It is safe to assume that if you are reading this post that you are involved with social media or social networking in some way. Whether LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or one of the others, you have most likely created at a minimum a basic profile. If being found is important to you and your business success, I recommend you add another tactic to your list – create a Google Profile.
Google Profile allows you to create a profile that is independent of any of the major social sites. This profile is highly indexed by Google search and is consistently going to show up towards the tops of a Google search for your name and basic information. Several of the other Google tools that we will be writing about throughout May will be able to incorporate much of what you have provided within your Google profile, saving you time and increasing your productivity along the way.
Profiles can be created from the Google Profile start page in one doesn’t already exist. Your profile will contain standard user data like Name, employer, title, schools etc. You are also able to provide a brief biography, as well as photos from Picasa, Flickr or other feeds. If you select to provide contact phone numbers, email addresses and websites you are able to control access to this and some of the other profile information selectively by working through the options provided.
Your profile can also be assigned a personalized URL that allows consistency throughout your online presence and branding strategy (http://www.google.com/profiles/maustin) With Google profile you can easily share your web content from one central location. You can include links to your blog, online photos and even other profiles on services such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. It will automatically search the web and list many of the sites and profiles that you are already using. You can select to show or hide any of those that are selected.
Here is a sample profile that indicates the areas of information that you can provide.
- Receive Messages. Enable the ‘send a message’ feature to allow anyone with a Google account to email you without revealing your email address.
- Add photos. Enhance your profile by embedding photos from Picasa or Flickr.
- Create your profile bio. Provide a short bio in the about me Tab.
- Add your contact info. Share your information and make sure that it is always up to date. Remember, you control who sees this.
- Add links to your other profiles and sites. You can make it easy to connect with you on other sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and even your blog or website.
- Show your location. The ‘My places’ area includes all the cities you’ve entered on your profile. Your current location and where you live are displayed on the map. Use your business address if that is more comfortable. With ‘local search’ gaining in importance each month, this information is used to help Google and other search engines narrow down their results, so when a potential customer is searching for a new computer in Lincoln, NE, you will show up in the search if it matches your profile.
If being found is important to you, consider building and maintaining your own Google Profile.