Grow Your Business Audience Without Google

Grow Your Business Audience Without Google Depending on leads from sources other than the friends and customers in your business audience is a dangerous plan.

You may know that Google recently killed Google Authorship. In a nutshell, this was a feature that allowed authors of original content to share the authority of search results with the sites publishing it.

Many of us are scratching our heads for the motivation behind this change. It seemed to be the right thing to do for authors, while also personalizing search results to make them more credible.

Nevertheless, what really matters is what we can learn from it moving forward.

Your Friendship with Google is Conditional

A lot of people think Google is their friend. That may be true, but it’s a friendship with conditions.

Google’s mission is to deliver the most relevant information to people doing a search. The most important factor in determining relevancy is the authority of the source of that content. Other factors such as recency matter too, but authority trumps them all.

Your authority is derived from the people you influence. Their response to your online content in terms of social shares and links validates your authority. This earned authority naturally contributes to your content ranking highly.

In other words, you have to earn your friendship with Google by bringing your audience with you. It’s a condition.

Google needs great content, but it favors sources that have a large and loyal following. These are the people whose businesses are doing just fine without Google. However, they obviously will take all the help they can get.

This is where you want your business to be. Take Google’s help to expand your audience and circle of friends further. Just don’t depend on it.

Instead build your audience and own it. Of course, you don’t really own the audience, but you do own the content and the platform if you build it properly.

Check out the New Rainmaker Platform by Copyblogger to build an an amazing WordPress website without any technical skills whatsoever. They help you build it and own it.

Earn the Trust of the Audience You Now Serve

Every business has at least one customer or it’s not a business. If you read the introduction to Built-In Social, you will recall that realization was the wake-up call that literally got my landscape business up and running. (Note: If you don’t have a copy Amazon recently dropped the price of Built-In Social)

Your business has limited resources. So, allocate what you can to optimizing your business for search, but never neglect your primary responsibility of helping the business audience you have now. It always works.

Your audience of email subscribers is primarily customers, friends, and potential customers. Why else would they be consuming your content? They are your first line for referrals and recommendations because unlike Google or Facebook, they will always be there for you.

After reading this, you may think I do not trust Google. Actually, I do. I simply trust my friends and clients more. And equally important, I can reach out to them any time I wish.

Google sends us our share of leads, and I’m here to help you get yours too. Let’s just be smart about not becoming overly dependent on that source.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

Photo Credit

Google for Authors Simplified

One of the best search features to come along in a while for authors of original content is Google Authorship – one that is not particulary well known outside of tech circles.

Google Authorship

About Google Authorship

This week I received an email from Google about Google Authorship that suggests they are hoping to take it mainstream. The image above is a partial snapshot of the email that shows one of the most valuable attributes of Google Authorship.

When regular folks like me write for popular sites such as Social Media Examiner, our content mostly benefits the site. This is fair because they have earned their authority by consistently providing quality content, and that earned platform is why the content achieves massive reach.

Now, however, Google is sharing some of the SEO love by attributing the original content to its author, provided he or she has a Google+ account and has inserted the appropriate authorship code to help Google provide that attribution.

That is very cool for authors and it too is fair. By giving both the platform and the author credit, Google is encouraging the creation of more quality content. This benefits Google’s users, which is all of us who search the web. Everybody wins.

Are you ready to get credit for your original work?  Follow this link to learn more about Google Authorship.

More About the Author

More About Authors

As Google authorship continues to become integrated into the fabric of Google search, you will start to see boxes like the one above adjacent to their original content.

It will provide information about the author, the number of people that have them in their Google+ circles (a possible indication of authority), and their most recently authored content.

This is just one more reason for having a solid presence on Google+. If you happen to be an author, this alone should be reason enough.

If you are not an author, you should be, one who uses their experience and expertise to provide relevant solutions for your community of prospects, customers, and influencers.

At the risk of repeating myself, be advised that Google is using Google+ as the linchpin for the majority of its services, some of which are  brand new or may not yet exist. Think about that, and whether or not now may be the time for you to get started with Google+.

Having just eclipsed 400,000 million users, Google+ is clearly going to be a game changer for authors and local businesses that want to be findable on the web.

Please know that while setting up Google Authorship is easier than ever, it still takes some patience. For one thing, it takes weeks until you will have evidence that it was installed correctly.

So, work with patience and take notes should you have to go back and try it again.

Are you using Google Authorship to be recognized for your original work?