Even after 2 1/2 years there are still a few die hards users of social media not seeing the light in the tunnel coming at them is Google+. Most want to stand on unvalidated reports showing Facebook and other stalwarts of the social space having more users as why they are not making a move.
Fortunately, things have changed, and quite rapidly. However, for those who feel naked without statistics to wear, Google+ claimed late last year they have approximately 540 million monthly active users out of 1.1 billion registered users, which is more than likely very low since there are so many private conversations not seen by the public viewers.
Obviously, Google’s sound business structure, near unlimited financial clout and fierce commitment to the G+ platform clearing shows they are not going anywhere anytime soon. Not sure Facebook and the other mainstays are going to be able to hold up to the weight of the 900lb gorilla in the room.
But enough of the logic behind the answer to why you should be using Google+. Let’s take a look at 2 of the biggest reasons why you need to be on Google+ and why if you don’t, you will soon be left behind.
The Power of the Video
The Hangout is by far the best feature on Google+. Not to down play the interaction in the Google+ social stream. The Google+ Hangouts has developed into the next best think to talking to someone in person.
The Google+ Hangout brings together people in a video chat and does so in High Definition with high quality audio. The G+ Hangout has brought video conference platforms like Skype to their knees primarily due to the added benefit of the Hangout being shown in the G+ social space. Group discussions can be held for public view or in total privacy. The set up for the Google+ Hangout is easy and using the feature for casual conversations is a snap – simply select someone you want to talk to out of your G+ Circles and hit the call button.
Naturally, the full HD quality depends on your Internet speeds and professional assistance may be needed to improve your image to TV quality.
The screen share feature allows for documents, screen shots or videos to be shared with the group. There are fun effects making the functionality entertaining.
The very best part of all this is it is FREE.
As an added benefit the Hangouts can be streamed live, on air. These are broadcast to YouTube. Then automatically transcribed into text and archived. The Hangout On Air, or HOA, gives you the ability to have up to 10 people participate in the video chat with an unlimited number of people viewing.
On top of all of this Google offers a Q/A feature so the host of the video chat can field questions from the audience.
Coming soon, Google will offer the ability to all users live shopping. This allows viewers to purchase a product directly during the Hangout. Also coming soon is the Business Conference Video service which takes the Google Hangout to a higher level of performance.
Google is dedicating a lot or resources to the Google+ Hangout. The possibilities of where the Hangout is heading next will be to allow users to create programming for– education, news broadcasts, or even creating their own TV channel. Also, since all of this can be shown on YouTube, the video will display in Google.com searches and the comments are all powered by Google Plus which brings us to the second reason why you need to be on Google+.
Off the Chart Search Ranking
The term SEO was created by Google when Google was founded. However, over the years many people made SEO a game that muddied up the internet with all of the unwanted content we all receive. All they were after was to gain a higher Ranking ..or placement..on the all might Google search engine.
Google evidently got tired of being looked at as the source of all this worthlessness the black-hats of SEO where flooding the content streams with. Google started reeling in how and what will be ranked on the first page of a search result. The finally shoot that killed off black-hat SEO was made when Google launched Google+.
This makes everything posted on Google+ capable of ending up in Google searches. Considering the importance of search engine rankings, this makes a pretty powerful component of Google+ of which the other social platforms can’t come close to touching.
Over the past few months, studies have been published showing Google+ being the number 1 source for content placed in the search results, with YouTube being a tight second. Indications are video viewership to overtake content viewing in the next 12 months making again Google+ the place to be.
What all this means is if your business shares an article on Google+ and it receives a high number of shares, +1s and comments, there is a good possibility it will appear as one of the top results when someone searches for relevant and related topics. This also means that if the same content was placed in a video format it would receive added value since videos are growing as the preferred form of content.
This reason alone is why more and more businesses are making the move to Google+. There are a number of studies and reports out validating the reason Google+ is the place to be for SEO. I’m sure you can search to find the one that fit’s your needs.
Simply put, if your business has a Google+ page every photo, video, blog post, article, map location, event page, special offer, review, and post displays on the Google.com search results page. A Google+ business page gives you a huge block of information on the right side of the screen as well that users will see upon their search.
As a bonus Google+ improves your Authorship and Author Rank. After creating a personal Google+ profile, all articles or content created will show up in Google searches with the author’s photo. Studies clearly show that posting a headshot photo in the personal profile produces a higher click rate on the associated content compared to Google+ profile without headshot photos.
Lastly, Hummingbird, Google’s latest algorithm update they want you to know about, affects over 90% of all Google searches. The new way Google searches for content is less about keywords and more about user intent, which is referred to as a Semantic Search.
In a recent article written by Amit Singhal he said “With more complex queries, the algorithm can better understand concepts vs. words as well as relationships between concepts.” This means Hummingbird focuses on natural language, thus absorbing more content from posts with very long conversational interaction.
Clearly, the more interaction a business has in Google+ the more content from that business it will use to place on the Google search results.
Gotta Be on Google+
The bottomline is; no matter if you are on the internet for social reasons only or using the internet for both social and business, either way you have to have a solid presence on Google+.
I have listed just a handful of things Google+ offers its competitors don’t and will never be able to do. Google+ has continued to enhance it’s platform and is growing faster that studies show, for both personal and business users alike. With Google’s confirmed commitment to the platform, this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
The biggest and clearest reason to be using Google+ is for meeting new people. Unlike other social spaces, Google Plus is all about engagement. Not just engagement with existing friends and family, but the people who use Google+ are truly more interested in what you or your brand have to say.
I’ll be back soon with more reason why you need to quickly make the change to using Google+ before being left in an empty auditorium. Let me know how I can Help.