Learning Google Plus From A MasterMark Traphagen, Director Digital Outreach for Virante, is a friend, fellow Durham, NC resident, fellow cancer survivor and possibly the biggest Google Plus guru on the planet.
When Mark created a G+ training class with my friend Phil Buckley (@1918) I couldn't resist spending the day with a friend who also just happens to be an amazing teacher / expert.
Mark was started using G+ on the 3rd day of its existence when you had to have an invitation. Note his "vanity URL" on Google Plus. You can't get one of those they are granted by the Google Gods.
Mark's Most popular Google Plus posts ever.
Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse
The Gift by Lewis Hyde
Google Plus The Misunderstood Social NetGoogle Plus has 500M accounts, 343M active users. One reason for G+ growth is Android. Every Android phone comes with G+ as default. Personalization of search is another reason G+ is growing. Social search inserts content from friends higher than "static" rank merits. Grey avatar = someone in your G+ circles or someone you've had interactions with (on Google).
Mark's 41,000 G+ followers translates to 240,000 people in 6 degrees of separation and, once Google uses Mark as a signal, possibly millions. This is Barabasi's "rich get richer" concept writ large explored in Linked: How Everything To Everything Else.
Brilliant point: Virante's "Not Provided" is upwards of 70% because of Mark's influence on their traffic (they are all signed into Google Plus and so part of "not provided" in Google Anaytics). Atlanticbt.com runs around 50% "not provided" (i.e. people who are logged into Google Plus). As Mark becomes his own "search engine" since his 41,000 followers are seeing HIS content more than MINE (if I am NOT in your circles).
Translation is every business is a publisher and MUST build their following since building a following is a way around "not provided" not to mention the benefits of Google's stamp of approval on YOU and the content you touch. Effectively MARK is now a subset of Google. His searchers are influencing more and more, faster and faster.
Google Plus Signin going to be a BIG DEAL (agree). Google Plus will have 45 different CTAs (Call To Action) buttons marketers can use. We are making sure to use G+ Signin for StoryofCancer.org.
Google Plus influenced "dual results" for Virante's "Remove 'em" tool. Mark's articles and friends who also have influence on G+ ranked so almost the entier "remove backlinks" page became Virante.
Google Authorship = when you see an author's photo next to a search result then they are using Google authorship tags. Example of Google author tag:
link rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/107022061436866576067"/ The long URL is Mark's profile on Google Plus.
YouTube becoming increasingly integrated into Google Plus. Influence building on G+ being reflected on YouTube and vice versa. The Genius of Google Plus is making their platform the "social layer that ties all things Google together".
Google authorship also protects your content from scrappers and spammers. "Author Rank" is not yet here, but Google plans to use an author's rank as a search Klout score. Again, Mark becomes a signal. If his content is trusted he earns increasing amounts of RANK (or Klout) and extends his network out into friends of friends. VERY important for semantic web.
TIP: Link to your Slideshare account from your Google Plus profile and authorship transfers over to your slide decks (great tip).
Communities can rank in search. Same principles apply: create content, drive backlinks in and your community will show up in SEO.
Personal G+ Profiles 101My Google Plus Martin W. Smith profile.When you create business pages on your personal profile you can hand them off, but make sure your PERSONAL profile is YOU. Every brand page must be created by a person. That page can be shared and its administration changed, but a person must create a brand page.
Creating A Brand Page
Mark is the creator of the Virante Google Plus brand page, but you never see Mark's information. The difference between page owners and assigned admins is 1. ability to transfer ownership and 2. ability to assign admins.
Google wall - shows posts from your circles. "Public" = SEO best. When you post to a circle it is viewable in search results BUT only to THAT circle. People freak out when they see a "private" post in SERPs, but only people seeing those results are IN THE CIRCLE.
Pages shows pages you've created AND pages you are an admin for / on. Create a page with Create A Page button on right.
Most important brand page right now is creating a page for a local business as this feeds local search. Each local brick and mortar needs its own page. "Pages are people too," meaning G+ pages can follow anyone just as PEOPLE can follow anyone. Use this carefully because when you come in as a brand it is a different "follow" than when you do so as a person.
