I bet I know what you were thinking when Google launched Google Plus last year. Because just about every business owner was rolling their eyes and letting out a deep sigh at the thought of yet another social network to grow, manage, and participate in. But this is something different, Google Plus is NOT just another social network.
So What Exactly Is Google Plus?
The way I explain to my friends and family (who are about as social media savvy as my pinkie toe) is that Google Plus is a little like Facebook. They share similarities like updating your status on your profile and it being visible to your friends on their home feed. You can also segment your friends/followers on both networks. Google just calls them circles. But their are way more differences. We won't cover all of them, nor will we get into how to use Google Plus, not in this post at least. But we will get down to the real meat of why you MUST get into Google Plus, despite your moans and groans.
To properly explain to you the significance of this network, I have to remind you what is at the core of Google - the search engine. Although Google has expanded it's product offerings and is essentially taking over, what Google has always done best was search. And why is a search engine important to your business? Because it gives you the ability to connect with your potential customers closer to the point of purchase. But we will get into that later. Back to the point.
Google's primary function is to provide you with the best, most relevant search experience ever. This is why they have become the primary search engine that people use. They are the best at what they do. Why? Because they produce the most relevant search results. Google's addition of Plus One is really just another way that they are differentiating themselves as the premier search engine. I'll explain to you why.
So Google Is A Great Search Engine, What Does That Have To Do With Me?
I'm glad you asked.
Google Plus has staying power and the power to really impact your business. We all know that social media affects your SEO. Search engine algorithms now take into account the social shares that your blog has. The more people are sharing your content, the more relevant and important the search engine will think that it is and when people search for the topic you are writing about, Google will rank your content higher. Real impact that Google Plus has is not the same as Facebook and Twitter or any other social network. It is much more significant.
The +1 Phenomenon
I liken the +1 buttons on a website to a Facebook like button. You +1 an article you like, and it shows up on your profile, visible to all the people in your circles. But the real power that a plus one holds is much greater than a simple like. Whenever you +1 something, you let Google know that you like that. Search engines are all about bringing you relevant information, well, what can be more relevant than information that you've already told Google you liked?
Not only will Google personalize your search results based on what you have +1'd, but also by what the people who you have in your circles have +1'd. Google figures that if 5 people in your circles likes an article, then you probably would too. So when you are signed into Google(this is key for the +1 to matter) you are actually getting a special, personalized search based on the +1's of you, and the people you are friends with. (Thanks Google, we all feel so very special ).
The BIG Bottom Line – The Real Importance of Google Plus for Business
We get lots of inquiries about SEO and people who want us to perform nothing short of miracles for their sites that can't seem to compete with their competitors for certain keywords. The very first question I ask is, "how is your social media presence?" and you know the answer is usually that they have very little presence or none at all.
Now here is where I tell you that you need to be using social media. But I am really going to emphasize your Google Plus presence. Because…. Every person that is in your circles will have their search experience affected by what you +1… which if you have a blog, WILL be your own articles. The more people that have you in their circles, the more relevant your content will become to them when they are searching.
I love this about Google Plus because it gives even the small website or blog a shot at ranking, it can make you more visible online. It is a HUGE benefit to meet your potential customers at the point closest to purchase in organic search.
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