Having a Google+ account is one of the most basic steps one should take when thinking about a well rounded strategy to knock undesirable search results down. The reason for this is because it qualifies as a social media account and the person of interest can piggy-back on Google Plus’ high ranking to publish information that the end user wishes to document. Once considered a secondary means of social media communication when compared to Facebook and Twitter, Google+ is now among the premier social media services due to its ties to the world’s top search engine – Google. In this article, I will provide a How To guide on how to set up and maintain a Google+ account.
Creating A Google+ Account
A Google Plus account is automatically allotted to any person who signs up for Gmail. Simply go to Gmail.com and choose the Create An Account option. This will take you to a separate page where you will be asked to input information such as your name, username, password, telephone number, and agree to Google’s Terms & Conditions. Depending on where you’re creating the account from (and whether the new account represents a secondary entry with Google Mail), you may have to communicate with a rep over the telephone before your mail and Google Plus account is activated. Once it has been approved, you’ll gain instant access to the mail server as well as the option to begin taking advantage of Google Plus’ features. This process usually takes only a couple of minutes unless there is a phone call verification requirement; in which case you may have to wait a few hours if the phone verification cannot be preformed through a registration code sent via text to the number you provide.
Once you have access to your Gmail account, there will be a direct link that will prompt you to try out Google+. You can also visit www.plus.google.com to go directly to the Plus service and begin experimenting with it. At the top left of the Google Plus page, you’ll find a toolbar with options to visit the Google+ homepage, your profile page (where you can easily add information as well as edit anything you’ve entered about yourself), evaluate your current Circles (this is similar to the Facebook Friend feature), upload and view photos, see what’s trending, visit, create and participate in Communities as well as Hangouts, browse through your area’s Local page, and finally configure your account through the Settings link.
If you’re opening up a Google account for the purpose of publishing information about yourself or your business, you’ll want to be as thorough as possible when it comes to filling out your Profile page. This is because the more complete your information is, the better chance it has of being featured prominently in Google’s search engine. Uploading photos, data, and providing a summary of your personal or business goals can go a long way to getting your foot in the door with Google+ communities and hangouts.
The Google+ Circles tool is a unique way of keeping up with individuals and companies who you wish to insert into your personalized news feed. If you’re a frequent user of sites like Facebook and Twitter, then you already know how this works. If not, your own news feed controls precisely what information is displayed on your homepage upon visiting Google+. Those you add to your Circles will show up in the form of new posts, photos, etc. When adding a fellow user to your Circles, you have the choice of designating whether that person or business is a friend, acquaintance, family member of whether you’d simply like to follow their public activity.
By clicking on the Photos tab within the Google+ toolbar, you can see all of the photographic content you’ve uploaded as well as publish any new image you’d like to share with your Circles or with the Public. Keep in mind that you can designate your Google+ account as Private or Public. You’ll definitely want to maintain a Public profile if you’re looking to use Google+ as a means of reputation management.
Communities And Hangouts
Perhaps the most useful Google+ feature in the long term is the ability to participate in Communities and Hangouts. With its forum-like structure, Google+ Communities lets you interact directly with users who have similar interests. It’s a great idea for those who want to get involved with similarly minded people and to share information that will ultimately grant you a higher ranking in terms of Google searches.
If you’ve never taken part in an online forum before, it can be a lot of fun as well as very informative. Best of all, the Google+ service amalgamates almost any topic of interest into your own personalized account; meaning you can be active in the discussion of several topics and maintain that activity under one single Gmail account. In my own case, Google+ has been ideal for networking with others in the social media industry and has gone a long way to helping our website get information published and shared when it comes to tips of how to manage one’s reputation online. By sharing your articles and links within a relevant community, you can gain exposure to your work by getting people to your website who may not have heard of the service you provide yet. What’s more, all of the public information gets archived within the Google search engine for future reference.
Being positive and informative with your feedback in an online forum or Google Community is imperative; as this will aid you in your quest to improve your own Author Authority Ranking. The higher you become esteemed by Google as an author or a Community poster, the higher your entries may rank when the keywords they contain are searched! Some communities require a moderator to approve your membership, while others can be joined instantaneously. You can also take the liberty of inviting those within your Circles to a particular community in order to increase its overall audience while getting friends and acquaintances involved.
Google Hangouts are an entirely different creature that is aimed more specifically at real-time interaction. Free video conferencing can be achieved with those within your Circles (or you can join a Hangout in progress). This is great for instant communication purposes and can go a long way to increasing your own knowledge on a topic of interest. While the archiving of Google Hangout data is more ambiguous than Google Communities, it’s on par with having a live encyclopedia at your fingertips filled with individuals who have knowledge on a wide range of topics. To see which Hangouts are active at the present moment or to create a hangout of your own, simply click on the Hangouts tab within your Google+ toolbar – located at the top-left of your Google+ page.
Google+ Settings And Account Configuration
Configuring your Google+ account is a necessary step in order to maintain full control over the data that you are sharing. From this page, you can select precisely who will be able to interact with your posts and hang out with you. This is also the page you will need to go to if you want to alter your password, update your security settings or modify the privacy configuration of your account.
While slightly time consuming, actively maintaining your Google+ account can pay dividends in the long run for a variety of reasons; not least of which is being able to control what information is published about you or your company.
Google+ Account Summary
Once dominated by Facebook and Twitter, the social media landscape is quickly changing to an atmosphere where more users are flocking to Google Plus. This is due to Google’s ownership of the world’s most widely used search engine. As of November 2013, I would say that owning and maintaining a Google+ account (for Reputation Management purposes) is more important than all other social media websites. This could change in the long run, but for now, Google+ is of more importance.
I hope this guide has helped and assisted you with any questions you may have had about social media accounts and the Google+ service in particular. It may take some time to experiment with all Google+ has to offer, but once you do, you may become a frequent user and extremely apt at sharing information with your peers.
Let me know what you think about this article and feel free to post any questions in the form of a reply and I will be happy to respond. Thanks for reading!