Of course you want to sell – we all do. Google wants to sell too, but when it comes to its powerful search engine, it favors educational, high-quality content over promotional content.

So when it comes to your marketing efforts, make sure that a big part of them is educational, content-rich and high quality. While your website can focus on presenting your products or services, it’s important to add a blog that focuses on establishing yourself as a leader in your industry. Don’t use your blog to sell! It’s fine to include links in your blog posts to your website, but keep the blog as pure as possible.

For example, if you sell homemade soap, your blog posts should include information on soap making; maybe a few recipes for readers to try at home; tips on cleanliness and hygiene; addressing issues such as allergies to fragrance; around the holidays, it’s fine to write a blog post with gift ideas and include a couple of links to your gift baskets. But you get the general idea – your blog should never sell. Your blog should include a wealth of information that adds value to the Web and to your readers.

As you work to fill the blog with content, you may sometimes feel that you’re drifting away from your own products too much – what’s the use of all this general knowledge? But overtime, it works. Here’s another example – I have a client that sells student loans. Their website sells the loans, but the blog I write and manage for them never sells. It is filled with tons of tips, info and thoughts on college – including topics that have nothing to do with financing college, such as dating in college, picking the best college major and learning to cook for yourself.

Are we wasting our time writing about topics that have nothing to do with financing college, let alone with student loans? On the contrary. Patiently built over 3 years, the blog is now so rich in great content that it’s responsible for 50% of the website’s overall traffic. Sure, not all of this traffic translates into sales – but part of it does, and I expect that to keep growing as we continue to invest in being interesting, educational, and non-spammy.

Google yesterday announced that they are rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide, allowing businesses and not just individuals to use Google+.

So, should your business have a Google Plus page? Probably. I now recommend that all my clients add a Google Plus page to their social media marketing mix.

Granted, Facebook still seems like a better place to be, with more exposure and a higher ROI. But what’s especially intriguing about Google plus is that Google Plus is essentially about tying social to search so that Google can provide users with better search results based on their social connections. This is powerful – and the main reason for brands to join Google plus.

Google+ Direct Connect lets users quickly navigate to a Google+ page, and add that page to their circles, when using Google Search. Try searching for ‘+amazon’ and your search will take you to the Amazon Google+ page and give you the option to add the page to your circles. Google+ Direct Connect is still not widely available (to pages or to users), but no doubt it will eventually be.

The only caveat: After Google Buzz failed miserably, everyone is wondering whether Google Plus will actually take off or fail too. It’s too early to tell, so if your resources are very limited, don’t spend too much on a Google Plus page – but it’s still a good idea to create one, add a button/widget to your site or blog, and start posting to your Google+ page, even if just occasionally for now.

Facebook Privacy Changes: A Response to Google Plus?

Facebook has announced that it will change its privacy controls, so that they appear right next to each posting. This would enable users to choose who sees individual status updates, photos and profile info — when they share or afterwards. “With most of your controls now up front, your privacy settings page has been simplified,” […]

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Google is trying – again – to break into the social networking scene. Google+ is a social network that looks a lot like Facebook and enables sharing just like Facebook, but seems to offer more control over who sees your posts – a big advantage over Facebook and the famous, infuriating claim by Mark Zuckerberg […]

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Google Caffeine Has Arrived

Google has announced today that its new search index, Google Caffeine, is now complete. The main change is that indexing will now be continuous, whereas in the past it happened periodically. From the Google blog: “With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As […]

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Should Google Be Afraid of Social Media?

I don’t think it should.

Not everyone would agree – there have been so many articles and blog posts and comments lately saying that people now spend more time on social media sites than they do on search and news sites (in fact, Facebook recently surpassed Google in US traffic); that the recent slew of Google developments and changes, including adding social results to search results; adding a “past hour” filter to search results; adding social search; and of course Google Buzz – are all a result of Google’s frantic attempt to retain market share in the face of fierce competition from social media sites.

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Google Launches Real-Time Search

Google has launched today its real-time search, which means that Google search results will now include fresh, relevant content from news, blogs and social media. From the Google blog: “Now, immediately after conducting a search, you can see live updates from people on popular sites like Twitter and FriendFeed, as well as headlines from news […]

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Google Caffeine: Trying not to Worry

Google Caffeine, a new technology that improves Google’s indexing infrastructure, will soon go live at one data center, which means that a small percentage of Google’s users will be able to experience the new search. The full Caffeine roll out will only happen after the holidays. While it’s easy to worry and fret about this […]

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