Google+ has been viewed by many as the search giant’s answer to Facebook.  A lot of people believe it’s just another social networking service where friends share photos, status updates and messages with one another.  The company’s foray into the social media space has been a mystery to some and has its share of doubters.  But it’s really more than that.

Google+ is really Google’s value added contribution to its already dominating search. Sure, there’s a social networking aspect to Google+.  But the real value to Google+ is its groundwork for an enhanced level of search quality.  It’s Google’s way of starting a hub that will ultimately connect all the other Google products like Google Maps, Images, Offers, Books and more. Piece by piece Google is starting to roll out these products and combine them into a user experience by way of Google+.

First let’s start with Google Authorship.  Bloggers can link their Google+ profile to the content they create. A Google+ account with a headshot that is attached to all your posts can offer value to bloggers who can now claim their posts instead of having Google show ‘another’ version ahead of their own.  It allows the searcher to find the person who truly generated the content and lets the content provider know the real author will be found.

Want your business to appear on Google Maps, Google Local, etc. so that you can tell your prospective customers where you are, what you sell and your business hours?  You need a Google+ Local Business page now.  This way reviews, hours, pictures, videos, local search are all housed in one place.  This account must be managed by a real person with a real Google+ personal account.

The newest introduction of Google+ Communities gives you the opportunity to connect with those who help enhance the things you already love.  You want better music, book recommendations, can’t remember the name of something—or want to find a community of skiers?  When you have Google+, those communities and that book recommendation just appear when you search for your best guess.

Simply put – imagine if Google knew all the info about you that Facebook knew.  They would be better equipped to serve you and what you are looking for. By gradually absorbing bloggers, small businesses, etc. they will ultimately make all of us – social media fans and doubters – users.


Many website owners don’t pay enough attention to their site’s security. They often think “why would anyone target my site?”  But, it can happen. Websites are compromised all the time. There are several ways to help keep your site safe.

Make sure all your software is up to date.  This applies to both the server operating system and any software you may be running on your website such as a CMS or forum. Hackers are quick to attempt to abuse them when security holes are found in software. WordPress and many other content management systems notify you of available system updates when you log in. If you are hosting with a hosting company they should take care of this.

Use strong passwords to access your websites. Place scripts and tools in password protected directories.

Keep your error messages vague. Don’t give away too much info by providing hints. You should use generic messages like “Incorrect username or password” as not to specify when a user got half of the query right. If an attacker knows one of the fields is correct then they know they have one of the fields and can concentrate on the other field.
File uploads can be a big security risk.  Even the most innocent looking of files can contain a script that puts your website /server at risk. Don’t assume hidden files are secure.  It is recommended that you prevent direct access to uploaded files all together. Store the file outside of your document root. Create a separate directory and use it to store uploaded files.

Use an SSL Certificate. SSL is a protocol used to provide security over the Internet. It is a good idea to use a security certificate whenever you are passing personal information between the website and web server or database. Potential attackers could be searching for this information and if the communication medium is not secure use this information to gain access to user accounts and other personal data.
It is important to play it safe to keep both your website and servers secure.  Pay attention to passwords, files and software. In doing so you just might avoid a security disaster.



Creating a video for your website is an effective tool to engage your audience and increase search engine rankings – that is if done right.  Simply sticking a video on your site without giving any thought to its content and images will not attract page views. So when producing a video for your site you must be sure to keep certain production and content tricks in mind.

The key to creating an effective web video is planning.  Decide on the primary objective of the video.  Is the video selling a product or service? Is it informational?  Your video must have a single purpose or your audience will get confused. Focus on your target audience and make the video with them and their needs in mind.  Plan the structure of the video – beginning, middle and end.  Will it be narrated?  Will you have music?  Organize the video. Create an introduction to grab their attention, middle with info and facts, and end with a call to action.

Make sure viewers have something to watch, not just something to listen to. Telling a story in video is more than just talking into the camera. You have to show people your product or service. Video is a visual medium, and you need to think about what images you want to use to convey your message. It doesn’t have to be clever or funny. It should be comfortable and natural.

It is important in a web video to get the attention of your viewers quickly.  People have a short attention span when it comes to viewing online.

People like videos.  A nice video can deliver your message that will engage your viewer much better than any text or photo can.  A successful video can attract hundreds or thousands of new visitors to your site, many of whom will buy products or services recommended to them in the video.  It works for any industry.

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