Google+ is billed as the largest social network in the world. However, that is because Google counts every person who signs up for a Google email address as a user, even if they are not actively using it. But, Google+ is so much more than a social network, it’s a way to identify and connect with people all across your web activities including search, maps, YouTube and other Google products with just one log on.
It can be hard to determine how many truly active Google+ account holders exist, but it’s somewhere around 343 million active users. Facebook still leads, with over 1.15 billion users, and even Twitter has more active users at over 500 million, it’s important to remember that Google + is not trying to be Facebook or Twitter. Google is still trying to be a search engine, but it’s using all their other products such as Google+ to return better, more relevant and personalized search results. Once you learn how everything is interrelated you can truly begin to leverage Google+ to grow your business.
Major Benefits of Google+
Google Plus is not really a social networking website. It’s much more than that. It’s a way to communicate, organize, and personalize your experience on the web. Before we talk about the benefits of understand that Google Plus is unlike any other destination on the web. Understanding the benefits and how you can use it will be key in realizing how you can leverage Google+ to increase traffic to your site and connections for your business.
Google Plus is so advanced in its offerings it is important to let go of all of your expectations when experiencing it. It’s not going to act like other social networks that you’re accustomed to, and you really don’t want it to, because it’s so much better. Google Plus is truly a game changer. It is, as Google likes to say: A Social Destination. For a business owner, being part of Google Plus is an imperative.
Some of the major benefits of Google+ are:
You Can Organize Your Connections
Using Google Plus Circles you can organize your customers (and any audience) easily by simply creating what is called a “circle” which is simply a way to segment contacts based on their relationship to you. Their relationship to you could be that they’re a customer of yours, or that they are a colleague, or even a family member.
You can have a circle of “all customers” and then segment them into smaller circles based on what they’ve bought. For instance, you may have customers who have bought product A from you and some customers who have purchased service B. You can put them into a circle specifically for them. When you share a post on Google Plus you can choose to share it with one or more circles or the general public.
By creating circles, which is really just another way of segmenting, you can choose what you will share with whom easily.
You Can Improve Your Search Engine Results
Google Search adds weight to its Author Rank and authorship tag in search results. The +1 feature is a great way to give more social proof for your content’s popularity. Adding the Google + One Button to your content will increase SEO dramatically. Creating a Google+ Brand Page and personal profiles is another essential element to increasing your search engine page results (SEPR). Google+ is also a great way to get high quality backlinks to your content.
Not only that, Google+, since it is so good at connecting and identifying people, can let you know what your friends like all across the web. Just like you can see what pages your friends like on Facebook, you can now find out what websites, articles, and other content your friends (social circles) like all across the entire Internet.
This enables Google Search to return search results not just based on the search terms you use, and the location you reside, but also on what pages your social circles are recommending via Google Search Plus Your World. These very personal results for search terms and phrases are given to searchers signed into their Google+ accounts, which remember, every person with a Gmail account now automatically have a Google+ account, and if they’re signed into their email, they’re signed into Google+.
Google+ Status Updates are Indexed Immediately
You can help this process by including important keywords within your status update, as well as optimizing them with awesome headlines to create even better and more targeted search results. The people in your circles will be a lot more likely to see your status updates on Google+ too, over Facebook. At least right now Google+ is not requiring funds to “boost” your posts to people who have chosen to follow you. They will see your updates if they are looking.
Understanding Google+ Integration with the Rest of Google
The fact is, Google has done a great job integrating the rest of its products with Google+ the Social Network. You may or may not be familiar with the range of Google products. Many are listed below.
- Google +1
- Google Adwords
- Google Android
- Google Authorship
- Google Calendar
- Google Chrome
- Google Chrome Book
- Google Communities
- Google Drive
- Google Events
- Google Groups
- Google Hangouts
- Google Local
- Google Mail
- Google Maps
- Google Now
- Google Offers
- Google Play
- Google Plus Pages
- Google Profiles
- Google Search
- Google Sites
- Google Voice
- Google Wallet
- and more
These Google products work together to create a very powerful interconnected way to do just about anything you want to do on the Internet. Understanding this interconnectedness is important if you want to use Google to get more business. Opportunities for business are truly unlimited when you understand how your activities and the activities of your target audience affect your impact and your search engine page rank.
The best way to explain how everything is related is to consider Google Email apart from Google+ for a moment. You automatically have a Google+ account when you get a Gmail account. So, any of your customers or potential customers who have a Gmail account are already connected to Google+ even if they don’t know it. Let’s say you have 200 customers who have Gmail accounts and only 40 of them are active on Google+.
One of the 40 reads a blog post you wrote about something they are interested in, and they use your +1 button. You will know that they +1’d your blog post, and now when they search for anything on the Internet Google Search recognizes that they already +1’d some of your content so Google will be more likely to return more of your content to the searcher.
But, that’s not all. Anyone that your customer who +1’d your content is connected to either via Gmail, or via Google+ as an active user will also be more likely to receive a search result with your content that your customer +1’d. Did you understand that? With just one person using the +1 button on your site, they’ve made it more likely for you to show up in SERPS to not only themselves, but to their friends, customers, contacts, whether or not they’re in their circles. Pretty awesome and powerful, isn’t it? Now, times that by 40. Excited yet?