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Author, Author! How to Quickly Raise Your Profile With Google+

anonymous authorI was excited when Google initially launched Google+. I’d been an early adopter of Google services like Picasa and Gmail, and it was easy to imagine that Google would also revolutionize social media. Unfortunately, my initial excitement eventually turned into disappointment. Although the service and many of its innovative features (such as Circles) were well-executed, it was all too easy for Google+’s main competitor, Facebook, to adopt those features. Besides, by the time Google+ had launched, everyone and their grandmother was already on Facebook. With all of my family, friends and favorite brands on Facebook, and only a few other early adopters on Google+, it didn’t make sense to invest a lot of time into using the service. Eventually, it reached a point where I rarely used it.

Nonetheless, there’s reason to believe that Google’s social media service is still in the fight. Here’s why: Google has begun to link each of a user’s accounts between each of the company’s services. Thus, if you use Gmail or Youtube, you probably already have a Google+ account even if you aren’t using it yet. Increasingly, Google is providing reasons for you to take advantage of that account. If you’re an author, for example, Google+ is beginning to play a bigger and bigger role in SEO.

For example, Google has begun to place relevance on social media sharing when ranking content in search results. If you have a blawg or contribute posts to another website (which I think you should already be doing), then you’ll probably understand why this is important. The more your content is shared via social media services like Facebook, Twitter, and (of course) Google+, the higher its ranking in Google’s search results. The higher your ranking in Google’s search results, the more likely people are to discover you when Googling for things like “entertainment attorney.”

In addition to paying attention to the frequency in which your posts are shared on social media, Google is also placing increased relevance into the identity of the author of a post. For example, if Google identifies you as the author of a blog post, Google will then link together all of the posts you’ve had published regardless of which site the content lives on. As a result, by claiming authorship of your work, you’re able to boost the authority of all of the content you create.

So how do you claim authorship of your content? Through your Google+ account of course. Google explains it like this:

“If you want your authorship information to appear in search results for the content you create, you’ll need a Google+ Profile with a good, recognizable headshot as your profile photo. Then, verify authorship of your content by associating it with your profile using either of the methods below.”

To claim authorship:

  • Log in to your Google+ account.
  • Click “edit your profile.”
  • Click “edit” under the “Links” section of your profile.
  • Add links for each blog that you contribute to under “Contributor To.”
  • While you’re at it, under the section titled “Other Profiles” you can add links for your other accounts including those on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, About.Me, Twitter, and so forth.

By connecting your accounts and claiming authorship of your content, you’re able to increase your SEO in Google. As your relevance increases, you’ll even discover that Google provides your author profile to the right of a search result for your name including your profile picture, your public contact information, and recent blog posts.

So what do you think? Is Google+ past its prime or poised for a comeback?

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