Tag Archives: google+

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New Google Logo: With change comes great responsibility

google-logo-new-2015This week Google revealed a new logo after 16 years of not too much change to their visual ID – aside from the gradual reduction of a ‘drop shadow’ and a slightly tighter font – it’s no surprise that everyone has something to say about the new, bold, simplified design.

Whenever a big brand announces a visual identity facelift it’s inevitable that there will be a division of opinion. All too often we’re left wondering who actually signed-off a logo redesign, such as the logo-blunder from Hershey’s last year, which, to put it bluntly resembled a steaming pile of excrement. Airbnb is another example of a logo design fail, where sadly no one internally seemed to notice that the new logo looked like a symbol for male or female genitalia.

The current trend being rolled out by a lot of brands in recent times is a more ‘clean-cut’ look and feel. But, this can be taken too far as the Brand team at Gap would concede. Whether it’s layout’s or logos, the world seems to lose their minds when confronted with any form of change from the familiar, and the sense is that brand’s can’t win. They either create something too abstract, or too simple. Have Google found the perfect balance?

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As you can see, the end result could have gone in any direction!

At first glance it’s easy to assume that Google’s uncomplicated motif is simply a reflection of the search engine’s ease of use. Or maybe the childlike design echoes the famous Google mantra of ‘Don’t be evil’? However, according to a blog released by Google the explanation is much more to do with creating something that works across all devices.

“We’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk)”

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 14.13.57The bods at Google refer to the new design as “simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly”. The change from a serif font to Google’s new type, which is known as Product Sans, does give the brand a clean and modern edge, but it also takes away the authoritative nature of the Google brand. The new font resembles the letters used at primary school to help children learning to read and write, so in all likelihood the logo is a nod to Google’s new parent company, Alphabet.

With this combination of font and primary colour, it’s starting to look a little like something from Sesame Street, which could be considered ‘friendly’. But, in order to achieve ‘friendliness’ do users need to be made to feel like kids? Should we not actually be a little insulted by this dumbing down?

Google is meant to be a brand that anyone of any age can access, so maybe it’s a good thing that it’s so simple. Surely their team of creative genius’ could have ebaycome up with something a little more original? (To be fair the ‘e’ in the Google logo is on a slant).

Some elements of the new Google logo and their launch method really can’t be faulted. The launch video, the logo evolution timeline on Google’s homepage, and the coloured dots coming together to create the letter ‘G’ (which no doubt will be one of the most recognisable ‘G’s of all time, so you’d better like it!) are all very nice touches. Only when the brand identity has been fully rolled out will we see the extent of Google’s efforts.

However, the reality of it all is that Google replaces it’s logo with a quirky doodle every single day and 99% of the time we love the daily dose of creativity. Is this change really worth all the fuss? Well, actually, yes it is, especially if you work in Digital. This change impacts all Google products, from Chrome to G+, meaning all websites with social sharing buttons will need to be updated. In fact, the redesign of the G+ icon almost makes me want to use the platform.

As with all major rebrands, you can always count on the Twitter community to share the most hilarious opinions. Here are some of our favourites:

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And of course, not wanting to feel left out…

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Happy searching!

 

How to Increase the PageRank of Your Google+ Profile

 We all know that we should be building our Google+ network but, like a trip to the dentist, most of us just haven’t got around to doing it yet. Increasing our author rank by implementing the rel=author tag is simple enough – but have you ever thought about your PageRank? That’s right; every Google+ profile – including yours – has its own PageRank, indexed separately as if it was a website.

 

Here is your opportunity to directly influence the search results of every person across your extended network and – more importantly – your chance to influence those that aren’t even on Google+.

 

Why is that so important?

This means that content, shares and links across a person’s Google+ profile that they’ve worked hard to be ranked as, say, a PR5 will have search authority over content on a profile that is ranked lower. It’s essentially another way for Google to rank your content, based on your authority as an author and based on the authority of those sharing your content, in one big, happy, authority-building circle. And it’s not just Google+ profiles; it also encompasses Google+ pages and yep, Google+ communities, all individually ranked.

So, as you build the authority of your profile and therefore your ranking position, your content can potentially be seen by anyone, even if they aren’t in your network or even on Google+ at all.

 

Where can we see it?

PageRank – the score by which Google ranks the authority of pages in the SERPS from 1 to 10 (I’m sure you knew that, but still…) has been rumoured to be in use on Google+ profiles for a while. However, it’s only just beginning to come to light – mainly thanks to the slow-to-be-updated nature of PageRanking. Just like a regular website, most new or sporadically used Google+ profiles will probably have a rank of 0 or even N/A, but now, using a website such as prchecker.net, you’d be able to discover profiles out there with much higher rankings. If you need to see it to believe it, Mark Traphagen – the inspiration behind this article – is ranked as a PR5, with his own examples of Justin Cutroni and Brian Gardner both ranking at an inspiring PR6.

To check yours out, simply remove the ‘/posts’ at the end of your URL, as well as the ‘/u/0/’ from the middle. For example, mine is https://plus.google.com/116924445784293921784/ and currently ranks at an impressive N/A (perhaps I should start to follow my own advice).

But how do you go about building the ranking of your Google+ profile?’ you may be wondering. Well, as did I, and so – with a little research and a lot of coffee – here’s what I found out…

 

1.       It’s not a numbers game

You might think that the first place to begin is to start maniacally adding other users to your profile circles. If only it was this easy! Alas, just like other social platforms and, well, the rest of the internet, it’s all about the social interaction. Sharing and commenting on other people’s content is a great way to begin to make a name for yourself and build your own hype, going way beyond half-heartedly adding them as a friend. Of course, on a very simple level, it’s still true to say that the more followers you have; the more likely it is that one of them will interact with your posts. It just might take longer.

 

2.       It’s not enough to follow the cool kids

It’s a similar story here, folks. Adding the highest ranked and most powerful Google+ers to your circles won’t do much for your own authority; you need to talk to them too. Again, by interacting and building relationships with the biggest players, you should be sharing others content, commenting on or +1ing their content and generally being as natural and genuine as possible – just as you would in real-life networking. And hey, do it well and they might even start to share your content without you bribing them (we don’t condone bribing).

 

3.       Content is still king!

You probably know this part by heart, but it’s always worth reiterating: good quality content is where it all begins! In the eyes of both search engines and other users, creating appealing, shareable content is crucial for all aspects of SEO. With regards to Google+, regularly updating your profile with interesting posts, images and videos are vital to building your authority and interacting with your target audience. It’s pretty straightforward: your content has to be good enough for others to want to share it.

 

So there you have it: make some great friends and create some great content and soon your PageRank will be flying up the charts.

Be careful when linking on Google+ because some links will be nofollow. To make sure that they’re dofollow, they need to be part of a rich text snippet. Instead of copying and pasting the URL, you need to click on the ‘add link’ icon and actually paste the URL into the field provided.