Establish Your Online Identity by Creating a Google Profile
Google is still the dominant search engine and the best way for people to find individuals & businesses. Thus it’s crucial to be ranked first when your name or brand is searched online. And unless your name or brand has a unique name it’s pretty hard to get it to rank first or even to the first page. Fortunately, Google makes it much easier for people to set-up simple Google profiles for better discoverability.
It’s an important tool that’s especially helpful for new freelancers & smaller businesses who cannot afford to maintain their own website.
Create & Manage Your Online Identity Using Google Plus Profiles
Technically speaking, it’s now called a Google Plus profile since Google watered down the service Google Profiles & integrated it directly with Google Plus. While the move can be seen as forcing users to switch to a new platform, Google Plus Profiles still comes with many new features to help individuals & businesses express themselves creatively.
Note that making a Google+ profile is not a necessary condition but a sufficient one to have all your data at one place. Without G+ profile, you won’t have following in your ‘About Me’ Google profile –
– Work and personal emails
– Place of employment
– Places you’ve lived
– Public images in Album archive that you have posted or tagged with you
Also, you would lose the ability to customize the visibility options. With Google+ account, you can make your ‘About me’ profile public, private, displayed to friends, friends of friends, certain groups etc.
Get Started with Google Plus Profiles
If you’re new to Google and it’s your first Gmail account, here’s how to create a Google Plus profile.
Step 1: Visit Google Plus and press the Join Google+ button in the sidebar.
Step 2: This will prompt a window for entering your First & Last name which will appear publicly. Details like visibility date of birth & gender can be made private.
Step 3: Press Create Profile & upload a profile photo. Putting up a picture essential requirement for setting a custom URL.
Step 4: Finally press Save.
Adding Details to Your Profile
Step 2: In the top right corner there’s an About button or use this link. Press it to furnish the page with additional details. Press the pencil icon to edit details.
Step 3: Press the Plus (+) fab icon in the bottom right to add more details to your profile.
Step 4: Add the appropriate details and press Save.
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The privacy of each detail can be individually controlled by pressing the Lock icon.
Getting a custom URL for your Google Profile
If a custom URL is set, the page is easier to share with others
For example, this is our own custom URL: https://plus.google.com/+Gtricks
It’s easier to remember compared to a string of characters. But to get a custom URL there are some rules such as:
- You have ten or more followers (people who have added you to their circles)
- Your account is at least 30 days old
- Your profile has a profile photo
- Your account is in good standing (account should follow the rules & guidelines for posting content)
Once you fulfil these requirements Google will automatically show a banner above the Google Plus logo asking you to set a custom URL.
Downsides & Alternatives
While Google Plus profiles offer a lot of options for entering new information, it lacks visual customisation features. Since it’s a part of Google Plus, every profile will natural fit in with Google’s design guidelines. Thus there’s very little room for tweaking when it comes to changing icons and typefaces.
If you’re allured by such features About.me is a better option with paid options for more customisation & removal of branding.
Google Plus’s profile offering is an essential feature for everyone to get their name or business ranked high in the Google search results and is definitely an effective use of one’s time.
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