There’s a lot of debate around the value that Google+ has to offer businesses in comparison to Facebook and Twitter. After all, Facebook and Twitter have already captured the market and that’s where most people are, so the media make out. Because of this, it makes sense for businesses to invest time and money in these two social media platforms and potentially not the former. The problem with this scenario is that businesses are only looking at the number of users that the media hype up about these platforms and they’re not looking at a set of benefits that are completely different.
comScore reported that 20-billion searches were performed in the month of April, of which 13.3 billion were through Google. There is no doubt that Google remains the number one place on the Internet for people to search for people, places, products and services. Google may have come into social far later than its competitors, but it has the positioning to make a huge dent, and already is.
As time moves on, Google will slowly but surely bring more and more information from Google+ into its search results and services. One might think that putting their product or service in front of a potential 1.1-billion people on Facebook is the way to go, but it’s small in comparison to those 13.3-billion searches on Google. Not only that, Google+ has over 500-million users already and it’s two years old, what about all the other Google services that people are plugged into?
If you’re a Google+ user, open up Google and search for your name. Look through the first 100 results and you’ll notice that Google related results are far more prominent that those of Twitter or Facebook. In most cases this happens even if you only use Google+ a fraction of the time in comparison to Facebook and Twitter. Just think how many people there are in this world and imagine just how huge Google actually is. Google’s share of people across the world is far greater than that of Facebook, their service offering is wider and in my opinion they have less chance of becoming stagnant.
Let’s explore those benefits that are different to Facebook and Twitter.
1. Valuable links to your website
On your profile page for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ you’re able to include a link to your website. On both Facebook and Twitter this link carries no value to your website and is merely clickable. Both Facebook and Twitter have added “nofollow” tags to the links whereas Google allows for value to be passed.
Open up your Google+ Page and include a link in your Introduction to your website.
2. Control your title tags
When you share something new on Google+, the first sentence of your share becomes the title tag for the update. In other words, just like you set up your title tags on the pages of your website so they appear a certain way in the search results in Google, you can set them up for your updates in Google+. Title tags are a powerful ranking factor. By selecting your first sentence carefully you have a good chance of having your content appear near the top of a Google search by a potential customer.
3. Index your pages almost immediately
Part of the reason Google launched Google+ was to be able to compete with the real-time advantage Twitter had. Google has therefore made it almost instant for content and links being shared on Google+ to appear in their search results.
Publishing a new blog post about a product launch and want it to appear in Google quickly, make sure you share it on your Google+ account then.
4. Get your picture in the Google search results
By simply placing a link to your blog from the “Contributor to” area on your Google+ Profile and ensuring that there is a link on your blog back to your Google+ Profile with a rel=”author” tag, your profile picture will begin appearing in search results. Studies show that this increases your potential to get more clicks by people performing searches.
5. Include links in your posts
Google allows users to share links in their updates and does not withhold value being passed through to the website being linked to. The more times the update gets +1’d, linked to and/or shared, the more value will get passed through to the website being linked to.
If you’re able to grow your audience on Google+ and receive +1’s, links and shares to your updates that contain links, it’s a sure way of getting those links ranking high in the Google search results.
All of these benefits revolve around search engine optimization and the idea of getting your news, products and services in front of the billions of searches being performed every month by users around the world. Facebook and Twitter are great, but Google+ certainly does hold many benefits that would be crazy to ignore!
Christopher Mills is the founder and managing director of iMod Digital, a leading digital marketing agency specialising in inbound marketing, web development and digital campaigning. Over the years Christopher and his team have worked with a number of companies; some of the larger ones include Google, WebAfrica, TAKEALOT, Nokia... More