In recent conversations on Google Plus, there has been a lot of buzz about whether you should post as your business page or whether you should use your personal profile. How does all of this affect Google Authorship and Google AuthorRank? I’m not a Google expert, and never claim to be. While I do know a good bit of how to impact SEO and have even developed a class on SEO for Home Stagers and Realtors, it’s not my profession. The class is just a little more than a basic understanding of the workings of how it all works. It’s a place to get started without having to spend weeks and months researching. For many, especially in the beginning, it’s all very confusing. The use of a personal or business page when posting on Google Plus seems to be another one of those confusing areas.
When should you use your business page on Google Plus
I know that sometimes I’m guilty of just using my personal profile on Google Plus and not doing enough interacting with my business page. I’m working on it. I will say that the evolution of communities has increased the value of using my business page for posting and commenting.
In a recent conversation with a staging colleague who also happens to have another business, in a completely unrelated field, we struck up a conversation about the value of Google Plus. Her dilemma was whether she would muddy her social signals if she posted about both interests and businesses. I asked why she didn’t have business pages for each business so that she could post blogs and articles related to each business on the business pages, and then share and comment as herself on topics of interest – which could be about anything.
As an example I told her that while my primary posting on Google Plus is all about home staging, real estate, and online marketing, I’m also a scifi geek and frequently post Star Trek or Star Wars photos, videos, and other crazy things. I don’t believe that my last storm troopers cartoon gif share is confusing Google. If anything, it may help it know that I’m not a robot. I’m human and have many interests and thoughts. My personal page is a myriad of things that I like. It is the stuff that makes me – me.
Our Staging and Redesign Home Staging Training business page exclusively posts information on home staging and real estate. Many of our posts are either our own blogs, or blogs from our staging instructors. You won’t find any Star Trek posts here. Those who have circled us expect that here they will find home staging business information. We are a business and we present ourselves that way.
My Rave ReViews Home Staging business page posts information on home staging, real estate, design information and trends, and local events. This page is generated to help find local customers who may need our services. We want to be a resource for those who may eventually need our services. This applies to Realtors and homeowners. Still, you won’t find Star Wars here.
What about Authorship and Author Rank. Don’t they matter?
For those who don’t know. Let me give you brief explanation of both of these (and some links where you can learn more).
Per the SEO Moz article, Google Authorship and the Fast Track to Better Rankings: A Case Study, Authorship is where you signal Google that you are the author for the various blogs and websites you write for. This means that while you may not own the website, Google still knows you wrote it. Take for example, this blog by SAR Instructor Kym Tarr.
Kym wrote this great blog about Home Staging with pets. While I own SAR and do most of the writing. Because of Authorship, Google knows that Kym wrote it and put her image, not mine, next to the search result. This is done by linking her blog author profile to her Google profile. By doing this everywhere Kym writes, Google knows that not only is she a real person, but will now link all of her writing to her Google Profile page.
Author Rank is the next part of the equation. While technically not up and running yet per Google conversation, it is surely in the pipeline. Author Rank (formally Agent Rank) is sure to be a game changer. When it goes into effect, Google’s Author Rank will not only tell people that Kym wrote that article, but it may help Google decide that she is more or less important based on social signals, like how many circles she’s in or how many people like, comment, and share her blogs.
Mike Arnesen, in another article for SEO Moz, showcases the importance of this new shift in How to Prepare for Author Rank and Get the Jump on Google.
With Author Rank maybe I should abandon my Google Plus business page
Until I hear otherwise, I’m going to assume that if Google understands, based on the links I add in my Google Plus profile, that I write for a particular blog, that the business page that I set up, and is linked to me in my G+ profile under “Other profiles” is still me, especially when I’m sharing articles that I have Authorship for.
On the chance that I’m really wrong about this, I still have to ask myself when I share my blogs in the Google Plus Real Estate Community that I moderate for, “Does listing this under my business page give my business more exposure than if I just post it as myself?” While I’m all for getting better results in the search engines, everything I do isn’t about that. Sometimes it is just about getting in front of my potential customers. The Real Estate Community is a large group of real estate and related professionals. They may know someone who wants to become a home stager. By posting as SAR Home Staging & Redesign Training maybe they’ll think of me when they do. That’s about top of mind awareness.
While everyone in the community may know that I’m a home staging expert, they may not necessarily be familiar with my training company. In the end, that’s really why I post to Google Plus – to gain exposure.
Addition: Thanks to comments on Google Plus on this blog post by Al Remetch, we have some follow up thoughts from Bill Gassett, a true real estate social media/SEO guru. Bill’s suggestion is that we first post our blog links on our profiles, then share them from our business page in the community, effectively having your cake and eating it too. Nice! Read all about Bill Gassetts business page sharing philosophy here.
An additional argument for Bill Gassett’s philosophy is that Al Remetech noticed that because I shared the blog in a real estate community that required post moderation, that I did not immediately appear in the search engines for the keywords contained in this post. So, this means that all of my blogs should be first posted on my personal profile, then shared as my business page in the relevant community.
Remember why you are writing and sharing your posts on Google Plus
If you think about the purpose of writing and sharing your posts on Google Plus, it should be an easy decision on whether to post using your personal page or your business page. The goal isn’t to get greedy about SEO and lose focus. The idea is to make your potential audience or customer be more aware of what you do. Which of those will do that better?