Google+ Pages & Badges
Now SEO Essentials!
Today Google came out of the gate with something I should have predicted… but caught me VERY by surprise!
Now, not only will Google+ Business Pages be important for SEO but so will a similar “Google+ Pages Publisher” verification on our sites!
Google… would you just like to recode my site too? Yeesh! LOL!
(Don’t laugh too hard… they DO have a tool for that to0!)
Okay, venting moment aside…
This is actually not surprising and I’m VERY pleased to see that the “publisher” recognition is site-specific while the “author” recognition is writer specific.
For a multi-author blog this is wildly important but for a single-author blog likely does not mean as much. This means that NOW, both the writing author AND the blog/brand get recognition for the content. Score!
Before you ask, yes I’m going to put together a how-to for those who took my WordPress SEO course that is video based. Don’t worry, ya know I love ya!
What Google Has To Say:
Google has an informative post up on their blog that you will want to read at: http://googleplusplatform.blogspot.com/2011/11/google-badges-drive-engagement-with.html
Here’s what Google told me in an email today:
On Monday, we announced Google+ pages and we hope you’re as excited about them as we are. Today, we’re beginning our roll out of Google+ badges by making them available to you, the Google+ Platform Preview Group. Featuring both an ‘add to circle’ and a ‘+1’ button, the Google + badge helps you grow your audience on Google+ while also showing more recommendations on Google+.
The Google+ badge also contains a snippet of code that connects your website to your Google+ page. In addition to helping us better index your Google+ page, this snippet will help you show more personal recommendations around the web by linking your +1’s on sites, your Google+ page, search and display ads. This is also one of the necessary steps to qualify for Direct Connect, which allows people to type +Your Page Name and be taken directly to your page.
Get the code at https://developers.google.com/+/plugins/badge/preview for your preview badge, install it on your site, and let us know what you think. Please note, this is a preview and you may encounter some bugs. If you discover any, or if you have any questions or comments,
please join us in the Google+ Developers forum: https://groups.google.com/group/google-plus-developers/
Badges? Do We Have To?
The badges are official unlike most profile widgets running around and carry a lot of weight with Google.
What Google fails to clarify but seems to be true is that since the “badge” can be added simply as the header tags, with no screen output… we actually don’t HAVE to show it to visitors if we do not want.
Fortunately though, the badges are relatively easy on the eyes even if I do not like Google+’s new logo.
Another important tip? If you don’t have or don’t want a page… It appears that these may be able to be used to set your Profile as the Publisher too. Although there is no indication of that, in the limited testing I did, it appeared it would work.
However, since it does not show “in x number of circles”, it does not seem as lovely as the current unofficial badges and it feels like a distraction to run both whereas the pages and unofficial profiles widgets are different enough to be interesting. (This widget just really is not made to work with profiles but does link there correctly and so can be used.)
These badges (or at least the script, it’s hard to tell just yet) will be required to be included in Google’s “Direct Connect” program in the near future which will make it super easy for visitors to find your G+ Page in the search results.
In addition to adding the badges by copy/pasting some code there is a new WordPress plugin to generate a widget for the badges now available too. (I’m not using it but it might spare you having to paste in the stuff in the head of your theme)
Estimated Time of Arrival:
Since the badges are still in preview (and not everyone can see them), I do not feel it is important to set them up today. However, that will likely change in about two weeks. Be sure this AND the Google+ Profile Authorship stuff is on your must-do roadmap for your blog (Yes, it’s one of the services I offer if you find it more than you want to tackle on your own.)
What do you think of Google’s recent push of their platform? Are you keeping up? Hating it? Loving it? Share your thoughts!
Taking The Headaches Out of Internet Marketing
PS: Check out the WordPress SEO 101 course for a full introduction and explanation of how to SEO optimize your WordPress site. The sales page may be ugly but the course got AMAZING reviews and was a ton of fun!
If however, you are just getting started with Google Plus, then taking a look at my GPlus 101 course would be a great way to get comfortable with the platform while learning many tools you can leverage for your business.