Is It Time to Jump on Google+?
5 Reasons to Jump on Google+ (Even if Many People Aren’t)
Google+ hit the scene with mixed reviews from early adopters. On one hand, Google+ is easy to use, has an intuitive feel, and enables simple organization of posts to be shared across a variety of audiences. Sending posts only visible to family, friends, or business associates makes the platform useful across audiences. The problem is that there are still towering giants in the social media world – namely Facebook and Twitter. Nobody wants to leave the party where all their friends are to go somewhere unfamiliar, and there’s a limit to the number of platforms people are willing to invest in.
Why should you make the switch? You don’t have to leave all of your other social media platforms, but it may be a good idea to at least add a Google+ account if you haven’t already. Here are five reasons why you should jump on Google+, even if many people haven’t:
- There’s less competition: Since there aren’t a lot of people on Google+ right now, the competition for attention is smaller than other major social networks. Because fewer people are posting, your posts stay in news feeds much longer. On Twitter, your post has a shelf life of about a half hour, if you’re lucky. On Google+, you may have a window of several hours to reach your audience. Your chances of being seen by targeted individuals will be higher, so drop a post there every now and then.
- Google+ Local: If you create a Google+ Local page for business, it gives you another advantage in searches for your company’s services. For customers in your targeted geographical area, Google+ Local listings will appear within the search results. These pages are much more competitive for targeted keywords because they are only competing against local businesses – not those all over the world. So, for a company that provides pest control, they can rank on page 1 of a search for “pest control” where they may normally be outside of the top 10 pages when competing against every site in the world that mentions pest control.
- Search bonuses for +1: Google sees interactions within Google+ as significant within search. For +1s, shares, and activity from others within your circles, Google gives a bonus in the search engine rankings (see “How Social Media Is Changing Search” for more). The +1s give you an extra opportunity to promote sites within Google+ and can be used to give a boost in search engine rankings for any sites you +1.
- Author Identification: Google allows the use of the rel=“author” tag to help people identify articles that you have written. This enables your photo and author credit to appear in search results, and may display additional articles that you have written depending on the amount of time the user spends reading your article.
- Google owns search: This may not play as big of a role at this time, but it will certainly increase. Most websites will see 80-90% of their search engine traffic coming from Google. Google has already started to integrate Google+ into search engine results, and it will only go up. Having a Google+ profile is likely to increase your search engine rankings in the future, may do so now based on your author profile, and already changes results for anyone who is already in your circles.
Nobody knows where Google+ is going, though it hasn’t taken off like Google had hoped. One thing that we have learned about the online world is that the environment changes all the time. We know that Google has a lot of money and wants to compete. We wouldn’t recommend investing a significant amount of time and resources in Google+ right now, but it is worth setting up a profile, and keeping it lightly active. An established profile will help if Google+ does evolve, and already has perks that are worth taking advantage of. And, with Google calling all the shots in the world of search, we can only imagine how the impact of Google+ will grow over time, even if it isn’t a primary social network. It’s worth being ready, just in case.
Whether you’re looking for help figuring out social media, or looking to start an entire social media campaign, give our social media specialists a call. We can help you make the most of your social media efforts.
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