Washington Business Report - Feb. 16, 2014

Google+ can get you noticed: expert

The head of a local social networking organization for business leaders says Google+ is grossly underused by both business leaders and consumers.

Cynthia De Lorenzi, C.E.O. of Success in the City, says it is not a social network, it is a social platform.

"Unlike other platforms, [Google+] provides this rich layer of search engine optimization you won't get through other platforms," De Lorenzi told Washington Business Report.

Google+ is the second-largest networking site in the world after Facebook. Google operates Gmail and YouTube and counts 540 million monthly active users.

"It's the social layer that's been added on this incredible platform for connectivity," she says.

A Google+ User profile is a public visible account of a user that is attached to many Google properties. It includes basic social networking elements like a profile photo, "about" section, background photo, previous work and school history, interests, places lived and an area to post status updates.

"It's the only social media platform that is connected to your rankings," says corporate strategist Marissa Levin, C.E.O. of Information Experts and Successful Culture.

Much of the value of Google+ lies in search engine optimization, the logarithm of sorts that bumps your website to the top position when someone searches the internet, according to Levin.

"I am coaching several different e-commerce companies and search engine ranking is critical for them. They are in highly competitive industries and the most important thing is that they are found when prospects go look for them," she says.

AOL: When politics and business collide

It didn't take long for AOL's CEO to do a complete 180 once Capital New York broke the story of his Obamacare faux pas.

In a company conference call, Tim Armstrong told his entire company that their benefits were being rolled back because of two employees.

“Two things that happened in 2012,” Armstrong said, according to a transcript obtained by Capital New York. "We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were okay in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased health-care costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan."

Armstrong abandoned the unpopular plan to delay company contributions to employee retirement accounts and apologized for citing the two high-risk/high-cost births as part of the impetus for the plan.
His attempt to blame Obamacare for rising health costs turned into a lesson in what a C.E.O. should not say to his employees.
The White House did not respond publicly to the criticism.
"I think if it would have dragged on a couple more days, you may have seen the president have to answer," says Carrie Budoff Brown, Sr. White House reporter, POLITICO, predicting President Obama would have jumped at the chance to defend the Affordable Care Act. "He would have wanted to talk about it," she told Washington Business Report.