming it is to build credibility and establish expertise when writing content in a given field.
Another goal is to get a rich snippet in searches (your photo next to your name) to improve online awareness. However, Google has dramatically pulled back on granting rich snippets. According to Google’s official support page: ‘Google will only show authorship in search results when we think it will be useful to the user.’
Thus, even if you have done everything correctly to set up authorship on your own site and when you submit guest posts to other sites, there’s no guarantee that Google will come through with your rich snippet or in their sole discretion, decide that your authorship info will be useful to users.
Still, Google could revert back to unfettered grants of the rich snippets at any time. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared and on the upswing of that change rather than scrambling to catch up when it might already be too late.
Now is as good a time as any to make sure you’re properly hooked up to authorship and for more in-depth troubleshooting, check out Google’s support page on author information.
What other aspects of the Google have you found confusing or difficult to establish?
About the Author: Diana Gomez is the Marketing Coordinator at Lyoness America, where she is instrumental in the implementation of marketing and social media strategies for USA and Canada. Lyoness is an international shopping community and loyalty rewards program, where businesses and consumers benefit with free membership and money back with every purchase. Check out Lyoness on Twitter.