Few brands are as familiar to us as Google.
It is now one of the most recognised brand names in the world next to Coca Cola, Microsoft and Apple. The very word Google has even entered into our everyday vocabulary. You never hear anybody say ‘I Yahooed’ something or I ‘Binged’ something. It is testament to Google’s overall popularity, the fact that ‘to Google’ is a commonly accepted verb.
Figures show that around two-thirds of the world’s internet population uses the Google search engine as opposed to other search engines.
Despite heavy advertising and a huge advertising budget, Bing has struggled to even make a dent in the search universe and Yahoo, once king of the Internet search, is fading away.
None of this has come around by accident. Google has made the science and art of search into a technology that continues to innovate and is managing to remain relevant despite the rise in popularity as social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Google’s creators don’t provide all of these great search results and tools out of the goodness of its heart. Google is a well-oiled money making machine and its core product of search produces revenues of over $30 billion a year. For that kind of revenue to continue it needs to constantly evolve its product and services with a host of features and functions that are relevant, mobile and social.
One way that it is doing that is with Google+, the search giants answer to Facebook. This is a new face of social media and Google is relying on Google+ very much. It is the key and core to Google’s web strategy and business. When it was announced almost everyone said “not another social network“. They thought that Google was mad for taking on a beast like Facebook. However, just over a year since its launch in June 2011, it has rapidly increased in popularity and has now passed 250 million registered users.
Why Should You Use Google Plus as a Social Network?
Rather than ignore or dismiss Google+ as a passing fad or as a poor rival to Facebook it is very important as a business that you add it as part of your arsenal of Internet marketing tools.
Google plus is actually a good platform for business people and the average user alike. The majority of businesses and marketers online have included the Google plus one button above their content to become a part of this vast social network.
The ‘Plus one’ button is the Google+ equivalent of a Facebook ‘Like’. It makes it very easy for your viewers to share your content on the Google plus network if they like it.
Another key feature of Google plus is that you can follow people and their content in a single group or different groups. This could include family or friends or you could also create a group of people sharing the same interest on a particular topic.
The major advantage of using Google plus is that if your content is shared on Google plus then it gives a solid positive signal to the Google search engine that your content is quality content. This is great for your business and helps you in getting a good ranking, resulting in more traffic and potential customers.
Here are three powerful reasons why adding Google Plus account is important to your business.
1. Google Plus Circles
In Google Plus, “Circles” is the equivalent of Facebook “Groups”.
This allows you to place all your contacts in different circles such as friends, colleagues, work etc. From a business point of view it makes absolute sense. It means that when you post content you can choose the different circles where you want them to be displayed.
For example if you want to say how much you loved the latest Batman movie you would probably only include this information with your friends and family. But if you wanted to talk about the latest networking event that you attended or some news that happened in your industry or service sector then you would place the content so that only your business associates could see it. Another good feature is that you can also choose the update to be public if you want the content to be seen by everyone or you can keep it private.
The majority of conversations on Google+ happen in private within these “Circles”. This has led to Google+ being accused of being a ghost town when in fact it is full of vibrant passionate communities and tribes. What you see on Google+ that is visible and public is just the tip of the iceberg to what is really going on beneath the surface.
Sharing content that is relevant to your target audience is important for you as a business. The Google Plus Circles feature allows you to share content that is specific and targeted to a specific group.
2. Google Plus Hangouts
When it was launched, Google Plus Hangouts was seen as the Ace card that Google help up its sleeve. Hangouts are a place where you can create your own video chat rooms. You can have up to 9 participants in the chat.
It’s an excellent feature where you can have a live chat with multiple people at a time. This is the best place to educate your clients, share ideas or tell customer stories and case studies. You can create hangouts with customers where you can share information face to face and build the rapport without having to jump on a plane or travel miles in the car.
Google+ has made it easy to do. It has forced Facebook to sit up and look at its own model and how it can up its game to produce an equivalent feature. You can now initiate or answer a Hangout call from a person that uses the Google+ app for iOS or Android.
Live face to face video on the web is transforming communications and is allowing businesses to build online relationships with companies and their clients easier than ever.
3. Google Plus Is Search Engine Friendly
Google has invested a lot of money in Google Plus. The investment by Google of over half a billion dollars provides a hint as to how important Google sees Google+ in the future of the internet.
It sees Google+ as being the core to the future of an expanding social web and it is determined that it will remain active and relevant for everybody using it.
And because Google owns and controls this social platform you can be sure that they are using it for capturing signals for their search engines. They are also using it to capture data that will enable them to serve up more personalized data to its search users and paid Google “Adwords” customers. This is all made easier because they own it and have complete control.
So what does this mean for your business? Well, the advantage to any business being on Google+ is that you are providing content and information vital to Google’s dominance. Google will then reward you by improving your search engine results (sometime called SEO or Search Engine Optimisation).
Many online stores rely on these organic search traffic results to drive free traffic because 90% of all search results happen when your website appears on the first page of Google. That is important!
Why Google+ is Here To Stay
As a business resource Google+ is huge .If you don’t have a Google+ business page, with proper SEO, you’re missing out on potential high rankings in search results. Simply put, this could be the difference between a potential customer finding your business, and not knowing you exist.
Google is making sure their social network is here to stay. To ensure its prominence all new Google users have to sign up for an account and, as a result, Google+ is gaining 625,000 new members each day and is predicted to reach 400 million members by the end of 2012.
Google+ is integrated into Google’s black bar when you’re logged into your Google account (look for the ‘+You’ tab on the black bar at the top of the page), it’s visually appealing and it’s very easy to navigate.
All of this indicates why it is so essential for any business that takes its Search Engine Optimisation seriously uses Google+.