To get started, here’s a little information for you about Google+:
- Google+ allows you to share updates, photos, videos, and more with your contacts and followers.
- You can create and label groups of people into what are called circles. You share a Google+ message with whichever circles you want. So you can send targeted messages to specific groups of people.
- You can have as many circles as you like and put the same person in several circles. So someone might get all your updates, while others only know you professionally and they only get your business updates.
- Google+ also has Hangouts. These allow you to talk to a group of people (or even just one) using video chat. You can add all the people within a circle to a hangout of just invite people individually.
Facts About Google Plus
Google+ was released in June 2011 and is Google’s social media platform.
Statistics show there are over 400 million Google+ users and that the number is growing fast. In November of 2011, Google+ business pages were released which allow businesses to grow a following on this social media platform. Over 1 million business and brand pages were created in the first 6 months after its release.
Although it’s a little confusing, there are actually two distinct components to Google+. These are profiles and pages. Google Plus profiles are for people and Google Plus pages are for business or brands.
If you’re trying to market your business online, it’s best to utilize both a profile and a page. If you just want to pick one (to keep from having to update both), you’ll have to pick a profile. That’s because you must have a Google+ profile in order to have a page.
If you’ve done much of anything at Facebook, you’ll see a lot of similarity between Google+ and Facebook. Facebook has profiles and pages for business too. And like all social media platforms, they both allow you to connect with followers and share and receive updates.
Despite all of the growth with Google+, Facebook is still the social networking leader.
Google Plus vs Facebook
At this point, more people use Facebook than Google+. But competing for users with Facebook may not really be the main point behind Google+. It’s almost certain Google would be happy to knock Facebook out of the ring, but many have speculated Google+ is a way for them to identify people with a nice, shiny new toy. That it’s really a means for Google to grab more data and use it to make their search engine better.
This seems to be right in line with what Amit Singhal posted on the Official Google Blog, “We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships.”
Google + is a way for Google to identify you. They would like you to use your real name when you sign up. The way they do this is by making you sign into Google with one main username and password. At that time, you also choose a name.
If you’re using Adwords or YouTube or Gmail, you’re probably going to have your real name in the account. For Adwords you’d need to because you’re going to tie a credit card into the system. For Gmail you’d probably like the people you’re emailing to know who you are.
So they’re steering people toward using one login for all Google products and hoping you’ll use your real name. As a result, they’ve got an identity system for the web. Each Google product provides an incentive for you to add your name into their system.
While you can add a nickname, they don’t want you using fake names and have actually suspended accounts over this. ‘We care about identity and people being authentic on our service.’ said Google VP of Product Bradley Horowitz.
How It All Relates
Your Google+ profile is for you personally. Your profile ties in directly with Google Authorship which enables an image of you next to your listing in the SERPs. You also get a link to your Google+ profile in the SERPs so people can add you to their circles and get updates from you (like when you add a new piece of content or have something interesting to say).
People in the SEO world are predicting Author Rank to be a big deal. Enabling Authorship on your site will help Google identify who wrote an article (which is crucial for Author Rank). You must have a Google+ profile set up in order to use this feature.
Google+ pages are for businesses or websites. You must have a Google+ profile to create a page. Each of these, your profile and your page can be updated independently which makes for a more complicated set up for you, but provides a way for more people to find out about you and your business. Although it’s worth it to have both, if you don’t want to deal with two more social accounts to update you can skip the Google+ page and focus on your profile (again, you have to have a profile in order to create a page or use Authorship).
Why Use It?
There are several reasons why you may want to use Google+ to help promote yourself or your business. The list of benefits includes:
- By using it you can increase your rankings in the search engines. If you tie your Google+ profile to your web content through Google Authorship, then you might see an increase in your rankings as you and your content become more popular. Popularity may be determined by how many followers you have or how long people spend on your content pages. In addition, just the act of tying your content to a Google+ account might result in an SEO boost as spammers will be less likely to do this.
- Your popularity is indicated in your listing in the search engine results pages. If you add Authorship to your pages, then the number of people who add you to their circles may show in your listings in the SERPs. This is social proof. The end result is you may get more and more followers just because you’re popular. And the more popular people perceive you to be, the more likely they are to click on that listing.
- Google+ could be more important than other social networks over time because Google has so many products and they all integrate together.
- The links you get within a Google+ profile or page may help your rankings in the Google search engine. Google+ also has its own search feature that isn’t used as much as their main search engine, but it still gets direct traffic.
- Google+ is another channel for distributing your content. Being involved with as many channels as possible helps you diversify where your traffic is coming from so that it cannot be turned off.