Social Media Quotes in 4 Easy Steps

Images get noticed. We know that, don’t we?! Do you ever get tired of just sharing the cute quote images and photos that you see online? You can make your own social media quotes without Photoshop in only 4 simple steps! (And really, who wants to fire up Photoshop for a quick job?)

First step- Find a Quote!

I love Brainyquote.com for that. You can search by topic or author, or just choose the quote of the day. They even have some already on images. All quotes have share buttons, but I do advise that you make it your own and create your own image. In a time crunch though, just share it.

brainyquote

Second Step- Find an Image!

Compfight is a Flickr search tool. Quickly find images for blogs, comps, inspiration and research. Be sure to check the photo license and credit the owner when and where necessary. Another site I like to use for photos is Freeimages.com (formerly sxc.hu). It’s hit and miss here, but I often find very usable nature images.

find-images

Third Step- Create!

No Photoshop, no problem! Enter Pixlr. You can do just about everything Photoshop can do online with Pixlr. The interface is very similar to Photoshop and has several of the same tools. Pixlr supports several image types including PXD which is their version of Photoshop’s PSD. When you create your quote image, be sure to put the URL of your website on the image. I tend to place my in the lower right corner (this is a step that I often forget!). As the image gets shared, so does your web address.

pixlr

Now Share!

Hop over to Facebook and upload your image to your business page. Be sure to tag your business page and add a link to your website. Giving permission to share the image tends to prompt your followers to hit share.

anne-frank-1

Made with Pixlr, image by Philippe Put via Compfight cc and quote from Brainyquote.

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Google ads with your face?!

google-adsSeems Goog has gone the way of Facebook and is using your name and face in ads and search results shown on their network. A change in Google’s Terms of Service now allows them to use your name, photo, ratings and comments from any of their services (g+, youtube, +1s, follows, shares, etc). The idea behind it is that your friends will see your preferences and that will influence their actions. They do say that the only people that will see it are the friends you’ve chosen to share the content with, but who knows for sure or when that will change.

Here’s the short version of the update according to Google:

      • First, clarifying how your Profile name and photo might appear in Google products (including in reviews, advertising and other commercial contexts).
      • Second, a reminder to use your mobile devices safely.
      • Third, details on the importance of keeping your password confidential.

The good news is that you can opt out. Just know that you might see a little message along the lines of “your friends will be less likely to benefit…” blah, blah, blah. I’m sure you’re friends won’t mind. If you really like that taco shop on the corner, I’m sure you’ll tell them personally.

Let’s Opt Out!

Most likely you’re already logged in to the Goog, so just click this little linky here. Read the  page if you want, but do scroll down to the little check box and make sure it is unchecked. Hit save and done. Easy peasy.

I can’t think of any reason you would benefit from have your recommendations a likes shown to your friends. In other words, I see no reason to stay opted in, let’s take back the web and opt out. Social or not, we still need to maintain some control over the use of ourselves for marketing purposes. Maybe if enough people opt out (yeah, right!), these websites will stop doing this stuff. Let’s get some privacy back.

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How to shorten your Google+ URL

gplus-64Do you have trouble remembering your Google+ url? Who can remember that long string of numbers? One thing Google is severly lacking is vanity URLs. Vanity URLs are what we call it when a site let’s us choose use our username in the link to our page. For Facebook, the vanity url to my page is http://facebook.com/bestdamnwebgirl and Twitter is http://twitter.com/bestdamnwebgirl. Those are easy to remember and easy to share.

Enter gplus.to, a url shortener for Google+. It works very much the same as bit.ly or other URL shortener services. I must let you know that this site is not affiliated with Google in any way, but it works and is useful at least until Google decides to allow everyone to set URLs with usernames. The site is easy enough to use, choose your username in the first box, for a business you probably want your business name. Now, in a new window head over to your Google+ page. Make sure you’re on your dashboard so you don’t get confused, when you initially head to G+ page, there will be 2 strings of numbers in the URL. In the address bar, copy just the string of numbers. Go back to gplus.to and paste it in. Hit “add” and tada! Now you have your own short G+ URL.

