Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do you think Google Screwed Up Big Time with Buzz Disengage Button?

Shannon Evans who co-authored a book on local search recently published a post about how horribly wrong Google got this. The sentiment from her post was that Google is punishing people who opt out of Google Buzz.

Fortunately, this isn't true. (The following is a copy of the comment I left on Shanon's post, which she felt a need to delete.)

There's no punishment so you can relax and feel free to disable your buzz and delete your profile. Disabling Buzz and deleting your profile doesn't delete your Google Account. They are not one in the same.

What is true: Google Buzz and Google Profile are intertwined. You can't delete your profile and keep Buzz and you can't disable Buzz and keep your profile.

If you want to keep your profile (and the SEO that comes with it) but ditch Buzz, you'll have to take a few steps: don't ever post anything to buzz, remove all sites from the "linked sites" in buzz, check "do not show lists on my public Google profile" and check "do not show Google Buzz in Gmail".

Not everyone wants to turn Buzz off...they want all of it; Buzz and Google Profile to go away. Google has made that easy.

If you disable Buzz and delete your profile, reviews on businesses do not disappear nor do blog comments or book reviews. If you have claimed your business on Google Places, your local listing is connected to your Google Account not your Profile/Buzz. There isn't a "force people to use Buzz conspiracy" by Google. Not yet anyway.

Some SEO is going to be lost. Especially if you have connected all of your other sites (Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs) to your profile. If you want to be found in Social Search, it is clearly an advantage to connect as many sites as possible. Google Profile is unique in letting you link as many as you want. Btw, there's a lot of room to experiment with SEO and local search here.

On a personal note, I don't see deleting Buzz or my Google Profile as leaving a social network. I see it as a way to stop communicating in a public way. Google social networking tools stay in tact without Buzz (Google Friend Connect, YouTube, Blogger, Reader).

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Monday, July 12, 2010

New Google Site Example

I had the pleasure of working with Cristie Champlin and being a part of her journey - or maybe it was more like jumping of the cliff - from working in the mortgage industry, to starting her photography business!

Cristie decided it was time to live her dream and to share her photography with the world. She needed a simple website for gallery owners, fans and customers to see her work and get updates on her local showings.

When I first talked to Cristie, she was a little stuck trying to build a site using Intuit's website building program. It wasn't as easy as promoted and she wanted to pull the site from Intuit but keep the domain name she had registered there. It took about a month to get the domain name transfered to GoDaddy. Once we had the name with GoDaddy it was an easy redirect to the Google site.

Crisite was clear about a few site requirements: nothing pretentious, easy to update, and room for a lot of photo's. We used one of Cristie's ocean pics for the background image and created top navigation to keep the site light and clean.

Cristie is able to update the site with the simple text editing and she can update her photography from her Photobucket account. We used a Google embed gadget so all the changes can be made from Photobucket on the fly.

Check out Cristie's Pix at summer festivals in Seattle and Oregon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Real Life Social Network v2

Love this presentation by Paul Adams. Paul works as a UX Researcher at Google, the research lead for sociability, and works with teams building products and features for the social web, but you won't find the usual Google Geeky talk about protocols and Open ID in this presentation.

He starts out with a simple but common problem when connecting online. There is no one-size fits all for social networks. We all have many people we are connected to in real life and we need networks that support our various identities and ties.

For small business owners, online marketing is more and more complex. We have to learn how to design social features on our websites and deepen our understanding of how our businesses can participate on the social web.

Hope you enjoy the presentation. Thoughts?

Monday, July 5, 2010

How to experience social media marketing before you start. Get the feel for it.

Fast track: from total newbie to experienced blogger:

1. Get a big picture view.

2. Create a social media profile that is the best representation of who you are,  who you serve, and what is unique about your services.

3. Perform keyword research and tweak your profile to make sure you are speaking in language that resonates.

4. Define topics near and dear to you. (not more than 4)

5. Set up Google Alerts around those topics

6. Use Google Reader to subscribe to the best complimentary blogs.

Little by little there's a move from reading, to posting notes in Google Reader. Confidence expands and those notes become paragraphs. There's movement from one paragraph to three. Writing in a blog is no different than posting a pararghaph or two in Google Reader.

Using Posterous for blogging helps to make it is just like writing an email. Blogging has become a common practice and sharing quality content across social networks is no big deal.

If the big picture becomes obscure or lost, don't worry. It is still there and will come back into view. It will become even stronger and more clear. You will discover more about what is important to you and to your readers if you stick with the basics.

Get a feel for social media marketing and experience it first hand. Once you get in the habit of reading, thinking and sharing , the rest is easy.

Online marketing isn't a static process and the chances of being motivated by a formula and list of instructions, is slim to none.

But almost without fail, when you find your tribe, your topics and your voice, you will develop a genuine love for blogging and social media marketing.

Posted via email from tamismith's posterous