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Is Google+ Even Enhancing Your Online Marketing?
Posted on March 1st 2012
Yes, I’m asking you if Google’s social network is even improving your marketing efforts. Why? Because I’m asking myself as well. Since Google+ was introduced last year, it gained a lot of buzz on the Web and pundits think that Google is doing social right this time around. The growth of Google+ is not stunning yet it’s impressive considering that for most people, the Social Web is just Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Thanks to early adopters, Google+ has gained a following. Still, mainstream users are really clueless on what G+ is about. Most of them think it cloned Facebook, others just want to have a presence there, and for marketers it’s about extending a brand’s reach across the Internet. And there’s a good reason why – Google+ is not intended to compete with Facebook or Twitter. It’s a system of its own. When I first placed the +1 button on our blogs, I dismissed it as another bookmarking tool for content to be shared. However, that is until I realized the value that the +1 button brings, while social bookmarking sites are tools to syndicate content, Google+ is actually enhancing SEO through a social approach. Arguably, this is the reason why Google+ is still finding its place and cement itself on the Social Web.
Google+ Must Know It’s Place on the Social Web
Yes, there’s a reason why your dad isn’t on Google+ – he thinks Google is just a search engine and for emailing. Facebook is for everyone, Twitter is for news curation, and LinkedIn is for professionals. They have cemented their brand accordingly. The most ridiculous news I've read is that Pinterest is being compared to Google+. Pinterest is growing fast than Google+, but the Internet is about functionality. There’s a reason why Pinterest’s growth is sporadic which I wrote in a previous post. People are accessing the Web through mobile phones which they also use to share photos and vids in their social accounts. Pinterest capitalizes on visuals, hence, it has found its place on the Internet in a matter of months.
Google+ is a young social network that’s still trying to find its place on the Social Web. It’s a young social network backed by the world’s largest search engine. Facebook has made an alliance with Microsoft’s Bing because Mark Zuckerberg knows that every social network needs a search engine to enhance their functionality and a social network is just another site on the Web.
Google+ won’t take users’ off of Facebook with regard to the hours of they spend on social media. This isn’t really an issue to begin with, Facebook is a social network but Google+ is a social network with a myriad of functions that cover SEO and social bookmarking. “G+ is contrarily to what most think NOT about Google entering social. G+ is just one of many ways to eliminate spam in SERPs, add authority and authentication to SERPs and tap in the (complete) social graph. Social networking (on Google) is just the means, not the purpose. And authenticity can be seen if you google my name, only sites which are added to my G+ profile and sites where I have added rel=”author” to the profile.” says Franky Branckaute of Rogue Network Solutions.
While some heavy Internet users think that Google+ is Google’s gift to the Internet in order to reduce and eliminate spam in the SERPs, some Internet professionals like SEO specialists think that Google+ is bias in a way. “Google+ is bias and solely focused on empowering personalized search result. As an SEO, Google+ becomes another burden for us since controlling SERPS results for keyword search is becoming a personalized thing, controlled by the users and not the old SEO Optimized url anymore. We cannot ignore the fact that SEO’s need to jump into the social media bandwagon.” says Jason Bagio of SEOteky. “With the launch of Search Plus Your World, we put major consideration on Rich Snippet Optimization. A method wherein your blog is binded with your Google+ profile through Rel=”me”. Google+ affects Google SERPS in a major way, therefore I can say that it is bias and so concentrated with Google and SPYW.”
So how should Google+ etch itself in the minds of users? I think that shouldn’t be the question at all. Some of my colleagues always ask: “Should our clients have a presence on G+? What for? We have a great following on Facebook and Twitter.” I think brands and companies are the ones that should lure people on Google+ whenever a user types in a query about a brand on Google. Google should create a decent business model for G+ business pages for brands to jump in and be more open to API endeavors.
Google doesn’t need to promote it’s own product, every social platform is successful because current users are enticing potential users to come aboard and sign up. What Google needs to do is to evaluate Google+, check what works and what doesn’t. Ascertain what works for users then punt the other features that even Googlers are clueless about. After all, Google is supposed to be an expert when it comes to functionality.
How about you? What do you think has worked so far with Google+? Feel free to dish out comments below.