Things to note: If this site ever goes away, your url will go away with it. It might be a good idea not to use this on business cards or permanent pieces of information. It’s fine when you need a quick link to give a friend, colleague or potential client or when you’re speaking to someone and want to give them your G+ profile. Also, do not use this link when linking your website to Google+! You must, must, must use the full URL in that case. Think of this as a temporarly URL to use until Google releases vanity names to everyone. (Come on Goog, whatcha waitin’ for?!)

Here’s a video (that I did not make, thank you son for interrupting!) showing you exactly what to do:

Due to increased spam, comments on this post are now disabled. For what it’s worth, there is no need to use a service anymore since Google now offers you custom URLs.

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Is linking dead?

Google has updated their link schemes page, a guide on linking to and from your website, basically saying all links need to be “nofollow”. That’s the gist of it anyway. If you are putting links on your site just to pass PageRank, they want you to stop.

My take is, and always has been, write for your visitors, not for Google. Yes, you absolutely should get the title, description and some keywords in there, but make your content flow and share links your visitors will enjoy (that open in a new window/tab!). Why are you playing the Google game anyway? To get visitors to your site so they’ll take action, right?!

Basically, Goog is saying if you are paying for links, that is bad. I do not fully believe this. I do think that if you just pop a link to your site out there on every available directory you can find, it’s not going to help you and may hurt you. If you find quality, niche directories and you pay to be listed, go for it.

For example, I’ll use a site I work on, The Boudoir Photography Network, which by the way isn’t always safe to view at work. (See I linked that? If you photograph boudoir, this link is useful to you and it fits the flow of my post here, and opens in new tab so I don’t completely lose you!) This is a site directory, but it’s not just any old submit a link directory. Your main purpose of getting listed here is to connect with potential clients. Forget Goog, you want the clients to find you. This type of directory, in my opinion, shouldn’t ding you and I haven’t seen any cases where it has. This is a legit link back to your site whether it’s dofollow or nofollow.

Swapping links with a friend might be okay. If you both are in two completely different industries that do not complement each other, don’t do it. If you both sell a product or service that complements the other, then by all means, share a link. In this case you are helping your site visitors find another item of interest.

Your goal should always be to create great content. Not content for Goog, but content for your visitors, and link where appropriate. Create something they want to read and share. As your readers share your content, your authority grows and Google gets happy.

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Get the Most out of G+ Link Posting

You worked all day to get the perfect blog post. You are so proud of how it turned out and now it’s time to share it on those social networks. Easy enough for Twitter and Facebook, but for Google+ you’ll have to do it manually for now. Did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to share your link on G+? There is!

When sharing your blog link on G+, you MUST use the link box, not the text box. If you post your link using the text box, your link will be tagged at a “nofollow” link. By using the link box, you’ll be getting a “dofollow” link.

Google+ Links google-link-2

What the heck and why does it matter?

To put it short,  a “nofollow” link to your site will not pass on the link juice you’re looking for where a “dofollow” link will. Google developed nofollow to help combat comment link spam. Here is what Google has to say about nofollow links:

“In general, we don’t follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. Essentially, using nofollow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web. However, the target pages may still appear in our index if other sites link to them without using nofollow, or if the URLs are submitted to Google in a Sitemap. Also, it’s important to note that other search engines may handle nofollow in slightly different ways.”

When trying to get links back to your site, always seek out the dofollow links and stay away from nofollows. Did you know comment links on BDWG are dofollow? Say ‘thanks’ with a comment earn a linkback!

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Turn off Google+ Notifications

Bombarded with G+ notifications? Want to turn off those Google+ notifications that land in your inbox. I don’t know why Google made this setting so hard to find, maybe they took a note from Facebook. These directions assume you are accessing Google+ on your laptop or desktop computer, not a table or smartphone.

G+ Profile Page

First, let’s look at your personal profile. To change your notifications, first hover on the home icon in the upper left corner. This will cause a slide out menu to appear. At the very bottom of this menu you’ll see “settings”, click that to bring up the next page.

g + notifications

 

google+ notifications

On the settings page, you just need to scroll down a bit to the notifications section. At the top you can choose which email address should receive the notifications. Right below that you can urn off and on notifications for both phone and email for several different actions. As with all Google services, changes are automatically saved for you.

g+ notifications

G+ Page Settings

It is my understanding that pages have their own settings. Go to your G+ page and scroll to the very top of the page until you see your page’s icon in the upper right. Click on the little arrow next to the icon, this will show a drop down with a settings link.

g+ settings

Just as before, scroll to the notifications area and uncheck the boxes you desire.

goole+ settings

G+ Communities

In your Google communities, there is only one option- disable or enable new post notifications. I don’t have a screenshot, sorry, but if you look on the left side, just above the community photo, you’ll see a little bell. Click that to enable or disable notifications.

