The growth of “Google Plus” so far has been nothing short of phenomenal, growing faster than any Social Network ever. Google+ has over 90 million on board now and according to several analysts, is on track to have 400 million members by the end of 2012!
Things changed last week on the Social Landscape. Facebook may still be king of the hill, but Google has put a plan in motion that will virtually guarantee that they will compete and most likely overtake Facebook in the near future. The lights went on in marketers brains all across the world when the implications of Google’s new “Search Plus Your World” feature was recently launched. Now, Google Search Results can be influenced by who your friends and peers are and what they have to say. Facebook and Bing have had a similar partnership for some time now, but since Google controls about 70% of all search, Google+ adding “personal” results will have a much larger impact on the world of SEO and marketing in general.
Over time all of our regular clients will be receiving Google+ accounts and we will manage and work them just like we do the Facebook and Twitter platforms. Nothing needs to change overnight, but the direction we see things going has prompted this immediate action. The graphic below shows how Google is now delivering “personal” search results. You will see this too if you have a Google+ account and are logged into Google when you perform a search. This is the goal of Google of course to have everyone logged into their account for maximum interactivity. Think about it, aren’t we all logged into Facebook most of the time these days? Personally, I just got sick of logging in and out all day so I just stay logged in all the time!
There is a plethora of recent information about this Social Network called Google Plus (Google+) out on the web now especially in relation to the new interactivity with Search Results. Just search Google+ and you will see what I mean. A link to what I consider the best explanation done by Rand Fishkin of SEOMOZ is provided below.
It is VERY IMPORTANT to understand GOOGLE’s most recent changes.
When Google first introduced their Social Network called Google+ I jumped on board and was pretty impressed. It all looked and worked quite well. Many of the barriers that Facebook puts in place to stop you from getting to know people that you do not know personally are gone which I like. Also the ability to post more file formats and the larger display of photos made for a richer experience. But sure enough, I fell back into old habits – Facebook is just where I have been for years and starting and managing a new Social Network was not on my list of top priorities. Now it is!
You can take a look at my page here if you are wondering what it all looks like.
Now, you may have heard something about Google delivering more relevant results that are tailored to you individually. When the change first started happening a week or so ago called “Search Plus Your World” most people yawned, as did I. Now that I see the full implications of what this really means I am waking up real quick as should you if you use the web to drive business.
You can see by the screen shot above what is happening. The upper right red circle indicates that I am logged into my Google account. I signed up long ago for a “Plus” account with Google+ which is their growing social network. So, what happens now is Google can look at everyone in my network and adjust my search results to include any content that they have contributed socially because it shows up in the left circle as “8 personal results”. It may also show up attached to any web pages that any of those “in my circles” have “+1’ed” the page (+1’ing something is similar to “liking” on Facebook). Theoretically that will let me know what my friends think about some of the results and maybe influence my decision on where to click. Will it work? YES!!!
The smallest circle also now allows you to toggle in between showing “personal results” or not showing them. Of course if you are not logged into your Google account none of these results will show. If you don’t even have a Google account, you need one. Get that here.
Here is that video by Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOMOZ explaining things.
Now, you may say I am not involved in Google’s social network so why should I care? You should care because it is an opportunity to increase your influence by virtue of the +1’s you add to your web properties and the influence that you can have by showing up in other peoples results under “personal results”. When you click on those “personal results” you will see stuff from all over the place including Twitter. Any place that you have commented or wrote anything that relates to the search query it will be there. Or if you don’t get involved with Google’s attempt to rule everything, your competitions results, reviews, blogs and recommendations will show up there instead when a potential customer is searching for what you offer. This will take off because Google will be changing most every Google account to a Google+ account and more and more people will start using this social platform. Curiously, one result that does not appear is Facebook posts – you will find them on Bing. 🙂
Word is that Google will be spending BIG bucks to promote this whole effort, and they sure do have the bucks to spend. Anyone who has a gmail account or a Google account of any kind will be encouraged to get involved in Google+.
This bears repeating, so I will!
The growth so far has been nothing short of phenomenal, growing faster than any Social Network ever. Google+ has over 90 million on board now and according to several analysts, is on track to have 400 million members by the end of 2012!
If you are a Brandtastic customer (or a prospective customer) you should know that we are adding to the workload by recommending that our clients get on board with Google+ which is a newer Social Network. They have developed a plan that seems likely to succeed which will increase the influence that those involved in Google+ will have on Search Results.
The more complicated it all gets, the more complicated it all gets. That is about all I have to say for now.
We will stay on top of things, so you don’t have to!
Frank Motola / Brandtastic