It is clear that Google+ is not sitting back waiting to see what Facebook does next.
On the contrary, they are making bold moves.
The recent redesign of Google+ promises to take it from an identity service to a true social destination that now boasts 500 million users.
In the meantime, Facebook continues to roll out Graph Search, and has just started forming a waiting list (scroll down) to get their new and improved newsfeed.
#1 – Massive Profile Photo – Your Google+ profile now supports a massive photo at the top of your About page. Seriously, it is a monster – up to 2,120 x 1,192 pixels. Some users are trimming it down, but my call is to take full advantage of this big and bold feature.
One thing is certain, we all need to be aware of shooting more high-quality photos with a horizontal or wide perspective, both for Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn Business Pages. .
#2 – Content Modules – All of you content is now neatly organized into modules, thereby making it much easier for others to learn about you at-a-glance. You’ll most likely discover that you need to tighten up your descriptions, titles, and things of that nature.
In many ways, this upgrade is beginning to remind me of LinkedIn. You are encouraged to provide more information on past work experience and education.
#3 – Identity Engine – Of course, while you are there, check your content for accuracy and completeness, taking the time to add links to published content from other places on the web.
As an identity engine, Google+ will continue to be one your best opportunities to help the search optimization of your online presence. This is especially true in regards leveraging Google Authorship to get credit for your original work.
Whenever any of the social networks makes changes like this you always want to be asking why.
Here are my observations:
#1 – Linchpin for All Google Services – In the module where you add links to your other sources of online content, the leading category is for other Google services, such as YouTube. Previously, these were combined with your other links.
#2 – More Social - The larger profile photo with a few quick nuggets on where you work, went to school, and presently live, all make it easier to make new connections. Your Google+ circles at the top of your newsfeed also make it easier to connect.
#3 – Business Networking - The emphasis on previous work experience and skills – a mirror of LinkedIn – clearly point to making personal Google+ profiles more useful for business networking.
#4 – Social Search Engine – Having your Google+ reviews and +1 shares readily accessible at the top of your About page is no accident. That shared content is the basis for social search.
#5 – Connection Engine – The capability to import connections from virtually any source except Facebook is astounding. Of course, you can use a work-around to bring in your Facebook connections via Yahoo connections.
Now it’s your turn. Swing on over to Google+ and make some bold moves of your own.
While you are over there you can circle me if you wish, and of course, say hello.
Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – Released April 15, 2013 (Wiley)