Why Google+ is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy

image of Google+

Hear that, content marketers?

That is the sound of inevitability.

It’s the sound of you creating a Google+ page for your business and working diligently to build up a network there with content, conversation, and the occasional cat photo.

Goodbye … free time.

Shameless (yet eerily fitting) references to Agent Smith of The Matrix aside, here’s why every online content marketer needs to be building a Google+ network.

I’ll also tell you why Google+ may just become more important than Facebook or Twitter when it comes to deciding where to focus your limited time and effort.

What’s new with Google+

Since I first wrote about Google+ shortly after it launched, the search giant’s “social network” has grown to 90 million users this month, closing fast on Twitter’s stated 100 million active users. This kind of growth should put to rest claims that Google+ is dead or dying, and yet isn’t as meteoric as it could be given Google’s huge existing user base.

But the real growth of Google+ could be just ahead.

The main points I stressed in my original article were that Google+ is an excellent content sharing platform, and that the data gleaned from sharing and other activity would have a direct influence on Google’s search results. I said:

Building an audience on Google+ may be the smartest thing you do as a content marketer when it comes to improved search rankings. You still need to understand the language of your audience and reflect it back in your content, but Google will now have direct indications that you’re putting out quality stuff.

As of last week, Google did more with Google+ and search results than I (and most everyone else) expected. Much more.

Google+ is Google … period

Toward the end of last year, it became clear that Google+ was much more than a “social networking product,” like the failed Buzz. So far, Google+ has been significantly integrated with Google Docs, Chrome, Google Reader, Gmail, and YouTube.

Google also redesigned the header across Search, News, Maps, Translate, Gmail and many other Google products to incorporate Google+. In short, Google+ has become the glue that unifies Google’s various offerings into a seamless whole.

As Mike Elgan smartly put it, Google took its various products and turned them into features of Google+, rather than treating Google+ as a standalone social network. But that was just a warm up for what was to come with Google’s bedrock function, search.

Google gets all up in Your World

Last week, Google announced Search, plus Your World, which is the merger of personalized search with social search, including the addition of relevant Google+ results.

In other words, Google search results now more than ever send you to … Google.

You’ll only see the Your World aspects when logged into Google, and not everyone can see them yet (you can also easily turn it off if you want). The Google+ results are drawn from the people you have “circled” in Google+ (and vice versa for others who have circled you).

Search sensei Danny Sullivan calls this the most radical transformation of Google search results ever, and with good reason. According to Google’s algorithmic guru Amit Singhal, Your World takes personalized and social search and combines it into one seamless experience:

The social search algorithm, and the personal search algorithm, and the personalized search algorithm are actually one algorithm now, and we are merging it in a way that is very pleasant and useful.

“Pleasant” and “useful” are open to debate, and there’s plenty of debate happening right now. But the one thing that’s for certain, like it or not, is that content marketers can’t choose to simply ignore Google+ and sleep well at night.

Does Google have you in a stranglehold?

My opening Agent Smith reference makes a little more sense now, huh? Do you feel that metaphorical arm around your neck, with the inevitable sound of the train bearing down on you?

Let’s not get overly dramatic, young Neo.

But it does feel somewhat like a take-it-or-leave it deal. We already knew that participating in Google+ would have some positive impact on our search results, but now it seems as if you have no Google+ presence and your competition does, you might lose existing search traffic going forward.

That’s only the beginning of the drama:

  • Twitter issued a statement decrying the preferential treatment for Google+ results over Twitter. Google responded by revealing that it was Twitter, not Google, that chose not to renew the agreement with Google to use Twitter content for real-time search results.
  • Jon Mitchell of ReadWriteWeb thinks Google+ is going to mess up the internet, because Google+ posts about his content were outranking the actual content itself when he searched, and this was even before the official announcement of Your World.
  • Danny Sullivan points out that Google is violating what made Google so useful in the first place. Search engines provide value by sending you away to the best results, not keeping you trapped within a “sticky” web of their own making, no matter how expansive that web within the Web might be.
  • Lee Odden is skeptical about the usefulness of the new socially-integrated results that he’s seen so far, but he nonetheless encourages online marketers to get involved with Google+, build out a quality content presence, and actively participate.
  • John Battelle thinks it sucks for the web that Google and Facebook can’t play nice together. But as Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt points out, Facebook purposefully blocks Google, both with technology and terms of service, from indexing Facebook content and putting it on equal ground with Google+ results.
  • And the rumblings regarding privacy, antitrust, and FTC action are well underway.

