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Do Bloggers Need to be on Google+?

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google plus The principle behind the founding of Google is quite simple: Some webpages are much more important others. How do they decide which are the most important? Basically, importance is given to content that Google believes answers questions users have about a particular topic better than other webpages.

The face of internet search technology was completely changed by Google webpage evaluations. They evaluate each link pointing to a particular webpage according to the quantity, as well as how much Google trusts the sites the links come from.

However, in 1998 things changed even more. That’s when Google also began judging the popularity of a webpage based on the amount of likes it receives through social media sharing. Social sharing helps to increase the search engine rankings of a particular webpage. Yet, Facebook and Twitter still aren’t exactly cooperative with Google. The webpage itself was always the focus of the story, until recently. Thanks to Google+, the writer is now a central part as well.

How to Increase Your Google+ Audience

Google+ profiles serve as verifiable identities for bloggers. Your reputation on Google+ is influenced by several factors:

  • The actual number of Google+ followers you have.
  • The actual number of reshares for your content.
  • The actual number of +1’s you receive.
  • Your Google+ activity: regular posts, comments, reshares and +1’s you’ve given others.

Thanks to Google+, your content is not the only thing users can vote for to grow your reputation. Today, when you get a +1 on your content, you, personally, are also getting a +1 vote. Many users say that Google+ profiles appear to grow much faster than on both Facebook and Twitter.

So, what are some effective ways to build your Google+ audience? Just keep in mind that G+ is a social media platform made up of groups of like-minded people, called communities. Therefore, that’s exactly how you should treat it.

  • Create a Great Bio – Effective Google+ bios include your actual name or pen name, a summary describing who you are, what your business does, why you’re using Google+ and the type of content you plan to share on G+. Make sure that there are keywords included in your places, education, employment and introduction sections of your Google+ bio.
  • Build Relationships – When you first begin, follow people you actually know. Then, simply search for more people to follow and get to know. Google has also implemented Google+ Hangouts, which gives users a more unique way to interact with other G+ users.
  • Share Content – Create original content for your blog posts. These can be video, photo or text posts. Then, share links to your content on G+. Be sure to create an attention-grabbing headline and add a brief though about the content. Also, end your post with an intriguing question to encourage user comments.
  • Comment, Comment, Comment – Leave relevant, interesting comments on photos and posts, asking thought-provoking questions. You can also refer (or tag) other users by typing “+” and their name to get a display of results to choose from.

Using Google+ for Social Media Marketing

Your blog must contain interesting content that’s relevant and valuable to the lives of your target audience. Social media marketing is one of the most effective techniques for getting the word out about your blog and its great content.

Are you using Google+ to interact with your target audience? If so, what are some of the methods you use to lure readers to your blog posts using Google+?

How Will You Use Open Google+ Hangouts?

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Recently, Google opened up Google+ Hangouts so everyone can broadcast on air (previously, this function was only available to a select few). Hangouts are the best Google+ function in my opinion, so I’m excited to see this change. When you’re hanging out, you can also embed to stream on your site, and it will record and post to YouTube automatically. Here’s a video showing what people are doing with Google+ On Air Hangouts:

So the question is…how will you use this new function? Here are just a few ideas for online content creators:

  • Run weekly online course
  • Broadcast a webinar to promote a product
  • Hold a Q&A session with fans
  • Hold weekly meetings for a virtual club or group.
  • Record podcasts live

And of course…you can just hang out with friends and fans online this way, allowing others to join or just watch if they are too shy.

How will you be using Google+ On Air Hangouts? Leave a comment below!

Feeling unsure about being on camera? Check out Perry Lawrence’s Video Podcasting session at BlogWorld New York this June. We also have a complete Web TV track you can check to learn more about making the most of videos online.

The 12 New Media Days of Christmas 2011: 10 Google Plus Users a-Sharing

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During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until Santa comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!

Back in July, I did a huge link round-up on Google+ posts as part of our Brilliant Bloggers series. Since then, the platform has evolved and even more bloggers have weighed in with their opinions and advice about this social network. So today’s topic is Google+ and rest assured that I have some awesome links for you!

