I know, I know. Just three years ago, a colleague lost it when I suggested we use a Google tool for a business project. He was
sure they were gathering our information for nefarious and fascist purposes and wanted to be “off grid” as much as possible. He was half right. They are, of course, aggregating our information, probably even more than we imagine. But this is also how they generate targeted results. There are many ways to see a ghost behind their machine, but success has a way of vetting practices. By and large, I think they remain as true to their motto “Don’t be evil” as a massive corporation has a chance of being.
Other people don’t want to build a G+ profile because they’re already on and/or in love with another social media site like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. While I agree that these are all fabulous ways to stay connected to your tribe, there are features of G+ that have grown on me, such as the Circles, and others that are becoming downright necessary if you want to be found.
Okay, maybe this last fact – that a G+ profile is becoming a necessity – is a sign of Google’s dominance and impending homogenization, but I don’t think so (the homogenization or the nefariousness; dominance is clear). We’ve make Google the go-to search engine, and all they’re doing is giving us a place for social media that they can actually work into their algorithms. Since they don’t own the other sites, they don’t have access to the background data those sites generate. For authors to have a social media presence that Google can work into their algorithms, they built a social media site into their “empire.” Definitely takes advantage of their position, but diabolical? Hardly. It’s a win-win.
With the new requirements for author authentication and the new author authority rankings, having a Google+ profile gives you place inside Google to anchor your work and claim ownership. For everyone worried about ownership and copyright issues, this should actually be welcome.
When you build your profile, be sure to scroll down to “Contributor to” and enter your author page for every website where your content appears. We’ll talk later about other linked relationships you’ll want to create to cement your authentication and authority, but this is a good start. I’d love to connect with you there, so circle me in and let me know what you’re up to!