Mark creates a sense of the real person behind the brand page by saying, "hi, I am Mark from Virante" when he is circling or talking from his brand pages. Mark goes out as "Virante" to be helpful and engage in communities and people will circle. Follower count for Virante's brand page has gone way up as a result of Mark's careful use of the tool.
Explorer tab shows what is trending on Google Plus now.
Search Box on Google Plus
Default shows posts mentioning whatever you've typed into search. Use the pull down filter to change what is shown. Search shows any "public" post on Google plus. Filter dropdown such as filtering "your circles" content. Adds a powerful dimension to search.
Mark is explaining how to select someone from your circles and limit the post to whoever is identified by using +MarkTraphagen or +PhilBuckley or one of your named circles. Other options to include in status: pictures (camera icon), Video (moves directly into YouTube channel), Calendar and link.
TIP: Create a circle called BOOKMARKS (names of circles not visible to anyone else) then share things you want to keep for later into that circle.
How To Create An Effective Google Plus Posts
First URL inserted creates an automatic embedded link. When you use the Link icon to embed link too. Some people (me included) like to put photos up and then add a story since adding photos in this way looks better than when embedding via a link (true for Facebook too).
TIP: Links after the first one inside of status DO NOT TRANSFER juice. Only one link passes Google-Juice (authority). I do put in several links into a post, but only one will get juice.
TIP: Authority COMES to you and you pass AUTHORITY on via +1 and links. Links are much more valuable than +1. Matt Cuts says +1 is a "weak signal". LINKS RULE. That doesn't mean +1 has NO value. Shares are also valuable (counts as a link).
Tip: Google Plus treats first few words in a post = title tag SO make keyword dense. May mean flipping sentences around to get keywords at the front such as: How To Create Google Authorship is better Google Authorship: How To Guide
*bold* note asterisks must be touching the front and back element or doesn't work.
_phrase_ = italics
-Strikethrough (only use when Mark edits after a post has been published, neutral in SEO)
TIP: Possible to place pages into circles. Just created a "bookmark" circle. You can create an empty circle (this changed recently).
TIP: Shared Circles
Share Circles creates a LIST that others can instantly add. Include yourself in some Shared Circles since you prompt the share of yourself when anyone adds that circle. This is a powerful feature similar to LISTS in Twitter or on Klout. The added benefit is when someone uses your SHARED CIRCLES to instantly follow (making it easier for them to follow the 20 (or whatever) people you included but you can position yourself by adding yourself to a "social media gurus" shared circle. Mark keeps his shared circles small AND he +mentions those in his shared circles so they know they are part of the circle (there is no notification otherwise).
TIP: Use Google Plus Ripples to check out what content is being shared and by who. GREAT competitive intelligence tool. Put in URL and you can see who shared the post.
TIP: Ripples Bookmarket - find a cool ripples bokmarklet just drag the text to your browser bar and you have an instant Ripples Bookmarklet (cool).
TIP: Tune your circles with Settings and Show MORE or LESS. Most important in your "notify" circle (keep small or becomes overwhelming). Mark arranges circles by how often he wants to see posts using the circles filter. Can also use MUTE to remove notifications from people who are overusing +mentions.
Communities don't require Google Plus profiles. Naming communities is important. THINK KEYWORDS. Remember most important keys to the left. Profiles, pages and communities can have duplicate names.
TRUE: In Internet marketing smaller and more targeted is more valuable than general and all over the place. So when creating Google Plus communities don't create the 500th SEO community. Create SEO For Eskimos or something that is out in the tail so meaningful to some but not so general you will never rank for it.
NOTE: Brands would be advised to create communities on their names so others won't outrank them on their own names. Google may remove (c) material, but safer is better than sorry.
TIP: You can build authority for Google Plus INSIDE and OUTSIDE of Google plus.
Tip: Google Plus Profile - NEED TO REDO THIS WITH KEYWORDS.