by Ross Trumble Digital Revolution
I was admittedly an early harsh critic of Google Plus or “Google+” and still have my reservations about it, but I think I’ve finally seen the light when it comes to this Social Network.
Google Plus was never meant to be an innovator or break the mold in the world of social networks, but it has one distinction above all the others that somehow I missed earlier. Are you ready? Here it is:
Google Plus is owned by Google. Stay with me here…
Regardless of the domination in the areas of user interaction that Facebook and Twitter have positioned themselves for, neither of them are directly tied into the monster search engine that is Google, so keep that in mind when your web designer starts mentioning SEO and page ranking for your fancy new website.
In a recent Mashable article about Google Plus, a marketer for Zumba Fitness, Jacob Smith, articulates the built in mojo of a Google Plus page for your business and incorporating the Google “+1” button on your business website:
First, Google+ integrates with all of Google’s other extremely popular public-facing services: search, Google Places, Google Maps and so on. Any business on Google+ will likely see an SEO (search engine optimization) boost from maintaining an active Google+ page. If you’re running a brick-and-mortar store, such as a restaurant or appliance store, having a Google+ page will help add valuable data to your Google Places page.
“For small businesses, Google+ isn’t another one of those minor social media platforms that pops up and can be ignored,” says Smith. “[Google is] tying it to SEO and other purposes. There are some realms where you need to be there to have a brand. If you take my name and Google it, my Google+ profile comes up as a good result. John’s Locksmiths Shop will show up quicker on organic search if John has a Google+ page.”
One of my clients recently had an issue with their Google Places Page, which factors highly in search results. We came up with a strategy to post daily content, which was usually their own material, on to a newly created Google Plus Page (not personal profile, there’s a difference) and have some employees hit the +1 (equivalent to Facebook like button) and re-share the content.
Within a couple weeks, all the issues with their Places Page, which is basically Google’s version of a yellow pages listing in search results, had cleared up and their firm’s search ranking had improved as well.
Google Plus may still have a contrived feeling to it and be dominated by male users, but Google is weighting your business’s presence on their in-house social network very heavily in search results.
If you’ve been resistant to adding your biz to Google+, it’s time to give in. Don’t worry, it will only hurt a little.