How to Create a Google Profile and Manage your Online Reputation

As seen on 7News – View the video on TheDenverChannel.com

Denver 7News

Why Google Profiles matter to you

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As featured on the May 20th 7News program featuring Zack Katz of Katz Web Design, Google Profiles are a great way to be found online for your own name, even if you don’t have a website.If you set up an online profile with Google, a person looking for you online will be able to find you more easily.

Your profile will show up in search results

In the past, if you wanted to be listed in search results for your own name (it’s called a “vanity search”), you often needed your own website. Google is changing that, and giving users the power to show up in a search result with a picture and link to their profile.

Google Profile Embedded Results
The Google Profile box embedded in the search results for Zack Katz

In April, Google has started giving Profiles a prominent placement in search results. It is safe to presume that Google will be further incorporating the Profiles in the future, and assigning them more value. If you want to improve your findability online, setting up a profile is a great step to take.

How to create your Google Profile

If you already have a Google account (if you use Gmail, or any other Google product), go directly to the Google Profiles page, and skip to step #7.

Part 1: Getting signed up and logged in

Create your profile (20090520)
(Click image to view larger) The 'Create your profile' page has many options, including your contact information. Choosing what information to include is a personal decision.
  1. Click here to go to Google Profiles
  2. Click on “Create an account now”
    Create a New Google Profile
  3. Fill out the short form to create a Google account.
  4. Check your email on the email account you provided. Google will send a confirmation message confirming your email address.
  5. Click the verification link provided in the confirmation email.
  6. After clicking the link, a page will load with a link saying “click here to manage your account profile.”  Click it.
  7. You should now be on the Create your profile page (view image to the right).

Part 2: Adding information

There are lots fields you have the opportunity to fill out – fill out as many as you want. Google’s done a good job of having some silly options, such as a place to specify “My superpower.”

Here are some main items you won’t want to miss:

  • Explore — make sure to check out the different tabs near the top of the page. “Contact info” gives you a place to enter your email, phone numbers, instant messenging account information, and photos from photo sharing sites like Flickr.
    Profile tabs
  • Change your Google Profile pictureAdd a profile photo — why create a really great profile if you’re not going to share your likeness with the world? Click on the Googley-eyed image and follow the instructions. It’s easy, and it will make your profile truly personal….and if you don’t have a photo, the photo won’t show up in search results, reducing your exposure.
  • Add a bio — write a bit about yourself: your job history, your family pets…anything you would like to share. If you’re creating a professional profile, you could write about your business and your qualifications.

Google will let you know if they need more information before having your profile listed in search results.

Part 3: For power users

Maximize your profile with search engine optimization techniques

Links in your profile have good SEO valueOne of the best parts about setting up your profile with Google is that you can tell Google what your website is. If you run a business, adding a link on your profile to your businesses’ website will help that website rank better in search results. Google Profiles pass value to sites you list.

  • Make sure to add all of your profiles and websites using the “Add custom links to my profile” form provided (pictured at right).
  • In the “Link name” field, be descriptive about your website. If you have a profile on LinkedIn, and you are a florist, you could write “Denver Florist on LinkedIn” — which is better than “My LinkedIn Profile,” because it has relevant, descriptive words.
  • Feel free to list as many links as you want, but be aware that the more links you have on one page, the less value each link will give; the page’s value will be divided.
  • Create a Profile URL (at the bottom of the profile page) — otherwise, your profile will look  like google.com/profiles/104944297119239125072, instead of google.com/profiles/your-name, which is much nicer (and better for search)

Verify your name for added trust

Follow these steps to verify your phone number, and get a Verified Name badge on your profile.

How to monitor your online reputation

When someone writes about you online, it’s important for you to know about it. Reputation management in the age of the internet is an extremely important aspect of having an online presence.  In order to monitor where you are mentioned online, we will set up an alert with Google Alerts.

Setting up a Google Alert - The Create an Alert Form

Go to Google Alerts. If you are logged in to Google, you will see a form similar to the one on the right.

  • Enter in your name, or the name of your business in the field “Search terms,”
  • Choose Comprehensive as the “Type” — the other options will limit what content Google looks in.
  • Select from the “How often” drop-down your preferred frequency of alerts.  I recommend setting “How often” to “as-it-happens;” that way, as soon as Google finds new content about you, Google will send you an email with a link to the web page where it found you.
  • Choose your email as the delivery option.
  • Click “Create Alert,” and you’re set up!

Once you’ve set up an alert

Now, when Google finds new content that mentions you, you will immediately receive an informative email.  This will allow you to respond to the new content appropriately.

If a person has written a complimentary article about you, you can leave a comment on it thanking them.  If the content is negative, you can seek ways to remedy the situation. But that’s for another article.

You may create as many alerts as you like, which will provide you with an immediate notification of any Google content related to your alert.

Any questions?

If you have questions about this article, please leave a comment in the form labeled “Leave a comment” below.  You may also check out the following official Google help documents:

Zack Katz runs Katz Web Design, a search engine optimization and web design company in Denver. Katz Web Design specializes in helping small business owners dominate search results in their industry. Email KWD for a free consultation.

View Zack’s Google Profile

Author: Zack Katz

Zack Katz is the President of Katz Web Services and the developer of WordPress plugins with over 700,000 downloads. He lives in Southwest Colorado with his wife and two cats.

7 thoughts on “How to Create a Google Profile and Manage your Online Reputation”

  1. An online identity will help you to market yourself as an expert in a particular field. Create a blog or Twitter account to share your expertise, network with knowledge experts, industry leaders etc.

  2. Part of the intent of web 2.0 was not just for social networking, but also for greater accountability and a more friendly Internet. Profiles go a long way to helping in creating this goal.

  3. I would also like to suggest creating a profile on LookupPage which aims at getting your profile on search engines when someone searches your name – even if it’s a popular name. Check it out if you like 🙂

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