Post too long? Head to the Quick Links section for just a list of the links included in this post without all the analysis and quotes!

1. Google Plus – 5 Key Strategies to Get You Started by Wendy Moore at WendyMoore.net

If you’re brand new to Google+ and want to get started quickly, this is a great post to check out. Wendy covers five topics you need to understand to be successful on this platform. Since Google+ is slightly different from Twitter and Facebook, I really recommend you check out a helpful beginner’s guide before getting started. It’s much easier than wading through it yourself like I did the first few weeks! One of her great tips, for example, is about using keywords on Google+.

From the post:

Take advantage of keywords and phrases when posting content on Google +.

Keep in mind that Google Plus is powered by the king of search engines so what you’re sharing can be indexed. By using keywords, you can have a better chance of being ranked higher on Google searches.

After reading the rest of Wendy’s post, you can find more from her at Savvy Web Women. Wendy is also on Twitter @wendy_moore, and if you sign up for her mailing list, you can download a free copy of Savvy Success Tips: How to Use Social Media in Your Business.


 

2. Google Plus as a Storytelling Platform by Chris Brogan at ChrisBrogan.com

I don’t think it would be a valid list of top Google+ posts without mentioning something written by Chris Brogan! His Google+ presentation at BlogWorld with Guy Kawasaki was packed and for good reason – the guy knows what he’s talking about. He’s written tons of posts about Google+, but I definitely wanted to highlight this one, which talks about the value of this platform from a content marking standpoint. Writes Chris,

One great value of Google+ is that it makes a great platform for cultivating visibility. If your organization is hoping to “save a seat at the table” in between sales calls, one way to do this is to create compelling content that nurtures your business relationships by educating your community and by making them the hero in their own story. Said differently: If you want to nurture leads while they’re still at the wide end of the sales funnel, using Google+ is an effective addition to your content marketing strategies.

Chris is on Twitter @ChrisBrogan and you can also, of course, add him to your Google+ circles. He has a free email newsletter available to readers and is a the co-author of the New York Times bestseller book Trust Agents.


 

3. The Pros and Cons of Google+ Pages by Grandma Mary (Andrea Vahl) at AndreaVahl.com

If you haven’t yet been introduced to the Grandma Mary Show, you’re missing out! Grandma Mary is the alter ego of Andrea Vahl, and whatever her persona at the moment, I think this post is super smart. Google+ rolled out their new pages feature recently to allow businesses on Google+, but the system isn’t perfect – at least, it isn’t perfect yet. In this post, Grandma Mary goes over some of the points you need to understand about this platform if you want to create a page for your business, along with instructions for starting and whether or not you even need a page. From the post:

Why even have a page at all if you aren’t going to post there, aren’t going to circle anyone, and aren’t going to participate as your Brand Page?  If you don’t have time, if your audience isn’t there, then don’t create a Page, people!  This isn’t some land grab to see who can be in the most places at once!  If your customers are still all on Facebook, then stay on Facebook.  Take a poll – find out if they are over there!

Andrea is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and is the community manager for Social Media Examiner. You can also check out her various products to help you grow your business using social media. She’s on Twitter @AndreaVahl and @GrandmaMaryShow.


 

4. Public Posts: Are They Spam? by James Barraford at Media Tapper

This is actually a really interesting question, given that public posts are not only sent out to everyone who has you in a circle, but are also picked up by Google’s search engine. James weighs in with his opinion in this post, and also includes the opinion from some of his connections on Google+ about whether or not your public posts on this platform are spam. I think there are good arguments to be had on both sides of this debate, personally, and I certainly don’t want to see Google+ overrun with spammers and other undesirables. Still, I like to use Google+ for promotional purposes and almost all of my posts are public. So am I a spammer? Eek! Writes James,

The term spam gets tossed around a lot on Google Plus. I see it used frequently in situations where people don’t care for a particular post, thread, or superstar tech blogger. I don’t think I’ve seen a photograph of a beautiful mountain scene — that’s been shared dozens of times on my screen — be labeled as spam once. Have I seen +Robert Scoble resharers called spammers? You bet. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and often people forget they have the power of mute… or uncircle.

