Four Easy Steps to Merge Your Company’s Google Plus Pages

Google Plus and other Google products are rapidly becoming reputable tools for digital marketing. Google Places for Business is a fantastic service that lists essential details about your company on the front page (name, location, contact, services, etc.). You can learn tips about starting up your Places for Business page in this Business 2 Community article. Google Plus is the platform best used for interaction between company and consumer. The site enables users to follow businesses, post on their pages and review their experiences.

photo credit: Bruce Clay, Inc via photopin cc

photo credit: Bruce Clay, Inc via photopin cc

Google lets users seamlessly integrate the two pages together for a smooth page that is packed full of features to improve Whenever businesses sign up for any Google service, however, they may not realize that they are automatically signed up for a Google Plus page. Signing up for multiple services under different emails results in the creation of multiple Plus pages. Outdated and duplicate pages can wreak havoc on your business by misdirecting potential customers to a previous location or giving them incorrect contact information.

Merging Google Plus pages is relatively simple. Following these steps will send you in the right direction to effectively listing your company through Google.

  • Visit Google Takeout

Make sure that you are logged into the old Plus page for your business, first! Takeout lets you archive all of your contacts, settings and other information into a compact file.

  • Archive Your Circles

Mouse over Google Plus Circles and expand the drop-down menu. Click the link that prompts you to transfer your information to another Google Plus account.

  • Enter Your Destination Page

The next page should prompt you to enter the email of the page where you would like to transfer your information. Log in to your destination account and initiate the data transfer. Takeout gives you a seven day waiting period before the transfer begins and you can no longer cancel the action. The actual transfer takes about 48-hours to complete. Once the transfer completes, the act cannot be undone.

  • Disable Google Plus for Your Old Page

Make sure that you are content with your new page’s contents. Sign in to your old page’s settings and at the page’s bottom, choose to disable Google Plus. People that followed your old profile are now followers of your up-to-date profile. Your old page will no longer show up on their profile, nor elsewhere when consumers search for your business! Takeout does not transfer posts and information from your old profile. This is typically irrelevant because the page is outdated, anyhow!

While these steps are meant to help a company with multiple listings on Google Plus, you can use them to combine multiple personal profiles as well! Check out Grovo.com for a step-by-step video to walk you through the process.

Hummingbird’s Semantic Search—We’re All Trekkies Now

Last week, Google unveiled their brand new algorithm called Hummingbird. Hummingbird’s most distinct feature is the inclusion of a natural language search query.

trekkie hand hummingbird semantics

The shift towards natural language queries shouldn’t come as such a shock to us. We have been moving towards a semantic web since the idea of smart robots and the Star Trek computer (Disney’s SmartHouse, anyone?). Think about it. Siri and Google Glass aren’t that far away from sounding and working like the computer from Star Trek. Minus the pointy ears and bad polyester-spandex-blend catsuits, we’re interacting with our computers more and more like our fellow Trekkies.

To some digital marketers, Hummingbird may not appear to be anymore different than Google’s previous algorithms (Penguin and Panda). But it is. Google hasn’t launched a completely new algorithm since 2001, so you know this is something special.

So what does a “natural language” search query mean?

It means that the algorithm recognizes more human, fluid language. When we use voice-based search, we don’t spit out two or three keywords, instead we are more likely ask our phones a question or say a complete statement, a lot like how we talk to friends. For example, we are more likely to ask a technology like Siri, “What are some restaurants in Ann Arbor?” instead of “restaurants in Ann Arbor.” So, as you can see, the searches become more contextual than keyword based.

So what does this mean for digital marketing?

For one, our SEO team is going to have their work cut out for them. Keyword search could be a thing of the past. Experts in SEO will have to start looking at search engine optimization in a more linguistic approach. For example, they will have to consider linguistic question markers (who, what, where, when, why) and prepositional phrases. Distinguishing whether your audience is looking for a “restaurant near Ann Arbor” or “in Ann Arbor” will differentiate your search results.

