There are lots and lots of posts out there about how you can use Google+ to do x or y or z. There are even a number of ebooks available already! But I haven’t yet found a good simple guide that explains just what Google+ is, so here’s my attempt to that for you – feedback in the comments section please!
So, quickly, what is Google+
It’s a “social network” run by Google.
Essentially a way for Google to get all of us to be logged in, so they give us a better experience because they know who we are…
So increasingly existing Google stuff is migrating into it (just as some existing Google stuff is currently being culled).
Plus there’s the CORE of Google+ – your personal Google+ page, your circles of friends, and any Pages you set up.
And then there’s the +1 button – how you can signal all over the place what you like.
How does it work?
At the moment it’s a bit like Facebook, with some differentiating bits (that Facebook’s fast copying). The 2 biggest differences to Facebook:
- Circles – you can easily segment your connections using ‘circles’ – and then define which segments can see what about you
- Hangouts – a way to have an open webinar / video conference call with your friends
What about Google+ Pages?
Google+ Pages are rather like Facebook Pages – in that they’re how businesses have a presence on Google+.
At the moment they don’t have the functionality of a Facebook Page – but I’m sure that will come.
Should I create a Google+ Page for my business?
- You’ll be reserving your space on Google+, so no one can squat in it
- Google (biggest search engine in the world) are allowing you (for free) to create a Page on Google about your business – with LINKS. So it’s an SEO no brainer
The Plus 1 Button….?
OK, as well as being able to add plus 1 buttons to your website – they’re now appearing in Google search results.
So when you’re logged in and you click a plus 1 button you are recommending that page.
Google is using that information to inform what you see in your tailored search results, and your friends will see it in Google+.
So put it everywhere. It is going to have an impact on seo as well as social media.
So, be honest, how much time should you invest in Google+ right now?
The numbers of people active on it aren’t anywhere near the other social networks and Google haven’t shown their hand fully yet – there is much still to be revealed.
So it’s not yet worth (for the average business) getting heavily into it. BUT it will be influencing your search performance, and customers will start to use it – with or without you. So you need to make sure you’ve got it set up.
So you should:
- Create a profile
- Create a Page for you Business
- Add the Plus 1 Button to your website – and if you’re ecommerce add it to every product
(and at the same time add a Facebook Like button and a twitter sharing button)
Once all that’s done – just keep an eye on it all. And keep an eye open for further updates.