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 “about.me” 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 about.me 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also follow Interaria on Twitter.
Meri’s Google Profile: https://profiles.google.com/merikuusishields/about