After checking out his post on Media Tapper, you can add James to your Google+ circles or follow him on Twitter @barraford.


 

5. Google Plus Tips & Shortcuts by Andrew Shotland at Local SEO Guide

Holy resource list, Batman! Pretty much everything you every wondered how to do with Google+ is on this list, with tips about everything from Chrome Extensions to Searching to Hangouts. I can’t accurate describe to y’all how gosh darn useful this list is, and although hasn’t been updated super recently, it looks like Andrew does occasionally come back to add more information. This is one to bookmark, folks! Seriously. Even if you’re not using Google+ right now, bookmark this post so that when you’re ready to jump on board, you can make the process SO MUCH EASIER. Here are just a few examples of the tips and trick he includes in this post:

- If you make a post aimed at your “Friends” circle, people in that circle who aren’t yet inGoogle+ get mailed.

– After you add a circle in the ‘share’ dialog, hover over it and an option will appear to ‘notify about this post’. That helps you control whether people get mailed.

– You can share your G+ posts to Twitter and Facebook with this Google Chrome Extension.

You can add Andrew on Google+ here, as well find him on Twitter @localseoguide.


 

6. Study: Will You Abandon Facebook in Favor of Google+ by Brian Solis at BrianSolis.com

I love Brian’s blog because his posts are so in-depth and packed with information and analysis, and this post is no different. Brian polled nearly 2,000 people to see if they would leave Facebook to commit to Google+ instead. Many people are calling Google+ a game-changer, but there are still so many people still getting used to Facebook; I’m not sure the general public is ready to jump ship just yet. Still, those of us in the new media industry set the trends for everyone else in terms of social media, so I think Brian’s study is an important one.  From the post:

As I noted in my initial analysis, Google+ is not a Facebook or Twitter killer and I don’t think that’s the right lens for which to survey the social landscape. In the U.S., we have a few top traditional TV networks, CBS, ABC, and NBC. In social networking, we now have three top social networks to compete for global online attention and interaction. In this example, none of the traditional networks successfully captured the attention of every viewer possible nor did one network kill the other. Instead, the programming of each network attracts people through content, creativity, and timing, defining, segmenting and sharing the audience around shared interests. The same can be true in social networking.

Brian on Twitter @briansolis and you can also add him to your Google+ circles. He’s the author of Engage and The End of Business as Usual, both of which you can pick up on Amazon.


 

7. Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter by Caleb Garling at Wired

While I’m not sure I necessarily agree (or at least, I’m not ready to make a call either way at this point), I think Caleb makes a really compelling argument in this post, which pits Google+’s new pages feature against Facebook and Twitter. In the past few months, Google+ and Facebook have grown more and more alike as the companies try to one-up one another, but Caleb makes a good point that Google has the advantage of, well, being Google. Will Google’s advantage not be in the platform itself, but rather in their ability to draw on their other departments to promote and integrate Google+ profiles? Caleb writes,

This is where Google will have an advantage over Facebook: With a broad array of services like search and Gmail and Chrome and Android, Google offers tools that are fundamental to the online lives of so many people — and these can be tied to Google+. As Google+ evolves, Google will have the means to promote its social network — and the branded Pages within it — in ways that Facebook or Twitter cannot.

Check out the rest of Caleb’s post on Wired and then head to Google+ to add him to your circles or find him on Twitter @calebgarling.


 

8. How to Hold a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should by Marc Pitman at Social Media Examiner

Marc Pitman is pretty much the coolest guy in a bow tie ever (okay…the second coolest), and this post makes me like him even more – it’s everything you need to know about using Google+ for hangouts. I’ve personally never done it before, so I found his advice (and easy-to-follow instructions with pictures) super helpful. Actually, his post makes me want to check out this whole hangout thing, which is a real feat in itself, because I don’t really like being on camera (turning on my webcam makes me nervous!). From the post:

We all know that people only purchase from us when they know, like and trust us. That used to mean we needed to go to a lot of conferences to meet people. But a tool like Google+ Hangouts can help you do the interacting right from your desk. And as Google rolls out the ability to broadcast Hangouts, you’ll be able to extend your reach beyond the 10 people in the Hangout.