Now, I’m not saying you need to trash your current strategy. If your strategy is still focused around your audience’s expectations and creating great content for your audience (if you need a refresher on digital marketing basics, check out the last post), then you’re in good shape. However, for digital marketers looking into future trends, learning more about Hummingbird’s semantic search is a good place to start.

The shift to voice search queries is proof that once again, the web is increasingly becoming more of a human experience than a technological experience. And as one mother brilliantly put it, “We’re all just a bunch of Trekkies, now!” Right on.

Gmail introduces tabs!

Keeping your e-mail organized is challenge for many people. Recently Gmail has create tabs that allows us to separate the emails in five different categories: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums.

The new navigation layout makes your inbox more functional based on the relevance of the content of your incoming message. This is how Gmail divided up its five tabs to make it easier for users to view and organized their emails using categories.

Meet the Five Tabs!

  1. Primary: In this tab you will receive messages from your family and friends, work and other  message that would not fit into the categories below.

  2. Social: This categories it is focused on the messages and notifications you might receive from other social platforms and networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

  3. Promotions: This tab is designed for you to receive offers, deals and other promotional materials that you have signed up for.

  4. Updates: In this tab you will get notifications such as bank statements and receipts.

  5. Forums: This tab is designed specifically for messages from discussion boards, online groups and mailing lists you have subscribed to. Since categories might not be relevant to every person, Gmail allows users to customize which tabs shows up on their dashboard by clicking on the “+” sign.

Directing E-mails

If you receive an update that might going to your Primary tab, don’t worry! It is possible to move emails from specific senders into the exactly tabs you want. To do this, you should right-click on an email located under the incorrect tab heading. Then you chose the “Move to tab” option, then pick the tab of your preference. A shortcut to this tip is to simply drag and drop the messages you want.

Gmail_Move

Not ready for the change?

If for some reason you don’t like the layout and design, or you simply just want to use the old format, it is possible to revert back. All you need to do is click again the “+” icon to the right of the tab and uncheck every box (except the “Primary”) and you are done! If you want the tabs again, just click on “Settings” (gear icon) and select “Configure inbox”, it’s that simple!

Gmail_PlusSign
I still wish we could rename or create our own tabs, but I can’t deny that this new layout will make people’s lives much easier. So check out your current gmail account or create a gmail www.gmail.com. I hope you find these tips helpful and now you can make your e-mail a lot more organized and tailored to your needs.

Google I/O 2013

This past week, Google wrapped up its annual developers’ conference in San Francisco, Calif., giving us a look into the future of one of the most powerful companies. Google I/O features highly technical, in-depth sessions geared towards developers. Over 6000 developers on-site, 460 I/O Extended sites in 90 countries and millions around the world tuned in to the live-stream  indicating just how popular Google is and the excitement surrounding their big announcements. The Keynote speech offers a look into product and platform innovations Google has planned for the upcoming year.

Here’s a quick summary of what you missed at the 2013 Keynote:

Google+
Google+ is being updated with 41 new features. The most significant being the content feed. The new design was unveiled, and appears to look like a combination of the Facebook timeline and Pinterest. This new interface allows for easy content exploration and places an emphasis on images and links. Each photo flips over to reveal more information about the subject. The new Google+ is hyper-intelligent, with its automated hashtags, letting you find relevant content that much easier. A significant update to Google+ is the new automatic photo enhancement feature and the new highlight view for albums. Based on a variety of factors, Google can stop duplicate images from appearing, emphasize photos with friends or know landmarks, and even filter out blurry pictures. Google+ Hangouts also got an upgrade, streamlining your online conversations to any device or platform.

Android
Google announced 900 million Android activations and 48 billion app downloads to date. They will be releasing a stock Android Galaxy S4, rather than the Samsung interface. The phone will be available for purchase in the Google Play store on June 26, but it won’t come cheap — the price is set at a steep $649.

Google Play
An obvious update to Google Play is the store’s visual appearance, but behind the scenes there have also been improvements. You can now get suggestions based on your personalized preferences, chosen by Google. In addition, Google introduced Google Play for Education, a store specifically for educational institutions. Google Play Games has added the ability for cloud gaming, so if you stop playing on one device, you can seamlessly pick back up on another device. Lastly, Google Play Music is offering a new $9.99 monthly streaming service, similar to Spotify and Rdio. Google Play Music All Access is radio without rules. Google is offering a free monthly trial, and if you sign up before June 8th, you can use the service for only $7.99 a month.

