Buzz…wave…now G+. Will Google ever properly penetrate the social media market?
Recently Google+ was slammed by the NY Times with some fairly negative conclusions of inferiorengagement rates not measuring up to social giant Facebook. In terms of social media buzz, whetheryou rate it or not the talk in the U.S is about Pinterest as it continues to build it’s market share as auser friendly image sharing platform.
Google are now aggressively promoting Google+ through offline media. In SEO world, it has beenwell documented how Google are shamelessly pushing G+ into the faces of their search engineusers, pimping up the SERPS with Schema driven author links, latest posts from company pages andthe logged in ‘Search Plus Your World’.
This week saw some pretty big Google+ user experience changes in an attempt to emphasise the keytheme of ‘circles’. The changes have altered desktop, tablet and smartphone versions and my initialview is that they’ve done a great job of making the circles more prominent as the ‘killer application’.
Functionally, Google+ on paper is a winner. Checkins, hashtags, +1’s, walls, hangouts and circles.Kind of like squashing Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter into one. Furthermore, they have the bestwhite hat SEO link building strategy seen all year – if you link to your profile or business page theywill make you visibly better than your competition. Then, by their own rules grab search trafficunder ‘forename / surname’ search queries.
What are the main search engine optimisation opportunities? Well, very similar to Twitter andFacebook. The 2 dimensional measures of +1’s goes against your social signals development of likes,retweets, comments, shares and stumbles. As the tech world are giving G+ more of a chance, if yourbusiness is tech related then bespoke posts and more circle activity could well be a great idea. Also,if you’re are a freelance journalist or copywriter, then make sure you link to your G+ profile as anauthor in any articles that you write – along with LinkedIn this is a great way of getting in front ofcompanies that are googling you!
Should you be investing much time in it? If you have full time social media resource then yes,undoubtedly. If not, get the basics in of profile claiming, author links to show head/shoulder imagesin the search engine results pages, use something like Hootsuite or Buddy Media to distribute yourblog posts via G+ and watch out for traffic / engagement rate increases.