And as you do more Hangouts, and capture more images from those Hangouts, your company will stand out. People will know you’re approachable.

You can find Marc at The Fundraising Coach and add him to your Google+ circles, as well as follow him on Twitter @marcapitman. He’s also the author of Ask Without Fear, which you can check out if you’re interested in fundraising


 

9. Using Google+ Ripples to Connect with Influencers by Casey Henry at SEOmoz

This post outlines a really smart way to use Google+ and one that I don’t see many other people talking about. I think one of the benefits of Google+, especially over Twitter (my first love), is that it is less noisy, so there’s a better chance of getting through to the top people in your niche. Since I don’t use Google+ a ton (yet!), I haven’t really looked into Ripples and why it might be helpful, but wow – I think Casey hits the nail on the head when it comes to why you should definitely check it out. In this industry, networking is everything. Writes Casey,

Sometimes getting an influencer to share your content can be very difficult, if not impossible. Ripples provides an easy way for you to investigate who are the influencers of the influencers. Let me give you an example of how this might work in a real world situation. Let’s say I write a blog post on Google Analytics and am hoping to get Avinash Kaushik to share it, since he is a leader in the Analytics area. However, I don’t have a direct relationship with Avinash, so I need to find someone approachable who does.

After checking out how Casey goes on to use Ripples to connect with Avinash, you can check him out on Twitter @caseyhen. His personal site is GR Web Designs.


 

10. 14 Bloggers Share 14 Awesome Tips For Using Google+ by Srinivas Rao at The Skool of Life (guest post for Social Mouths)

Y’all know that my mouth waters when I see lists that feature advice from a bunch of different people, so this is definitely a post I wanted to share! In this guest post for Social Mouths, Srini talks to people like Kelby Carr, Karl Staib, and Angela England about how they use Google+ as a way to connect with readers, drive traffic, find interesting content, build their communities, and more. From the post:

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on Google Plus and I’m finding that the quality of conversation with content creators is significantly higher there.

So I decided to put that theory to the test and ask some bloggers to share their best tips to on using Google Plus.

You can find Srini at The Skool of Life and BlogcastFM. He’s on Twitter @skooloflife, and you can add him to your Google+ circles here.


Quick Links

For those of you short on time, here’s a list of the links covered in this post:

  1. Google Plus – 5 Key Strategies to Get You Started by Wendy Moore (@wendy_moore)
  2. Google Plus as a Storytelling Platform by Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan)
  3. The Pros and Cons of Google+ Pages by Grandma Mary (@AndreaVahl/@GrandmaMaryShow)
  4. Public Posts: Are They Spam by James Barraford (@barraford)
  5. Google Plus Tips & Shortcuts by Andrew Shotland (@localseoguide)
  6. Study: Will You Abandon Facebook in Favor of Google+ by Brian Solis (@briansolis)
  7. Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter by Caleb Garling (@calebgarling)
  8. How to Hold a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should by Marc Pitman (@marcapitman)
  9. Using Google+ Ripples to Connect with Influencers by Casey Henry (@caseyhen)
  10. 14 Bloggers Share 14 Awesome Tips For Using Google+ by Srinivas Rao (@skooloflife)

Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List-Building
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing (this post)
9 Vloggers Recording
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (Google+), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!

Google+ Adds a Seamless Way to Hangout

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Google+ hangouts in posts

Google+ announced a few new features to their Hangouts today in hopes to bring friends and family closer during the holidays. They make saying hello to your loved ones face-to-face easy and best of all – free.

One new improvement is the ability to start a Google+ Hangout video chat from a status update.

As they show in the photo above, all you have to do is click “Hangout” underneath a status update and they’ll add your invitation in the comments.

Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Google+, gives an example of when this feature might be useful. He says,”Suppose your sister gets engaged, or your roommate lands a job, or your favorite singer shares their concert schedule. You can obviously write comments back and forth, but it’s moments like these when you really want to connect in person.”

Google+ has also brought Hangouts to Google+ Messenger on mobile devices. Just tap the new hangout icon (a video camera) and it will go instantly from text to video.

You can expect to see this new app within the coming days.