Maps
Google Maps continues to stay one step ahead of the competition, and this big update will ensure they do just that. Maps has been redesigned to be fully interactive and tailored to you. The service gets better the more you use it as it adapts to your preferences and is able to suggest restaurants you may enjoy or even the fastest route home. With the integration between Maps and Google Earth, you will be able to explore cities in 3D and view “3D Photo Tours” for a virtual sightseeing experience. Google added several new types transportation, including a flight search, they improved public transit information significantly and are including live traffic reports. You will also have the ability to compare different modes of transportation to see which one is best for you. To be one of the first to try to new Google Maps, you have to request an invite.

Glass
Glass has the potential to be “the next big thing” in technology. Although not part of the keynote, Google Glass was a big topic for day 2 of the conference and stole the show. During the I/O, Official apps for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Evernote were debuted. Glass sessions focused on product development and building “glassware.” There was also a Q&A period that covered privacy implications and government restrictions. Google Glass is most likely the first step on a long journey of wearable technology. It’ll be interesting to see how it’s received by the general public when it becomes available at the end of the year.

If you would like to view the Keynote in its entirety, it’s available on YouTube (warning: it’s three and half hours long). Google never ceases to impress the world with their advances in technology. We’ll be looking forward to seeing what Google comes up with next.

 —Rachel Keeton

 

Google Maps for iOS is already a success

In case you missed it (and I doubt you did, but anyway), according to a Google+ post from Jeff Huber, he SVP of Geo and Commerce at Google, the Google Maps app for iOS was downloaded more than 10 million times in the first 48 hours of its launch, making it a huge success already! In fact, it became the top free app in the App Store just hours after debuting. I’m not going to lie, I downloaded it as soon as I found out.

“We’re excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world. Congratulations to the Maps Team on the recognition for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last 7+ years.”

The Google Maps app made its debut after several months of rumors about a forthcoming app after it was removed from iOS 6 and replaced by an Apple-made mapping program that was not popular with users. Personally, I had no issues with it aside from the lack of public transportation integration, but Google’s app seems just as polished as the Apple-integrated one. What do you think? Have you downloaded the new Google Maps on your iPhone already? I know everybody at this particular social media agency has.

Ellie Goulding Hosts Album Signing via Google+

I always like finding unconventional uses for social media, and British singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding wins the award for the day: today, she’ll become the first musician to host an album signing in a Google+ hangout.

From what I gather, there will be a form to “gain entry” to the event, and signed albums will be distributed to fans via snail mail. Admittedly, I was never much of a Google+ user, and Google’s effort to de-throne Facebook as the king of social media largely failed and Google+ looks more or less like a ghost town (seriously, when was the last time I logged in? Forever ago?), the “hangout” group video chat feature was one of the better things to come out of it, and I think Ellie has found an extremely creative use for it.

 

Ellie Goulding is no stranger to social media network-based interaction, either. The music video for her song “Anything Can Happen” was made with fan-submitted Instagram photos.

Both the Google+-based hangout and the crowdsourced music video are extremely clever uses of a social media platform, and exactly the kind of fan unconventional, fan-driven interaction that more social media marketing companies should be striving to drive! I’m not personally an Ellie Goulding fan, but much like composer Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir, it is something a broad range of people can participate in without having to travel anywhere, and something that people can point to and say “Yeah, I did that. And it was awesome.

Facebook Now: 1 Billion Users & Counting

As of September 14th, Facebook, Inc.  got its one-billionth user, which makes one- seventh of the world’s population being active users of Facebook. There is no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has his hands quite full these days. With Facebook going public this past summer, Zuckerberg is working hard to boost confidence among investors and the public and now with this latest accomplishment he has new goals of reaching the next billion and counting users.

