Google is everywhere and is certainly a major part of my online life.
You could almost do a complete A-Z just on Google itself from Google Apps, Google AdWords, Google Analytics (certainly a lot of A’s!), Google Chrome, Google Drive, Google Doodles (which I love), Google Images, Google Keywords, Google Maps to Google Voice, Google Wallet and loads of others. The list is endless and I even found Google Zoo, though I’m not sure it has anything to do with Google!
The fact is that Google is the new Yellow Pages and 65% of the 131 billion searches on the web per month were done through Google sites, according to market research by Comscore (May 2011).
Google+ was launched in the middle of last year (though it seems to have been around for ages but that’s social media for you!). It was interesting to see how little hype there was before Google+ launched and this approach may have contributed to its initial popularity. Everyone wanted a Google+ invite!
Google doesn’t describe Google+ as a social media network but as “a platform which allows us to bring social elements into all the services and products that we offer”. It reached 25 million users incredibly fast, in less than one month, which made it the fastest-growing social platform EVER.
It started with only personal profiles then in November 2011 it launched its business pages. As with Facebook, you will need a personal profile first and from there it is easy to follow the steps to ‘Create a Page’.
For those who haven’t had a look, Google+ is based around +Circles which allow you to share updates and information with only groups of people you select, unlike Facebook where your updates go out to anyone who is your ‘friend’. This is handy if you want to keep work, specific information and personal stuff separate instead of sharing it with everyone in your network.
Creating a Circle is really easy and adding a person to them is also very simple (drag and drop!). You can place people in more than one Circle and they can’t see which circle you’ve added them to, so if you want to add them to your ‘NEVER DARKEN MY DOOR’ circle they’ll be none the wiser!
I personally have to confess to having done very little with Google+ as the initial euphoria died down very quickly as other social media platforms were launched. This chart from January 2012 shows a comparison with Pinterest and Facebook (courtesy of Hubspot):
BUT (and it is a big one!), as one of my mentors pointed out to me last week, it is Google and as such strategically can have a significant positive effect on your SEO ranking.
You will need to use it as you would any other social media platform to really see the benefits. I’ll now be looking to build my Google+ fan base, engage with fans and post great content and recommend that you give it a go too!