You can see all of the other improvements Google+ made to Hangouts on their post here, which includes integration with YouTube and more.

Can you see yourself using Google+ Hangouts more with these new improvements?

You Can Now Connect Blogger to Google+

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Blogger and Google Plus

In an effort to begin integrating Google+ into Blogger, Google announced you can now use your Google+ profile with your Blogger blogs.

It was back in July talk of Google unifying the Google+ brand began. Although they haven’t renamed Blogger to “Google Blogs” as it had first been reported, they are starting the process of integrating the two.

What benefit is there to connecting your Google+ profile to your Blogger blog?

Google says, “In addition to giving your readers a more robust and familiar sense of who you are, your social connections will see your posts in their Google search results with an annotation that you’ve shared the post.”

They are making this feature optional, considering all of their bloggers do not have a Google+ profile yet. If you don’t have one, you might want consider it. They hinted at more Google+ integrations coming in the future.

For those of you who blog with Blogger, have you added your Google+ profile yet?

Google Buzz is Gone, Google’s Efforts to Go Towards Google+

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Google logo

Google is doing some spring cleaning – actually a “fall sweep” as they are calling it, and announced a whole slew of products they are shutting down. One product I think we all saw coming to an end is Google Buzz.

Bradley Horowitz, Google’s vice president of product, said on the Google blog,  “In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout.”

If you’ll remember, Google Buzz launched not long ago in February of 2010. If you’ll also remember, it was considered to be a threat to both Twitter and Facebook. I used it twice. How about you?

Horowitz ends the post saying, “We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.”

Given the fact they have 40 million users on Google+, you can see why they would focus their efforts there.

With the death of Google Buzz, what do you think Google has learned?

Google CEO Larry Page Says “People are Flocking into Google+”

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Google+_logo

Google released their third quarter financials for 2011 yesterday and not only came very close to the $10 billion earning mark for the quarter, but also announced Google+ has reached 40 million users.

Google CEO Larry Page said, “We had a great quarter. Revenue was up 33% year on year and our quarterly revenue was just short of $10 billion. Google+ is now open to everyone and we just passed the 40 million user mark. People are flocking into Google+ at an incredible rate and we are just getting started!”

This press release comes just days after some bad reports on Google+ surfaced, as I covered in Four Signs Google+ Might Not Be Doing So Well. From the accidental Google engineer rant where he was very negative about Google+, to traffic numbers dropping, it makes you think the new social networking site isn’t doing well.

But, when you look at the fact they have reached 40 million users in a very small amount of time, do the numbers speak for themselves?

In regards to Page’s “we are just getting started” comment, it makes you wonder what else Google+ is about to unveil. We all know they’re not done yet. They still haven’t opened up the site to brands and businesses. I can’t wait to see what happens when they do.

Four Signs Google+ Might Not Be Doing So Well

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Google+_logo

I’ve hesitated to post anything related to the recent news that Google+ might not be doing so well. Why? Because you could still say it’s too early to judge its success just yet.

But after I read a post where one of Google’s Engineers accidentally posted a rant about Google+, I thought it was time to round up some links for you and let you decide for yourself how the social networking site is doing,

Here are four signs Google+ might not be doing so well:

1. A Google Engineer accidentally post a 5,000 word rant about Google’s platform failures – In about the middle of his little (okay large) rant, he talks about Google+. He says, “That one last thing that Google doesn’t do well is platforms. We don’t understand platforms. We don’t ‘get’ platforms. Google+ is a prime example of our complete failure to understand platforms from the very highest levels of executive leadership (hi Larry, Sergey, Eric, Vic, howdy howdy) down to the very lowest leaf workers (hey yo).”

He went on to say the Google+ platform is a “pathetic afterthought”. He goes on to talk about why Facebook is successful and how “Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction”. Ouch.

2. Google’s own management team doesn’t use Google + – I don’t know about you, but if I was on Google’s management team, you better believe I would be using Google+. Not only to understand it fully, but just for the simple sake of supporting my company. Right? In the post by Mashable they show that “Not one of Google’s six independent board members have ever posted publicly on Google+”.

Really? That news was shocking to me.

