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Google’s New Personal “Business Cards” For Search

Personal Branding Gets A Major Upgrade With New "People Cards"  

Facebook's long-term admiration and steady cloning of Snapchat, and now TikTok, is well documented.

How good is Instagram Reels

But Facebook's not the only player in town which draws inspiration from its Silicon Valley neighbours, as Google's new LinkedIn-esque features demonstrate.

Google's new "People Cards" feature, which is currently being tested in India, draws more than a passing glance towards LinkedIn, bringing promotional and job-seeking functionalities directly into Search.

Also handy, no doubt, for when the global reemployment bounce hits in the months (or years) ahead.

The new feature essentially allows consultants, influencers, entrepreneurs and freelancers to be easily discovered online with a virtual business card, allowing users to put their best foot forward.

Lauren Clark, Product Manager, Google Search

"If you're a business professional, performer, or anyone looking to build up your own online presence, you might have a website, social profiles, and other information spread across many sites.

If you're just getting started, you may not have a website or much of an online presence at all. Today, we are solving these challenges with a new feature called people cards"

In a nutshell, it's a bit like your LinkedIn profile, but in Search.

Google's latest move should hardly come as a surprise, given the steady morphing and integration of Search with social media.

Creating People Cards for Search

Users can create people cards about themselves by signing into their Google account and then looking up their name on Google search.

You can also search add me to google or edit my people card, although at the moment the feature is only available on mobile and in India, at launch.

To start building a people card, users can choose to include the image from their Google account, add a description, links to their website or social profiles, and, if they want, a phone number or email address.

However, only one people card is allowed per Google Account, and a phone number is required to authenticate the account. If a user no longer wants their People Card to appear in Search, they can delete it at any time.

According to Google, once created, it can take up to a few hours for a card to show up in Google Search results. Likewise, if you share a name with someone famous, or you have a common name, you'd better move fast!

Spare a thought for poor ol' @JohnLewis who gets slammed on Twitter every December.

Keep It Clean

Much like everything search-related, this feature is quite clearly going to get abused.

Therefore, from the get-go, Google has systems in place to try and manage inappropriate behaviour. 

Lauren Clark, Product Manager, Google Search

"We have a number of mechanisms to protect against abusive or spammy content, and if you come across low-quality information or a card that you believe was created by an impersonator, you can tap the feedback link to let us know."

As one would expect, there's a long list of dos and donts, such as, not containing solicitation or other forms of advertisement. Google advises against using subjective terms like "best", "only", and "cheapest."

Which is a shame.

People Cards should offer a big boost for millions of influencers, entrepreneurs, prospective employees, self-employed individuals, freelancers, or anyone else out there who wants to be discovered.

In a way, the new People Card is akin to creating a personalised knowledge panel for users.

Knowledge panels, if you are unfamiliar, are information boxes that appear on Google when you search for entities (people, places, organisations, things) that are in the Knowledge Graph.

The Google Knowledge Graph, in turn, is a knowledge base used by Google and its services to enhance its search engine's results with information gathered from a variety of sources.

The challenge for everyday users like me and you is that we are probably not significant enough to warrant entry into the Google Knowledge Graph. Hence, we will soon be able to supply this information manually, as a People Card, and enjoy the same degree of seach visibility and exposure as a "Bachelor in Paradiserunner-up.

What a time to be alive.

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