Tag Archives: Google+

How Much Does Grammar Matter to Google and Bing?

Copyright 2014 My Web Writers

Copyright 2014 My Web Writers

We’re often ask us how much punctuation and grammar matter to search engine results. The short answer is, “Yes, grammar, spelling, and usage do matter.”  It’s like asking a business professional if he or she will be judged on his or her clothing at work.  While some offices are more casual than others, you’ll be judged. Google’s grammar dress code might be slightly less formal than Bing’s, but both search companies value articles that users can read without hindrances.

Google’s Content Quality Guidelines

We wrote a whole content quality series based on Google’s content guidelines after Panda came out in 2011.  Check out the four parts to learn more about Google’s quality content checklist. You’ll want to make sure that you double check spelling and grammar, as well as provide authoritative support and elaboration.

Bing’s Position on Common Errors

Duane Forrester of Bing, wrote a post February 20, 2014 that establishes Bing’s position on content quality.  If you haven’t read it, yet, take a moment to do so.  In a nutshell, Mr. Forrester suggests that if your content is littered with common errors, the reader will be frustrated and the poor quality will affect your search results.  Web pages with grammar or spelling mistakes won’t float to the top of Bing.

My Web Writers is available with several editors if you need help proofreading your copy.

Article Evaluation Template

If you’re just looking for a little guidance, download this article evaluation worksheet and ask someone else in your office to score your articles with it. Use the rubric to solicit general feedback from others or just use it as a general checklist to review before publishing. I used this template for student peer review when I was teaching English 101 years ago.  The template was originally published by D.C. Heath Grammar and Composition, which was sold to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Originally published by DC Heath and Company

Originally published by DC Heath and Company

Remember, even the best writers borrow a second set of eyes before publishing! Revising and proofreading are just standard actions steps.

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Filed under Grammar, Panda, Revising & Proofreading, SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Google Plus and Content Marketing

by My Web Writers

Google Plus has received a lot of buzz since its release. A lot of the attention has centered on the speed at which Google Plus reached milestone levels of members, its fresh and exciting platform, and its role in the entire Google brand. Almost as quickly as it gained members, businesses were clamoring for the opportunity to create a Google Plus profile to take advantage of the benefits Google Plus has for content marketing.

What features make Google Plus ideal for content marketing?

Sparks

Google Plus fosters an environment where users easily get the latest information about what interests them. To receive links to interest-based content, one simply indicates those interests in their profile and Google, drawing from its massive search index, automatically displays a piece of the latest articles, blogs, videos, and any other relevant content to that user. Google Plus users no longer need to initiate searches to find the latest buzz about a product, activity, service, company, or current events. Google Plus brings it right to the user. All the user has to do is click through to view the content in its entirety.

How can content marketing benefit? Online companies, hoping to strengthen their presence on the internet, have yet another reason to make sure their SEO content marketing practices get results. Rising to the top in Google’s SERP now means more than just making it onto the top of the first results page, it also means that Google conveniently provides the user a sampling of the content in Sparks.

As a result, those in charge of content marketing must make it a point to

  1. correctly identify the target audience,
  2. choose their keywords correctly, and
  3. make their content attractive to the search engine algorithms.

Accomplishing these three things means that your content marketing efforts will get to the right people, will match the keywords of the Sparks interest category, and be picked up by Google to pass on to the Google Plus member.

Hangout and Circles – the ultimate content sharing platform

Not only is Google dialoguing with its members via Sparks, but members are sharing content with members via the circles, hangout, and huddle features. Circles are a big hit because members can segregate their social networking acquaintances based upon relation, interests, and geography. Hangout appeals to those who love webcam conversations while providing features, like watching YouTube clips viewed during an online video call, that are exclusive to Google Plus. Huddle integrates texting as another way in which people of the same circle can initiate and facilitate group texting. All of these features cater to the need to share information.

How can content marketing benefit from these sharing features? Word of mouth has always been one of the most effective methods of spreading information and finding new customers. Google Plus members are speaking. Use Google Plus’ active sharing environment to spread the word about online competitions, new products, upcoming events, and special pricing promotions. Finding a voice within the sharing features of Google Plus effectively magnifies your content marketing efforts as word travels in an organic fashion.

It is important to point out that viewing Google Plus’ sharing capabilities as simply a powerful way to disseminate your marketing campaign would deny you another great benefit that Google Plus has to offer. Nate Riggs suggests that Google Plus, because it encourages so much sharing, also serves to inform online companies about what their target audience is saying. He states “This provides an opportunity for you to set up specific circles of the individual users who share content that’s most relevant to your customer audience.” Savvy online content marketers know that they need to hear what consumers are saying and Google Plus provides the perfect opportunity to listen.

Using Google Plus In-house

I have shared a few of Google Plus’ features that make this bandwagon a great spot for content marketing. However, the benefits of Google Plus in content marketing are not exclusive to the company-customer relationship. Because Google Plus takes the ease of social networking to a whole new level, businesses can benefit from its features to coordinate and discuss content marketing strategies within the company. Google Plus is not a social networking phenomenon just within the United States – it is a global player. Imagine how much more productive online meetings can be using hangout. Imagine how much easier it will be to update relevant company personnel of the buzz about your latest content marketing campaign with circles.

