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Have You Created a Profile in Google Profiles?

Google Profile is One of Google’s Many Professional Services

Your company might have been using Google AdWords for several years without looking into additional (and yes, free) member account features Google is offering. Yes, the Google search engine and Google AdWords are what Google is most known for but there are also other features that Google would like you to try out. If you login to your Google Account and then go to your Account/Dashboard page you will see a number of links to Google’s additional networking services:

The Dashboard shows links to Google’s networking services such as Blogger, iGoogle, Sidewiki, Google Talk – we will be reviewing these services in the coming weeks. The Dashboard page also displays a link to “Profile” which we are focusing today.

Google Profile should not be confused with Google Places which is integrated with Google search engine and Google Maps service and intended for businesses with a physical location open/announced for public. Google Profiles are not company profiles but intended for personal use in a similar fashion such as LinkedIn.

Professional, Clean Layout & Design

Google Profile constitutes of a simple Web page that collects the basics of your personal and business whereabouts such as your own description about yourself (“introduction”), places where you’ve lived (shows as GPS dots on a mini Google Map), education and work history. The page layout and design are controlled and clean implying that this platform is intended for professional branding i.e. creating a casual easy going business profile of yourself. The layout follows Facebook’s and LinkedIn’s model and cannot be customized with color changes or background graphics, unlike Twitter page for instance. You can upload some photos to the profile and create unlimited number of links to your other social media sites and presence. Unlike Linkedin, the page does not allow integration of third-party widgets or RSS feeds but does encourage configuring a Google owned PicasaWeb account with the page.

On my Google Profile page, I’ve created an easy going imagery and text, keeping the feel more causal than what on my LinkedIn profile but more professional than my personal Facebook page:

Functions as Your “” Page or Google Identity Page

Now that the Google page is up, a good question is what is next. Google Profile page could be used in a similar fashion such as page, as a professional dashboard for collecting all social media links pointing to your social media presence under one roof. Google offers a member verification service increasing both security and the professional feel for the page.

Google Profile page also acts as an identifier when you are using Google’s other services such as participating to Google Groups.

Thirdly, your page will be recognized by Google’s search engine and as such creates an additional link to your name.

So far the networking aspect is certainly not promoted by Google and upon creating the page I didn’t receive any clear call-to-action triggers for the next steps.

I was not able to tell upon spending several hours within these interfaces how networking, if any, actually takes place between different Google Profiles, and between different Google services. Google’s sparse dashboard page (referred with a screenshot earlier) which is effectively one’s action board feels more like a link page listing various Google’s services than a centralized My Page that would really be one’s to use.

About the Author
Meri Kuusi-Shields – based in Dallas, Texas, USA – works as a creative & business director for Interaria. Meri holds a master’s degree in Sociology from University of Tampere, Finland. Meri can be reached at . You can also follow Interaria on Twitter.

Meri’s Google Profile:

Optimizing Google’s AdWords For Mobile Devices

By far, the dominant advertising platform on the web is Google’s AdWords. Up until very recently, Google’s AdWords was fine with serving ads to mobile devices that linked to pages with Flash content. In a recent change in policy, Google’s AdWords seems to now block serving pay-per-click ads to mobile devices (iPad/iPhone/Android) if the advertised website being linked to in the ad has any Flash running on it. This includes websites running javascript coded “Flash-checkers”.  Google’s AdWords now requires that at least on your site’s initial landing/home page where you may have used a Javascript based Flash checker, you’ll now need to instead add specialized web code for checking what type of device has arrived to your home page, and then auto-route a visitor to appropriate mobile friendly Flash free content.

The situation is definitely not completely clear yet because Google hasn’t made any official statements on the matter.  Since Goolge’s own Android mobile platform supports Flash this new policy is interesting, and appears to cater the growing market of iPhone and iPad users.

Dallas Web design & development company Interaria follows the developments of AdWord policy closely. Interaria specializes in coding websites that are “Google-friendly”.

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Alexa Indexing Engine Measures Website Popularity

In addition to following your website’s Google Page Rank, and the number of backlinks pointing to your site, another metric to check when following your website’s search engine optimization progress is called Alexa Rank.

Alexa is a website indexing engine that attempts to measure popularity of websites. Alexa gathers its data on websites as does Google by using ‘searchbots’ that crawl the Web reading and storing data from websites. Like Google, Alexa crawls the Internet, retrieving and storing lots of data about websites and the popularity of websites. However, unlike Google, Alexa builds their popularity rank from data sent to them by people who have installed an Alexa Toolbar into their web browser. If you have the Alexa Toolbar installed into your browser, every time you visit a website, data is sent to Alexa, telling Alexa what websites you have visited. In this way, Alexa is able to build a ranking popularity index of which websites are visited most. The highest, most visited/popular site, has an Alexa Rank of 1, which is currently held by Google. For example, Apple Computer’s main website has an Alexa Rank of 41 and Dell Computer has an Alexa Rank of 200. However, most websites have ranks in the hundreds of thousands or millions.

Google does not make public all the factors that go into how high your website will rank on search results pages, but tracking how your site’s Alexa rank changes over time, whether your Alexa Rank goes up or down, can be an early indicator as to how your website’s Google ranking and search engine results maybe be changing and improving.

A copy of the Alexa database is used for the Internet Archive ( ). Google and Alexa also partner on supporting the Open Directory Project ( ).

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