by Melissa Schraiber
Google Profile is a feature available to anyone who has a Gmail address. It is beneficial for both personal and business purposes. The profile set up takes only a few moments and is a quick, simple way to create an online brand.
It should be noted that Google Profiles are not the same as Google Places, which are pages strictly for businesses.
A Google Profile will provide a central hub of information when a name is searched. The individual has complete control over what content is displayed and can carefully control online reputation. The profile also provides an easy way to pull together all links and profiles associated with the individual and is useful for generating more traffic to a website.
When setting up the profile, it is vital to include keywords in the Description and Occupation area that describe the individual and what they or their business does. The map should match the locale of the business. It is also important to add the address and phone number of the business and make it visible to all the contacts. Google will also be able to see this information and use it to assign ranking. Search visibility should always be turned to on.
The most critical step of all is using the vanity URL option. This will make the profile more unique and memorable and much easier to find.
Google Profiles often produce immediate results. Within minutes after set up, a search of the profile will show the profile ranked far above many hundreds of thousands of results. This is a big step up for any business and it’s free.
Google Profiles play a part in an effective social media strategy. In combination with Google Buzz, they are the next big thing in online promotion and reputation management. Not all businesses are a good fit for Google Profiles, though. The individual or business owner should do a search within the profiles themselves to see how common their type of business is. For example, a profile search for hair stylists will bring up a large number of results, as will any type of food or a professional service, such as doctors or lawyers. It is up to the individual to decide whether Google Profiles would provide any benefit.