Some have called Google+ the Facebook killer; others steadfastly believe that it is doomed to fail like Google’s previous social networking attempts. While the future of Google+ is still up in the air, there is no denying the numbers: in two weeks Google+ had 10+ million users while still in its trial version, after four weeks the site had over 25 million users. A few months in, Google+ cracked 40 million accounts, roughly 13% of U.S adults online. Google+ users share billions of pieces of content every day, which left many brands chomping at the bit to create a business profile. The ability to create a new touch point with consumers, share content, build links—it’s an SEO goldmine in the making. Their wish was granted in November, when Google launched Google+ pages for companies.
But that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the long-term SEO potential of Google+.
Recently, Google announced that Google+ and Gmail will become even more integrated, capitalizing on the millions of users that already have Gmail accounts but not a Google+ profile. When Google+ users open open an e-mail from someone who also uses Google+, they can see the most recent Google+ post from the sender right in Gmail. Google+ users can also add the sender to one of their Circles, without having to leave Gmail. The new integration also lets users filter their e-mail by Circles and automatically updates contact information by syncing information senders have shared on their Google+ profile.
So what does this mean for your business and SEO?
Google is doing their best to make Google+ an obvious addition to their Gmail user’s daily lives. This means that millions of potential customers could soon be flocking to Google+. This makes the +1 button that (hopefully) you’ve incorporated into your blog that much more meaningful. If someone +1s or posts your content on Google+, their action is going to show up in their friend’s inbox. Not only are you getting a link from the reposted content (or the power of social signals from the +1) your brand is getting introduced to a wider audience. Your current social network has the power to bring your brand to everyone they know, just by being on Google+!
In addition to the Gmail integration, companies that have a Google+ Pages account are starting to see their pages ranking just below their actual website in Google’s SERP. Having a company Google+ page ranking well means an increase in your company’s online brand presence, which helps establish trust and drive traffic, especially for branded searches. Users can add your brand directly from the SERP to their Circles as well, essentially inviting you to contact them on Google+ and share your content.
Much of Google+’s success hinges on adaptation by the public. By incorporating brand pages into the SERPs and Google+ activity into Gmail, Google is hoping to capture a larger percentage of their regular user base and turn them into Google+ users.