The Ultimate Guide to Google+ in 3 Videos
(Note: This is a three part series. All there videos are posted below.)
Chris Brogan (well-known blogger and Google+ expert) wrote a book in 2012 about a fairly new social called Google+.
Brogan has been blogging since 1998 (called journaling back then) and was an early Twitter adopter. His blog at www.chrisbrogan.com, is considered a top blog by Advertsing Age magazine.
So, when a guy like Chris Brogan says Google+ is important, you might consider listening.
Recently, Brogan wrote this on his Google+ page, “I was just looking at all the posts from +Mark Traphagen on his page. You should uncircle me and follow him, if you want more Google+ info. What a smart guy, and collecting lots of other smart people’s stuff. (I could say the exact same thing for +martin shervington ).”
Mark Traphagen is rapidly becoming one of the top Google+ experts.
Google+ is confirmed to be the backbone of Google integration by Google.
Chris Brogan says you should be on Google Plus. Mark Traphagen says you should be on Google+. I have blogged that you should be on Google+. Most importantly, Google says you should be on Google Plus.
So what are you waiting for? Get on Google+.
This is The Ultimate Guide to Google+ in three parts on Google+.
The Ultimate Guide to Google+ is your best guide to signing-up, learning and enjoying Google+.
The Ultimate Guide to Google+ Part 1 – Click HERE
A Complete Transcript is Below
About Mark Traphagen
Mark is Director of Digital Outreach for Virante Inc. Mark helps businesses build strategies to increase brand influence and attract natural links and social signals. He has a special reputation as an expert on Google+ and Google Authorship. A former teacher, Mark has worked directly in Internet marketing since 2005, but has been involved in social media and online community formation since the mid 1990s.
Mark has spoken at major conferences such as SMX, ConvergeSouth and SearchExchange, as well as at numerous local SEO meetings, has conducted webinars for SocialFresh and Bulldog PR, and is a regular columnist on the Maximize Social Business Blog. He is also working on the first comprehensive book covering Google Authorship and Author Rank.
When not helping Virante clients improve their online presence, Mark participates in competitive storytelling, plays with a Dixieland street band, and (surprise) spends more time on the web.
Lead or Be Led is a Web-based TV show devoted to the discussion of leaders and leadership. We focus on leaders of people, leaders in the marketplace, leaders in technology and leaders in social media.
Watch episodes, comment and share with your friends and colleagues.
Download a PDF of each episode or read the complete transcript below.
Full transcript of the Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Part 3 with Al Getler and Mark Traphagen
Al: Hi, my name is Al Getler and welcome back to another episode of Lead or Be Led. Now this is the third in a series of videos that we’re talking to you about Google+. Now you might here that term Google+ and you might have a few reactions. What’s Google+ or yeah I know Google+ is out there, but would I need a part of it. Geez, what is it about Google that I have to join yet one more thing. Our guest today is going to help us figure out why it’s all important, answer those questions and give us a few tips on how to maximize our use of Goggle+. I want to welcome back to the show Mark Traphagen. Hi, Mark.
Mark: Hey Al. Always great to be on Lead or Be Led and thanks for having me here again.
Al: Thank you very much for being here. It certainly is a pleasure because you are the guy that clears it all up for us. It’s a pretty big deal when someone calls you a Google+ expert, who is to be considered a Google+ expert themselves. You really have gone in here and analyzed Google+ and found lots of ways to make it work. The last time we spoke, by the way for our viewers, this is the third of three episodes that we have on Google+ with Mark.
We started talking about Google authorship and how Google authorship really helps us be recognized in search results, ranks us in search results, but you were also talking about the last time that we’re getting to the point where Google may be considering ranking Google authors in their areas of expertise and in places that they show up. Tell us a bit more about that.
Mark: Yeah that’s something called Google authorship and we just touched on it last time. We’re moving from, a lot of people have used this phrase, but we’re moving from the web of strings to the web of things. What we mean by that is strings, we mean phrases. We think of Google as a place where you search and you put in a phrase, “I want to see red cat mittens”, and Google’s going to match you up with websites that have the words “red cat mittens” on them. That’s the way search worked in the early days. It was obviously more complex than that, but basically matching up phrases of words, strings of words.