The marriage of Google Plus and content marketing practices represent a match made in heaven. Content marketing is all about reaching the target audience and creating a buzz. Google Plus is all about creating a social networking platform where buzz and sharing have free reign. Take the time to familiarize yourself with Google Plus and recognize its potential impact on content marketing. Although Google Plus has yet to invite businesses to “set up shop” on this platform, take advantage of the waiting period to set up personal accounts, to start listening, and to get sharing.

~Marni

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Google+ Versus Other Social Media Sites

by My Web Writers

This summer a new social media website exploded onto the scene—Google Plus (Google+). All eyes (and fingertips) were quickly on it as new users started tinkering with the new social media domain.  As all successful ventures before have done, Google+ took some of the best components of Facebook & Twitter while adding their own flare with new features.

Google+ new features:

• Circles—Circles allow you to network with friends & acquaintances just like Facebook. The difference with Google+ is that you categorize them based on how you know them, i.e. business, college buddies, etc. Many people are fans of this easy to use drag & drop feature as they can send messages to an entire circle at once & only those in the circle can view the message.

• Hangout—Hangouts are essentially web chats. This feature is popular among businesses and can easily be used as interactive conference calls.

• Data Liberation & Takeout—Google+ is now offering features that allow you to back up photos, information, and more while archiving it which makes importing & exporting data much easier.

• Streaming posts—Similar to Twitter, Google+ streams posts that are made by people in your circle or that correlate to your interests. Unlike Twitter, however, there is no character maximum to the amount of characters you can use. Many writers are choosing to use Google+ as a place for miniblogs when a full length post is unnecessary.

• Hovering—A nice feature of Google+ is the “hover” feature which gives a “quick look” at someone’s profile rather than diverting from the current page. You can even add someone to one of your circles without leaving your current page & having to retrace your steps.

Google+ is still in its Beta stages, so it’s still evolving. While some features definitely need to be readdressed & made to be more user-friendly, it’s slowly catching on & picking up speed. If you’re a business looking to get into more social media to promote your brand & products, your social media PR writers should definitely jump in to Google+!

~Lauren

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The Word on Google+

by My Web Writers

On June 28th Google released their social networking platform named Google+. Whether viewed with skepticism, excitement, or curiosity, Google+ burst onto the stage with members joining en masse. In 16 days, Google reached an astounding 10 million users. Given that Facebook and Twitter are its most commonly mentioned competition, it is interesting to note that it took Facebook and Twitter 852 and 780 days respectively to reach that same number.

So what are people saying about Google+?

Mari Smith, social media expert speaker and trainer, states in her blog, Why You Need To Get Active On Google+ Now, “I’m convinced Google+ will become a *major* player in the social networking arena.”

Mari points out that Google+ complements all of Google’s other products. She underlines the fact that Google+ surpasses Facebook’s service in the sense that Google+ benefits from Google’s powerful search engine. They capitalize on their search engine with the feature Google calls “Sparks” which is your customizable list of featured interests. Simply list your interests and Google+, drawing from its store of search engine data, will keep you up-to-date. Some of the other features that she finds appealing are:

  • faster response,
  • easy-to-organize friends lists (what Google+ calls “circles”),
  • writer-friendly posts due to simpler coding, easy edit features, and higher word count,
  • ability to integrate Chrome extensions and widgits,
  • real-time chatting through the “hangout” option, and
  • genuine engagement among Google+ members.

Mari Smith ultimately predicts that “. . . with the sheer size of Google’s existing userbase of all its products, at some point I can see Google+ overtaking Facebook as the #1 social network in the world.”

Pete Cashmere, founder and CEO of Mashable, offers a fluid, interesting discussion of Google+ on his Google+ page. Here are some of his observations:

  • Google+’s unique sharing features combined with deep integration of video chat and mobile make it the killer platform for video.
  • Just learned about a really cool way to do Polls on Google+ . . .
  • Google is working on deeper integration between G+ Hangouts and YouTube Live, meaning you can watch a livestream and chat about it with friends in a Hangout.
  • Google announced this week that Google+ shares would start showing up in Google search results. Is this a game changer?  Obviously this could give Google+ the edge over Facebook — websites would be incentivized to integrate +1 buttons more than Like buttons if they provided a boost in search results.

Pete opens up the question that can be extended to Google+ in general –  Is Google+ a game changer?  According to Mari Smith and Pete Cashmere the potential is definitely there.  With rapidly growing personal membership profiles filling the site, Google+ appears to be for real.

Do Google+’s features appeal to the business world?

You bet they do.  PCWorld’s blog, entitled Google Scrambles to Accelerate Google+ Business Profiles, discusses how Google+ is addressing the business world’s eagerness to get a profile on Google+.

Demand for Google+ business profiles has reached white-hot intensity, prompting Google+ leader Vic Gundotra to acknowledge the company has been caught off guard, but pledging a fix is being fast-tracked.

 “We prioritized making a great experience for people first. None of our internal models showed this level of growth. We were caught flat-footed. This growth is very enticing for people/brands who crave an audience. We are doing all we can to accelerate the work to properly handle this case. Please give us just a little more time,” Gundotra added.

Google explains that Google+, as it exists, was not designed for businesses. For the moment, Google will retain a tiny handful of business profiles on Google+ for the sole purpose of testing how businesses interact with consumers, thus allowing Google+ to create the right platform for businesses. For the moment, most businesses will just need to wait in line.

Whether already in line or thinking about getting in line, use this interim time as a moment to familiarize yourself with Google+. See what you like about it. Determine how Google+ can complement your online branding strategies and how, in particular, you can maximize Google+’s features to strengthen your social media optimization strategy.

~Marni

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