Google+ Improves User Profiles
As reported by Dennis Carpeter of 24x7Social, Google+ has rolled out a number of improvements to our user profiles that I think you'll find interesting. They don't appear to be active for everyone yet, so don't worry if they're not yet live for you. These improvements soon will be. While there was no official announcement via Google's blog, the changes noted include a larger cover photo, tiled About Cards, and easy access to your past Reviews. These changes apply to both personal and Business Pages.
Your cover photo is the large image at the top of your profile. It used to be limited to 940 x 180 which, while attractive, made it extremely hard to actually find an image that could scale to that size and still look good. The new cover photo can be as large as 2120 x 1192! It's huge now.
The changes are being gradualy rolled out so you may not have access right away, but when you do, Google will prompt you to change your cover photo. You can choose the photo you originally had and if the original file is large enough, you can select it and use it. Google still includes a crop tool that lets you zoom in or out and move the selector around to achieve the best possible slice of your selected image.
Businesses need to be particularly mindful of this change. If you have had your cover photo specially designed for Google+, I'm afraid you're going to likely need a new image.
Your About page was always divided into sections, and there do not appear to be any new information sections now. This is simply an aesthetic change that I do think is a nice one. Instead of one long page, each section gets it's own card and they're arranged in two columns.
This change does make it a little more intuitive to make changes. If you want to edit your Education section, just scroll down and click Edit within that card. Individual Card editing is for permissions as well as content. If you want your college or current location to be displayed publicly on your cover photo, you will need to go to those tiles and change the permission level from whatever you had it at before, to Public.
There is one new tile that's not technically part of your About background information: Apps. The new Google Single Sign-on that allows websites and apps to use your Google credentials to create profiles and sign in will record what apps you've used in this tile for future reference. It's similar to the logins using Facebook or Twitter, and those services offer sections within their platform to check where you've used the sign-in as well. Since this has nothing to do with who you are, I expect that this tile may eventually get it's own page.
One step I do recommend that you take on a regular basis is to use the "View Profile As" toggle, just under your cover photo. Select Public and make sure that everything that's visible is what you want. If you see something that you wouldn't want anyone to be able to see, edit the permissions for that piece of information.
The menu bar beneath your cover photo has been growing. It includes links to view your Videos, +1's and now Reviews. Just as we mentioned above with your About information, whether or not you allow other people to view your Videos, +1's and Reviews is a simple permission setting.
The new Reviews page continues to the new tiled theme and displays any and all reviews that you've posted to Google about other businesses. Each review has its own tile that displays what you said and who you said it about, as well as whether or not that review is public or private. If you posted a negative review about a business that turned out to be a misunderstanding or something they quickly resolved, you might want to hide that negative review, unless of course part of their skill in handling it was how they responded to you on the review itself.
The Reviews page also displays a standard Google map with pins for every review you've published, so you can see a visualization of where you've been and where you've left reviews.
Log into your Google+ account if you haven't already and check out these changes, and let me know what you think!
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."