3. The Google+ traffic drop everyone reported on – I read it everywhere. Google Plus’s traffic dropped drastically in just two days after it spiked. It spiked because they opened it up to the public. So, it took only two days for it to go right back to where it was. The interest was obviously there, but that interest didn’t last long.

ReadWriteWeb says, “Google Plus just doesn’t seem to be catching on. There’s only so much time in a day for social networking, and this newcomer isn’t converting many users.”

4. Facebook is still thriving, Google+ is full of crickets – This last reason is just a personal observation. I excitedly signed up with Google+ as soon as I could. I excitedly played games the day Google+ made them available to me. I excitedly talked about Google+ non-stop…and so did my social media friends.

Fast forward a couple of months later and I hardly make it over there and neither do a lot of my online friends. Yet, as I head to Facebook it’s still a thriving (albeit upset about all of the recent changes) community and you can tell no one is really going anywhere.

Did this Forbes writer get it right when he said Google+ is a failure?

Now it’s your turn to chime in. Does it look to you that Google+ is not doing so well? If so, what signs draw you to that conclusion. And for those of you who use it everyday, what brings you there and keeps you coming back?

Top 4 Ways People are Using (or Could Use) Google Plus Hangouts

Author:
bep-hangout

The Dalai Lama has joined Google+ and is hosting a Google+ Hangout tomorrow (October 8th) with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It’s part of the Inaugural Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture in Cape Town, South Africa. The hangout is an On-Air Hangout, which means there is no limit as to how many can join. If you’re interested, tune in starting at 10:30am South African time (GMT+2.00).

As soon as Google+ announced their hangout feature, I knew it would be fun to see how everyone from businesses, celebrities, musicians and everyday people would use it. So far, it seems like people are getting creative and coming up with excellent ways to use the service.

Here are four ways the Google+ Hangout feature is being used (or could be used) and who’s using it:

1. To literally hangout – At the end of September, the Black Eyed Peas hosted a Google+ Hangout right before one of their concerts. They called it a “Backstage Hangout” and wanted to reach out to fans who couldn’t make it to the show. Band member Will.I.Am said he wanted to “redefine backstage interaction with fans”. It looks like around 74 people showed up to hangout.

2. As a conversation the world can watch live – This is what the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are doing. What better way to broadcast live a conversation between two important people in the world, where everyone who wants to can take part? I love seeing the Dalai Lama embrace technology and make the web an important tool for outreach.

3. Bringing people together around a certain topic – Food geek Lee Allison is bringing people together in their own kitchens who love food. He’s using the Google+ Hangout as a cooking school, as well as a chance to share your love of cooking from the comfort of your own home. He calls it The Social Skillet. He’s hosting a Halloween cookie G+Hangout! on October 27th and is inviting kids from their neighborhood to join in.

4. For customer service – Dell’s CEO Michael Dell posed this question on Google+ several months ago. He asked “I am thinking about hangouts for business. Would you like to be able to connect with your Dell service and sale teams via video directly from Dell.com?” It doesn’t look like they’ve hosted anything like this yet, but you can tell by looking at his Google+ profile that he has participated in several hangouts.

Have you used the Google+ Hangout feature? Also, what are some ways you would like to see businesses, celebrities and musicians use Google Plus Hangouts?

Google+ Business Profiles in Testing (Maybe) & How to Find Them

Author:
Google+_logo

Google+ has said they have every intention of welcoming brands to create a profile on the social networking site, but when they’re ready. As of now, brands can not create a page, but that should change by the end of the year.

Their latest feature addition included the verification badges where celebrities, public figures and people who have been added to a large number of circles, can have their identities verified with a check mark and a small “verified name” badge.

The next logical step is to open the flood gates for the brands and businesses. One Google+ user created a video that shows Google seems to be in the early testing phases of allowing brands and businesses to join. Watch the video below.

So, as you saw in the video, when you edit your Google + profile, under both the Employer and Education fields, there is a pre-populated list of companies to choose from. Now, this could just be Google’s way of simply adding more options for users, but we all know the time for brands to join Google+ is most likely coming very, very soon.

So – what do you think, is Google+ getting ready to open the doors to brands and businesses?

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