For more than 10 years social media has been a present force on the internet and most recently mobile devices. Consumers and brands alike have flocked to these social platforms to share information on a global scale. These sites more often than not offer a one size fits all experience that rarely ever caters to niche markets and provides the consumers with specifically tailored brands and people. This is where Google+ excels.
Many of us have been so blinded by Facebook and Twitter that we have failed to see the merits and rewards that Google+ has to offer, myself included. But, 2014 is the year that Google+ arrives.
Before you click away please know that this isn’t a blatant push for Google, rather an objective look at its progress over the past 2 years. and how it is slowly coming into its own. If you don’t like Google+ then the solution is simply–don’t use it. But, if you are business-oriented you may want to reconsider.
Much like its creator Google+ provides answers and solutions to users’ questions through connecting them with people who think like them, do the same job as they do, offer services or products that they use or may use. This information when used correctly can become a new avenue for business relations, increase visibility of a brand and propel your brand as we move into Web 3.0.
Content creation and SEO are rapidly changing to become synonymous with one another. Google now wants to know what content is being created so that it can index pages that are useful to its searchers to ensure that marketers and businesses are creating original content that is linked naturally. Together content marketing and white hat SEO techniques are morphing into one concept, Content Marketing.
While Google has maintained that +1s and ranking don’t effect one another they are still present and used on a regular basis. +1s much like Facebook likes offer consumers a chance to engage with and learn more about the brand or person they are interested in. This interest can convert into built-in online communities that discuss the merits and disenchantment they have with a brand. Thus, providing businesses with a quality consumer insights community with little to no effort. To take it a step further content that is shared on Google+ can be +1 as well providing businesses and marketers added exposure especially if a Google+ share button is on their page and receives a significant amount of +s.
There a two categories of communities within Google+: public and private. Both offer different experiences and requirements. When a community is private, you can’t share content outside of that communities walls but if it’s public, then Google search indexes that content. There is no limit to amount of communities you can join or create. Which can be an incentive for bigger brands within multiple products, services, or messaging.
Unlike groups offered by Facebook or Linkedin they are much more conversational with lower likelihoods of promotional and sale-sy posts and comments. For users that are tired of the spam, and loosely regulated groups from other platforms, Google communities may be liberating. These communities look to help or share experiences with others.
In the latter part of 2013 Google rewarded and showcased a rapidly growing community within Google+, amateur and professional photographers. The perks included a collection of photos from individuals within those communities showcased at a press event, 18 new updates that focused on image editing and resolution. They looked at what their users wanted and needed and gave it to them. Now, that is a sign of good faith.
Here is a list of 5 Google+ communities your business can join to get valuable tips:
Google Plus For Small Businesses- A resource to provide businesses with solutions, tips and community member experiences using Google+ for their marketing efforts.
Local SEO News-Another resource to help you jump start your Google+marketing
Google Authorship and Author Rank- Provides helpful tips and resources on authorship and author rank.
Small Business Marketing-This community offers a wide range of tips and how-tos on everything marketing; whether it is PPC, advertising, website design, reputation management, etc.
Plus Your Business: A great resources featuring industry professionals and experts who are there to answer all your burning Google+ for business questions.
Have you ever wondered what those pictures next to search results are on Google, better yet have you wondered how they do that?
This may be the single most important reason your business needs Google+ for SEO. Authorship within this platform will soon be a deciding factor in page rank, based on quality and human creation. As the statement goes, automated content creation is invalid content. Google is pushing this concept by integrating +profiles with content that is created. Authorship not only works with SEO for page rank but for authenticity too. Scraping and duplicate content will have a source.
For local and small businesses who are competing for the same business. Your image next to your work such as blogs, articles and etc. will let not only Google know you are real but will put a face behind the brand. Authorship is the quintessential super branding tool.
The days of old SEO practices are over. Content Marketing and social media have taken center stage as Google phases into a Web 3.0 state of mind. SEO-cial is quickly becoming an industry standard, and Google+ like it or not will be one of the stand out players in that regard.