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CONNECTED CULTURE Blog by Jerry Allocca

Now, more than ever, we're all connected. What does it mean to be part of the Connected Culture? Share your thoughts and ideas here!
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How Should My Organization Use Google+?

Google+Google+ provides a platform for people to get in touch, discuss, and share. Essentially, it’s like any other social network, but — Google+ can be so much more than another network!

Because Google+ is a Google product, it has a lot of SEO power. Google includes Google+ listings/postings in its rankings, since it wants to drive traffic to the network. This means that every business should have at least some sort of Google+ presence. So, for those of you who are new to Google+, here’s a few ways that you can use it within your organization, both internally and externally:

Internal: Increasing Productivity

Many businesses are increasingly using Google+ and other networking sites to increase productivity by facilitating collaboration between employees. Company employees in multiple locations can use Google+ to collaborate on various projects by using Google+ as a hub for discussion. Some companies also create Google+ Hangouts (live streaming video conferences) for their employees so that they can communicate and discuss common issues, brainstorm, or take on other tasks that benefit productivity in their jobs. Hangouts are quite possibly one of the best features of Google+ overall.

External: Targeted Messaging

Google+ provides a platform for companies to distribute information and engage with multiple audiences through Google+’s Circles feature. Many companies use Google+ for businesses to send targeted messages to users within a certain Circle or segment. If your brand works with a lot of different types of influencers or audiences, segmentation can make your Google+ much more effective. For example, if you’re an electronic retailer, you may want to create Circles for gamers, photographers, and early technology adopters. Using these segments, you can potentially create unique messaging and communities that are well-targeted and more engaging than they would be if they were mass-marketed. Outside of interests, you may also use users’ geographic locations, careers, and hobbies to segment – the options are all up to you! You’ll have to do a bit of research into your Circles to find out exactly where they fit, though.

External: Providing Information

Google+ can be a great source of information about a business for consumers. Many businesses are using this social networking platform to connect with potential consumers and provide information about their products and services through sharing photos, videos, links to content marketing pieces, and more. Companies can create Google+ Hangouts where they can interact with clients and clarify issues about their products and services, offer live Q&A with brand stakeholders, or give entertainment in relation to a branding effort. Google+ also has internal blogging tools that allow for you to share exclusive messaging or curate content for interested users.

External: Getting Opinions

Another way businesses can use Google+ is by allowing valuable feedback and exchange of opinions between themselves and the audiences they serve. Google+ Hangouts provide a platform for people to voice their opinions on various topics, and participate in focus groups that provide valuable information. Companies can also use this platform to respond to customer complaints and questions, and position themselves as experts and opinion leaders. Encouraging discussion on a Google+ way is a surefire way to drive traffic to this social network, especially if people recognize that this is the place to interact with your brand one-on-one.

Internal: Recruiting

Another benefit of Google+ for businesses is that it allows companies to recruit personnel. Companies can use Google+ to post messages about vacancies in their departments or network with job seekers to recruit talent for their businesses. Active Google+ users are likely to be an asset to your company because they are familiar with technology and tend to be early adopters. Plus, Google+ can be a platform for you to share video, photos, or other media that demonstrate your corporate culture.

External and Internal: Relationship Building

A significant benefit of Google+ is that it is helps to build relationships. A business with existing customers that it engages on Hangouts increases the chances of those customers being followers, and adding the company to their followers’ lists. Additionally, internal collaborators using Google+ tools may be able to improve communication across teams and create opportunities for more productive meetings.

How does your organization use Google+?

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What Role does Google PageRank Play in Your Site’s Reputation?

Google PageRank is a number system from 0 to 10 that Google assigns to each page on the internet that is based on how powerful the site is in relation to the number of quality links it has. However, the number Google displays may not be an accurate measure of a site’s ability to rank highly in search engine results.

In the beginning, PageRank was used as a way to increase profit for people selling links, the higher the rank, the more money was made. Google was unsatisfied with this practice and began to delay updated data in the toolbar, giving a PageRank a 6 month or longer delay of your actual public PageRank. When Google first started using PageRank, it was an important variable in their algorithm to order web pages.  Google has removed PageRank from their webmaster tools and issued an explanation of why PageRank might not actually matter at all. Read an official Google statement Here.

Does PageRank Really Matter?

PageRank does play a small role in where a site ranks in search engine results, but in the grand scheme of SEO there are more important variables at play. PageRank is a metric that can’t accurately be tracked, as the actual results are delayed. Your ranking may not be updated for up to 9 months making your rank a useless metric, as it isn’t entirely accurate. Many websites with a PageRank of 0 are still gaining organic rankings and search traffic. It’s more important to focus on other metrics such as analytics, conversion rates, returns on investment, relevancy and other metrics that benefit meaningful gains for your website or business.

Another reason why PageRank may be a useless metric is that it has no relevancy toward social media results. Social media engagement, status updates and other social content are making their way into search results. However, a tweet or status update that is ranked 0, still shows up in search results. Google has also made it clear that sites with strong social networking profiles are gaining increased preferences. Ideally, the most important way to gain SEO benefits is to keep creating strong content, and optimizing the content for search. The utilization of SEO in social media is a great way to promote your content and turn visitors into potential customers.

Low PageRank? Don’t Worry

Google PageRank is a great way to “show off” your site if it has a high ranking, but it is entirely useless in SERPS. Having a PageRank of 0 doesn’t reflect your sites reputation. Newer websites may be ranked extremely low because they are new. Newer websites may also receive a low PageRank because of their lack of backlinks, however these sites still have the potential to rank incredibly high in search engine results. When all is said and done, the best way to get your site ranked is to concentrate on the content you are writing. Content is still king, regardless of your PageRank number. Stop worrying about PageRank and start focusing on actionable metrics. A low PageRank is in no way the be-all and end-all of your site’s ranking potential.

Question:

What do you think about PageRank? Do you think it has any significance in your sites reputation?

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The Who, How and Why of Managing the CONNECTED CULTURE

By 2020 almost half of America’s workforce will be made up of the digital generation ( CONNECTED CULTURE ). Soon, people who grew up with technology and have no idea what life was like without a smartphone will be running the United States. Are you prepared?

Thanks to UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and the YEC for creating this awesome infographic!

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