Zuckerberg has learned how to reach users by taking useful knowledge from one of the best leaders, the late Steve Jobs,  whose focus was the “user experience”. The users are key, and building a service that caters to them is what the Facebook team’s focus is. Having majority of their active users outside of the U.S and Canada, it will definitely be interesting to see how Zuckerberg will try to draw in the next billion users.

To say that if Facebook were its own country, it would be the third largest is quite a feat, but Zuckerberg is only getting his feet wet in the social media world. It will definitely be interesting to see how the company will draw in more users and how the company will do in Internet marketing against its biggest competitor, Google.

The Summer Olympics: Being Reshaped by Social Media

What’s the first thing I did when I found out one of the University of Michigan’s own Samuel Mikulak made the US Olympic gymnastics team? Added him on Facebook of course! The 2012 Olympics are being named by some as the “first social Games”. There’s no doubt that social media drives conversation and newl, and it’s only grown more influential in the past four years. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will likely play an exceptional role in how information is distributed from London, and how the conversation is driven throughout the Games.

So what’s the difference between this year’s games and the summer Olympics before it? Four years–and that’s an eternity in Interntet time! Social media has truly exploded, as well as general web use. In 2008, there were approximately 1.5 billion internet users globally, and that number has swelled to 2.3 billion users this year. That’s one third of the the worlds total population!

For more of an idea on just how and why social media will reshape the Olympics as compared to 2008, we’ll take a look at the top 3 social media networks out there, and see just how much 4 years has changed them.

FACEBOOK

2008: Facebook reached 100 million users, and passed Myspace in popularity (Wow, was 4 years ago really that long ago..?!) The chat feature was also introduced this year, while simultaneously taking over AIM and other chat sites with it’s convenience.

Today: Facebook claims more than 900 million users–that’s a growth of 900% in a mere 4 years! The network’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, becomes a global celebrity, while Facebook becomes a publicly traded company.

TWITTER

2008: This was a year of explosive growth, and they finished the year with 6 million users, and 300,000 tweets a day.

Today: The network now has 500 million users, who collectively send more than 400 million tweets every day! News breaks on the network regularly, and it’s a prime marketing channel for many athletes. Likely London 2012 conversation among media and fans will take place on this network as well.

YOUTUBE

2008: By fall of this year, users were uploading 10 hours of video/minute. This site emerged as the “it” site for video sharing, and had been bought by Google in 2006, which just increased it’s popularity. They also launched their mobile site this year.

Today: It’s no doubt that the most memorable Olympic moments will go viral on this network the moment they are aired on television. The company receives over 800 million unique vistis per month, and those visitors watch over 3 billion hours of video per month, while also uploading 72 hours of video/minute. The growth here is truly iconic.

So what?

After looking at the top three social media sites, one may wonder what that has to do with the Summer Olympics. Well-everything! This summer, expect to receive the latest Olympic news not from your favorite TV reporter, but instead from a social media network just as soon as it happens. The moments of this years Olympics will live on as was never possible before thanks to social media.

Who knows what the Summer 2016 Olympics will bring, but for now, enjoy all of the convenience and fun social media has to offer, because it’s events like this where it really matters!

Google and Facebook the Better, Faster, Stronger

In the digital world, companies challenge each other to be the better, faster, stronger.  The competition is escalating and Google and Facebook are advancing. How do they maintain this success? Because they cater to the public by constantly improving their applications and making them even more simple and user-friendly.
Just in time for the school year, Google updated some of its major applications like Google Docs, Calendar, and Sites by improving accessibility, for example the addition of short cut keys. Also in Google Docs there used to be only one way to share a document and people could edit right on the page. Well now there is a comment only access to Docs, so now you can have friends look at your document without ever having to worry about them editing your original.
How many times have you gone on your Facebook account and you are dazed by the new design and format of the social networking site. Facebook is incessantly changing and the newest latest and greatest is the introduction of Timeline, it is a new type of profile that highlights the greatest moments of you that has been recorded on Facebook.  You have full control on what is on your Timeline profile and even old friends can easily catch up on your life. Stay tuned this application is available in a few weeks from now, possibly the same time as the release of the iPhone 5!