Wouldn’t it be great to crack the first page of Google results for a search of your name? Or, if your links already appear on the first page, wouldn’t you like to add yet another result? Your Google Profile is the simplest, most sure-fire way to add another opportunity for searchers to find you.
Once published, a preview link to your Google Profile will appear at the very bottom of Page 1 search results for your name – which can be extremely beneficial if you have a common name (and others have not yet claimed this space). Here is an example:
To create a Google Profile, navigate to http://www.google.com/profiles, and come armed with a Google account (Gmail, Google Wave, etc). From there, updating your profile is an absolute snap. Follow these 7 steps to create the perfect Google profile that describes you well and encourages searchers to find and contact you elsewhere on the web.
1. Display your full name and allow others to contact you.
Your Google Profile exists solely so searchers can find you and contact you – checking these 2 boxes makes perfect sense. All reward, no risk.
2. Upload a picture.
Keep in mind that most folks searching for you via Google will likely know something about you, but not everything. Maybe they met you at a conference, and only remember your name and face? Including a close-up shot is the easiest way to set you apart from others that share your name.
3. Include a detailed history.
Same philosophy as above – those searching for you will likely recognize you by a single defining trait. Did they grow up with you in Omaha, Nebraska? Do they know you from college or from prior work experience? Take the time to fill out your past history in full detail, so anyone from your past will recognize that you are you.
4. Write a killer “What I Do” section.
In the “What I Do” section, Google provides the examples of “Actor, Engineer, Scientist”. Boring! Instead, amp this section up by including a few provocative titles that really describe what you do. For an excellent example, see the snapshot below from Meg Guiseppi’s profile.
5. Write a brief, but informative, bio.
Your Google Profile is not a final destination, it is merely a portal. So, keep your bio brief and to the point. Include enough information to identify yourself, and to encourage searchers to contact you elsewhere (embedded links work great mixed in with your text). Note: Others might debate my point about keeping your bio brief, as many have an extremely long description. Ultimately, it is up to you.
6. Link, link, link.
Google allows you the opportunity to link to anywhere and everywhere you’d like. This is your opportunity to send searchers to the real places you want them to connect with you. Take a look at the Google profile of Robert Scoble, who has linked to over 40 places you can find him on the web. Wow! Here is a screen-shot of the pages I’ve linked to. How many web destinations of your own can you think to link to?
7. Include common misspellings of your name.
Google realizes that not all web searchers are prolific spellers. You can include all the potential misspellings of your name so that your Google Profile will appear for all queries. (Brett Favre, this is your lucky day).
What do you all think? Do you have a Google Profile? Share your link in the comments, let’s see those shiny profiles!
Ryan Rancatore can also be found at Personal Branding 101, discussing the tools and tactics that will help you build a killer personal brand in 2010 and beyond.