Now we’re moving to the web of things, where Google is seeking to understand the connection. By things, we mean people, places, and bits of knowledge out there. Google calls it the knowledge graph. They are helping their algorithm. They are teaching as it were. Their algorithm is that machine code that’s built into Google that understands the connections between things; between websites and between social sites and now between people on the web thanks to social web like Google+.
Al: There’s that word again algorithm. When you say algorithm right away I think there’s certain number of people that go uh-o. We all remember being challenged with algorithms at some point in our mathematic educational career. An algorithm really is, it is still a mathematical equation. The algorithms of Google have become as we spoke before, much more intuitive and much more designed to react almost as if the way our brain sorts things out and puts them in certain compartments. Is that correct?
Mark: It’s very correct. It’s a fascinating thing to think that we live in an age where we’re almost approaching what people call artificial intelligence. We’re not there yet and a lot of people would argue about whether we’ll ever get fully there with sentient machines. Machines that are actually aware of their existence. Short of that what’s going on is amazing; because an algorithm is a mathematical formula basically that has what’s called a feedback loop built into it. Which means it can learn.
The Google algorithm watches as it were, what we do on the web. What do we click on? What do we not click on? What do we respond to? What do we share with other people? When we go to a page do we come right back to the search results in 10 seconds or do we stay there for 5 minutes? All of that is information, data bits that the algorithm feeds back and learns about what’s important to humans in the way that humans make connections.
So coming back to the authorship, Google authorship connection; one of the things that Google wants to be able to connect up is to be able to say, “Who on the web, who being real people, are the authorities on any given topic?” The people who other people and especially other people who also have authority in a related subject point to and say, “That’s the guy, that’s the lady you want to go to when you want to learn about this.”
Authorship is a way of helping Google to do that. It’s simply the ability to connect your Google+ profile, which is your unique identity to Google, to your content anywhere on the web and of course it’s already connected to any content that you put on Google+. That allows Google to track what happens with that content.
When I write about certain topics, do people tend to get excited about it? Do they comment on it? Do they share it? Do you point their friends toward it? Do they link to it from their websites? All of that begins to build an authority profile around me and Google always wanted to put together the best search results for people wants to elevate those.
Al: But you know the last time we spoke you introduced that concept to me and I started thinking about it. One of the basic premises of demographics has always been birds of a feather flock together. That goes back to long before even technology was involved with demographics. Even when [grevar 00:05:57] paper was used we realized certain match sets that people of same likes and same preferences do tend to flock together.
So really to build your Google authorship ranking is it fair to say that you should associate with more people who do like the things that you like? Who do seek out the information that you seek out? Then if you have the right content, if you have quality content, those people are going seek you and find you as an authority in that area.
Mark: Well I think that is important. A lot of people call it influence or marketing. It ties into the Google authorship and Google author rank concept as well. I do want to be careful in saying that, because sometimes if we emphasize that people think well I’m not going to pay attention to anybody else. I’m not even going to follow anybody else or engage with regular people. I’m only going to stalk the big influencers and get on their radar. As important as that is, you also have to have an audience. I think Google, that’s important to Google as well.
There are really two things. It’s having, if Google sees that you have relationships, active relationships with other people who are influential and considered authoritative in your subject areas and your topical areas, that’s going to build your authority.
Obviously it’s like, you mentioned Chris Brogan earlier, I got interviewed recently and I’ll be on a future podcast of his. When other people hear me on that podcast, if they don’t know me but they know Chris Brogan, some of Chris Brogan’s authority, trust, whatever they have in him gets transferred to me. People would naturally, if they find me again on the web they’re going to trust me more because hey, Chris Brogan interviewed him. The same thing works here in this case, but you also have to have an audience. I think it’s important to not forget the little people as it were as well.