And that’s all there is to it. A little hard to find, but fairly easy once located.

Forgive any typos in this post, I killed my laptop and this post was typed on my little 7 inch Galaxy Tab

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A much needed Google+ Cheat Sheet!

Google+ Cheat Sheet – Google Plus Shortcuts & Tips [Infographic] (via http://ericwelke.com/)

Google Plus refers to a social network with more than 10 million subscribers. The service is invite only at present, which means you cannot just sign up to it. Google plus is on active campaign to discourage businesses against creating listings and communities in existence are keen to ignore any entity…

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Google+ Authorship and You

We all want to be noticed Google, isn’t that what we spend our every day doing?! Sure, but I want to focus on that little photo you’re seeing when you do web searches. That little thing we refer to as Google+ Authorship. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are a visual culture. We want to see things. Admit it, you’re more likely to pay attention to something when there’s a pretty picture to see. Have you see search results like this?

author-rank

 

Do you have an image next to your search results? Do you know how to get it there? Google+ Authorship will increase your click throughs. Right away, you see me, as a real person, before you even get to my website. You know instantly I have taken the time to reach out to you and I’ll bet you have a little more confidence in me than you would if you didn’t see my photo right away.

Let’s get your photo on Google and get your site Google+ Authorship ready.

Step #1 – Join Google+

It’s a given. You want to dominate Google, you have to play the Google game. Go ahead and register and set up your profile. Your profile photo MUST be a headshot. Don’t use an image of an animal or a flower, or even representation of your work. You photo needs to be YOU.

Step #2 – Verify your email address

It would be ideal if your email address is the same as your domain name. You must verify your email address. Have more than one website? List more than one email. Google says as long as you add your email address and have a byline with your name on your website, you’re all set, but let’s make it foolproof!

Step #3 – Contributor

In your profile, you’ll see a contributor area. List your website(s) here. If you regularly post on  a website, get it listed here. Not only is this another link back to your website (SEO check!), this is one way Google connects your profile to your website.

On your G+ profile, click posts, now copy that URL.

Step #4 – Link to Google+

Let’s head over to your website. We’re going to do a few things over here. The first thing we’ll do is get a link over to our Google+. You do have linked social icons, right? If you haven’t already, now you must add G+. My recommendation is Facebook, Twitter and G+ (in that order is my preference). Add in that icon and link it to https://plus.google.com/100027440948875446500/posts (this is the URL we just copied from G+, this particular link is my profile).

Step #5 – The Byline

If your blog does not show the line “posted by ____”, re-enable it now. You need to let Google know that you posted that blog post, page, article or whatever. The name in your byline should match your profile name, first name only is perfectly fine. Ideally, we want to add rel=”author” to the markup, in some wordpress themes that is not as easy as it sounds. Drop me an email and I’ll let you know if it can be done, how to do it, or I’ll do it for you. If it can’t be done, worry not, it’s just one more thing we can do to speed things along, but definitely not a deal-breaker. We’ll get around it by using our SEO plugin (which you are using, right?). There is very likely a place in the plugin settings to add in your Google+ profile ID, that’s the string of numbers. Plug in in there as well. This will add a line in your header telling Google that you are the author of this website.

At this point, you should have a few ways that your website and Google+ are linked together. Let’s check things out. Head over to the Structured Data Testing Tool and pop in one your urls. If you’ve gotten everything set up and Google has seen it, you should get a nice little preview of what your search results will look like now with Google+ Authorship:

author-rank-check

 

And that’s it. Now, you have a nice image next to search results. You’ve just made your listing a little more personal. If you do absolutely nothing else with your Google profile, do this. It will make a difference in clicks. Google will eventually begin using Author Rank, so get it set up now and be prepared. According to The Wall Street Journal, Eric Schmidt’s, Google Chairman, new book contains the following:

 “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

This is the direction we are headed and you are now prepared!

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