Posts Tagged ‘Duct Tape Marketing’

The Brutally Honest Guide to Naming Circles in Google Plus

12 Jul

The Brutally Honest Guide to Naming Circles in Google Plus

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

Users of Google+ are quickly coming to the conclusion that one of the game changing features offered up by this new social network is the following and sharing filter called Circles.

For those that have not yet wandered into G+, you can segment those you follow into groups (circles) with the idea that this gives you the ability to share selectively – business contacts get business stuff, family and friends get pictures of cats doing funny things, etc.

Google Plus Circle Naming

One of the things that is plain to see, even in just a week of exploring G+, the world of online users have learned a great deal more about how to use social networks than just 3 or so years ago when we all jumped into Twitter.

Instead of blindly building followings people seem to be using the Circles tool specifically as a way to meter the stream of information and perhaps focus on smaller numbers in an attempt to limit the eventual overwhelm and uselessness that comes with large unfocused followings.

In a way G+ is acting as a bit of a do over for the early business users of Facebook that now find it harder to keep business and personal separate. This is by no means a proclamation that Facebook is dead, I’m simply finding in the early stages of G+ that people are using G+ in a way that differs from some other networks. That too will likely evolve.

Because the act of creating circles and then determining who goes where is so central to G+ it presents an opportunity to address the thinking process that goes into how we analyze these circles. I for one think it illustrates one of the most profound changes in social network use.

Instead of simply categorizing the default sounding demographic type circles such as family, acquaintances and coworkers, I’m seeing a move towards circles that consist of a focus on content – or what you expect to hear and how you expect to interact with members of a circle being the guiding light.

While Google Plus suggests some generic names for your first circles you are free to create and name as many as you like (there may be a limit, but not aware of one).

The image in this post was my attempt (humorous or not) to illustrate how I believe people are really thinking about their circles. I first published this image on G+ and it was shared over 1000 times by users, so I think others are sensing this and feeling this and struggling with this as well.

If you’ll allow me to get a little geeky here, this to me is the exciting part of the world we live in today – not that we have this new, new thing to go on about, but that change, evolution and growth are all organic parts of the social web and what may seem valid or not today will surely change as more and more people come to grips with practical uses for each new member of the parade of tools.


The New SEO is About Relationships and Relevance

21 Feb

The New SEO is About Relationships and Relevance

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

Last week Google announced an official update to Social Search – something they’ve been playing around with for some time now. The idea behind social search is that if a Google account user does a search for something they will get the most relevant results according to Google now mixed in with results that Google determines are important from those in your social networks.

The news for anyone thinking about SEO is summed by this statement from Google – . . .relevance isn’t just about pages—it’s also about relationships. Google has officially moved from playing with social search to altering the SEO landscape with it.

While the newly socialized results are dependent upon the surfer being logged in to their Google account, the significance from an SEO standpoint is potentially game changing. As Google continues to advance this type of thinking when it comes to placement of search results it will bring the online acts of content creation, network building and social participation to new heights.

Consider the images below – the first is a search for the term “social media system” while logged out of Google and second while logged in. The results are dramatically different. (Click to enlarge)

Results while logged in

Results while logged out

I’ve been begging and pleading with small business owners for the last five years to create and use blogs, claim all the digital real estate and profiles they could and get active building social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. While this is behavior that has long influenced organic search results in a more mathematical way, social search highlights the direct impact this behavior has in ways that should open some eyes.

The good news is that people that have participated fully in social media, network building and content creation may have just received a very positive jolt in the search game. There is still time to adopt this behavior because it may be years before this social search function becomes fully realized, but there’s no way to deny the need to make online network building and participation a primary business practice.

Now, this doesn’t mean that good SEO practices of link building and content creation around keywords goes out the window – those factors will remain extremely important, but social network participation just got a raise in terms of becoming a ranking factor that isn’t controlled by traditional SEO practices.

Here are a couple unscientific initial thoughts:

  • You can’t play without a Google Profile – if you have one go update it now and add more connections
  • Sharing content from your Google Reader account seems to get high marks right now
  • Twitter results are being adding pretty quickly
  • With Google and Facebook locked in war for social, don’t expect Facebook results to matter as much

You connect accounts that you want to be part of your public profile using the Google Profile tool, but you can also connect account privately through your Google Account. (Google is choosing your networks through the Social Graph tool.)

Results will be spotty and odd for some time now, but it’s still time to rethink your entire approach to SEO.