Al: I thought it was this interview with me that was going to increase your authoritativeness, but apparently I’m not good enough for you. So it’s all right Mark. [Crosstalk 00:07:53]
Mark: No, no Al, You see the way this works is when I’m on the next interview or podcast somewhere I’ll be talking about now, it’s because I got interviewed Al Getler that…
Al: [Laughs] There are a few things already that I realize that. That I didn’t realize cat mittens came in red, because I’ve only had green. When you mentioned the artificial intelligence the crew here at my show knows that subject well because that’s how they refer to me, as artificial intelligence. We got all that stuff worked out. Do you have some screen shots for us today? Some things you want to show us in Google+?
Mark: Yeah, let’s move on to something that I think is really intriguing and powerful and growing in popularity in Google+. Again, we’ve been talking about things that help expand and build your reach, your influence. Authorship is one of those, remembering that all these things are tied together. What I want to talk about today are Google+ communities. Some of your viewers may be familiar with groups on Facebook or groups on Linkedin and a very similar kind of concept.
Let’s talk about first how we find a community here. We’re looking at a typical Google+ home stream. Here I’m seeing posts and content from people that I circle on Google+ and by the way from communities that I’m a part of. Some of that content can get pushed into that mainstream as well.
Now let’s say I want to join a community and I have a certain interest. I can go the Google search at the top here and I’m going to type in Google, get my space in the right place, authorship, because we already know that’s something I’m interested in. I hit the search here and I come up to the search screen and across the top there are tabs for different filters. I’m interested in communities so I’m going to use the communities filter here. When I hit that communities filter I start to see communities that have some kind of topical relationship to Google authorship.
Here’s one that has 11,000 members. Let’s take a look at that one.
Al: Who could that possibly be? [Crosstalk 00:09:54]
Mark: Who could have a community that has 11,000 members in it? Oh, I recognize that, that’s my community.
Al: Oh, that was the most self-serving moment that I’ve ever had on this show. I don’t think Chris Brogan’s going to put up with that on his show.
Mark: No I wouldn’t do that on his show, Al.
Al: Oh see! [Laughs]
Mark: I was slipping past that artificial intelligence of yours. This is a Goggle+ community. It looks pretty much like a Google+ stream you’d see anywhere else. I jumped on this opportunity when Google+ communities were introduced September 6th; I remember the date, of last year. I thought this is a topic that I’m interested in. I already know a lot of people that talk about Google authorship; let’s build a community around that. It’s become the number one largest active community on the web discussing Google authorship and author rank.
In fact, I can tell you right now if your followers will go out, your viewers will go out and do a search on Google for that term, Google authorship and author rank, they’ll see my community right there at the top of Google search.
Mark: Now this is a public community, which means anybody can come and join it. We have moderators in the community. I can make anybody who’s a member a moderator. If you look at the upper right, you’ll see Virante Search Marketing, our logo. That’s the brand page of my agency. You can make pages owners and if a page is an owner it’s branding show up right there on the community, which is kind of nice. Thousands of people joined this community. Some of them find it in Google+; a lot of them are finding it in Google search.
It’s drawing people into Google+. A lot of these people who are in here now, engaging on here, probably weren’t active Google+ users, but they were interested Google authorship. They found my community through Google search. All they needed was a g-mail account or whatever and they’re in and their engaging with experts and asking their questions.
Communities have posts. You can divide up on the left side here, you can create sub, what are called categories or topics that you can divide the posts up into. If I just want to know about how to’s and tips on authorship, I click that category on the side and the posts that come up are about that.
Al: Do I and this sounds like a dumb question. Do I need to be a Google user? Do I have to have a g-mail account in order to get into Google+? I’m asking this question because I’ve actually been asked that question myself. I have a company e-mail address or I have an AOL account from back in 1994 when I got my first computer and I never got rid of it, but I want to be part of Google+. Do I have to have a g-mail account?
Mark: Well you have to have basically a Google account now.
Mark: That’s a great question because what has changed dramatically with the introduction of Google+ and especially since about January of 2012 is that Google is basically a one passport site now. Or not even site, it’s a one passport company. You have access to all of the Google services in the most intimate way with your one Google account. One of things you’ll get along with that Google account is a g-mail address that’s linked to that account. You don’t have to use it.
Mark: You don’t have to use, that’s the cool thing about Google I guess is that you kind of mix and match. You use the pieces you want; if you use maps and you use YouTube that’s great, but it’s all linked through your Google account.
Al: Okay. That was basically the way I answered that question as well. Yeah, you’ll end up with a g-mail account but you don’t have to use that account. It’s just gets you passage into that. That’s a question that I know people have on their mind so it’s important to ask. In these communities Mark, first of all can I start a community myself? Let’s ask that question.
Mark: Anybody can start a community. When you start it you get options of you can either make it private or public. I belong to both kinds of communities, they’re both useful. I have a number of private communities where people that are in my field and we want to talk about stuff, the real inside secrets that we’re not ready to reveal in public we can do that in a private community, from a business standpoint.
I’ve also created a community for example, that I teach courses on social media marketing and on Google+ and Google authorship out there. Anybody that pays to take one of my classes or courses, as a benefit of being in the course gets admission into my private Google+ community where they have full access to me. They can ask me questions, so there’s an ongoing benefit to that. Just to say that there’s private and there’s public, you create I-advise that you create the title of the community with key words in mind.
This is getting back into that search marketing, search SCO issue. Because the community can rank for its title as you saw with mine. Again, I intestinally called it Google authorship and author rank because I knew that people were searching for that on Google. Because the community is active, because it’s built influence, because a lot of active and influential Google+ users belong to it, Google has given it authority where it now ranks number one in Google search as we saw earlier.
Al: Yeah. Really when you pile everything that you’ve talked about today on Google+ and authorship and then community, I could really make a dent in the universe here with stuff. I can end up being in a lot of places. I can end up forming groups. I can end up joining groups. Boy there is so much more to talk about Mark. I fear that we’re going to have to spill this one over and do a fourth episode. Because we haven’t gotten into a subject that I know a lot of people do need to know about the business world and that is how does Google+ affect the way I do business?
You reminded me when you said that you have a private area that when a person signs on to one of your courses or signs on with you, as a customer they have access to you now in an entirely different way through Google+ that other people will not. We’re about out of time right now. Mark I just want you to check your feed for a second. I sent you something and I want you to bring it up on your shared screen if you will. While you’re doing that, we’ll keep you up there and I’m going to do some housekeeping things and you can put that little snippet that I just sent you.
Folks, Lead or Be Led is here for you. Guests like Mark are there to give you some expertise in areas that I think are really important going forward. Sharing the link for this video and this subject is so important. If you have a Google+ account, one of the ways you can share a video besides just putting a link in that is explore a bit and add a video and you can even take the URL from this video and post it right onto your Google+ post. This video will pop up and you’ll be helping your friends understand things quite a bit from a guy like Mark Traphagen who know a lot.
It’s also important that you comment on this website, or comment on our YouTube page and be able to become part of what the Lead or Be Lead community is all about. Mark, have you seen that yet? Has it popped up?
Mark: You sent me something on Google+?
Al: I did, yeah. I posted it to you. I guess it didn’t come, huh?
Mark: I got it, I got it.
Al: Can you show that on your screen there real quick?
Mark: Yeah, let’s put that up full view here.
Al: Oh yeah. Let’s see that.
Mark: All right and they’re red.
Al: There you go. We have our red cat mittens right here on Lead or Be Led. If it hasn’t been seen before because of this guy, probably in South America, you mentioned red cat mittens and there they are. Now on the screen showing is artificial intelligence. Oops, it’s gone now but there it was. Anyway Mark thanks for being here. Folks, thank you for being here as well on Lead or Be Led. We’ll leave Mark on the screen. I want to thank you for joining us. Tell your friends about us and we’ll see you next time on Lead or Be Led. Thanks and take care.