On the plus side, others see this development as inevitable in a good (or at least not evil) way:

  • Stephan Shankland of CNET argues that Google had no choice but to make this move. The web is more social than ever, and the primary search engine on the planet must evolve along with the web, with or without the cooperation of Twitter and Facebook.
  • John Henshaw of Raven Tools says Google knows exactly what they’re doing with Your World, and it’s not an act of desperation or necessarily devious. He recommends avoiding cheap SEO tricks that Google is already anticipating, and rather immerse yourself in the Google+ social ecosystem while continuing to create great content.
  • On the anti-antitrust side, Eric Goldman of the Santa Clara University School of Law points out that when Google+ launched, it was welcomed by many as competition against the massive dominance of Facebook in social networking. Now that Google+ is actually getting competitive, everyone’s getting upset.

The only inevitability is change

Look, I’m as concerned about Google’s dominance and the potential for abuse as anyone. I have been for years, which is why I designed Copyblogger Media so that it would survive (and even thrive) if Google sent us zero traffic.

That said, I like getting targeted search traffic from Google. It doesn’t suck, not one bit.

And let’s face it … I also like Google+. It’s been a great experience to hang out over there the last 6 months or so, and I think it’s clearly superior to Facebook, while providing a truly different environment than our primary social networking / content distribution platform, Twitter.

Regardless of all the other potential issues laid out above, the fact is that we online marketers hate changes like this. But Google is constantly changing, and must change, as the Web itself changes.

Universal search (the last “most radical change ever“) arrived in 2007, and personalized search arrived across the board in 2009. Each time, people wrung hands, gnashed teeth, and wailed hysterically about how everything was different and wrong and awful, and they’re still doing it today.

As content marketers, we really have limited choice when it comes to what Google chooses to do.

One choice is to simply decide that we don’t really need search engine traffic.

Another choice is to observe, adapt, and conquer in ways that make the most sense for our businesses.

My guess is Google’s going to be tweaking things rapidly over the course of the year, rolling out more cool new features, and generally looking to strike a balance that rapidly grows Google+ without becoming cannon fodder for the Justice Department.

Circle me up on Google+ and we’ll observe, adapt, and conquer together.

About the Author: Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Brian on Google+.

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  1. I accept that I’ll have to use Google+ more often now, but that doesn’t mean I need to like it.

    In the past week, I decided to try and use the site a bit more. I’ve got a few hundred folks in circles, and it’s dead. It’s nothing like the vibrant communities I find on Twitter or Facebook – it’s just a place full of people that are only there because Google wants them to be there.

    It’s just so dull…

    • Hi Andy. Strange, I don’t get that vibe at all. I find Google+ active and interesting, with thoughtful commentary and conversation. Maybe I need to do a recommended follow list. :)

      • Brian, a recommended follow list would be helpful.

      • Funnily enough Brian, you’re one of the few people in my circles who actually posts!

        By the way – I had a piece of spam on my blog this morning from someone pretending to be “brian clarke seo copy wrriter expert” – are you hawking Ugg Boots on the side? ;)

        • Andy, if you’re following writers, my guess is you’ll start seeing more activity now.

          As for the Uggs, ugh.

        • What IS IT about Uggs?

          • I suspect a strong link between Uggs buyers and people who buy things from spam.

          • I’m really not sure. They’re super expensive. Skechers makes the same style shoes and they’re insanely warm and comfortable… for a fraction of the price.

            Oh. Is my frugalista showing?

            Anyway…

            Thanks for breaking this whole Google debacle down for me. I think part of the reason Google did what they did was to further keep content farms out of search results. Soon it’ll be impossible to get any juice from Google… unless you’re actually publishing useful, interesting content on your website. They just took social searching to a whole new level, and frankly, I can’t wait to see where this goes!

            …And now my nerd is showing. ;)

        • You should be following me :)

          I post about God, movies, football, and the television industry. And there’s some social media talk mixed in.

    • I second Andy’s opinion. Maybe it’s the small amount of people in my circle, or because I’m brand new there. I see other people having a few conversations, but not many people jump in there to be part of someone else’s circle like Twitter and Facebook.

      And it’s funny that this post arrived today, which is the day I just started my own Google+ page. It’s great!!

    • You can see if a user is worth following by checking when was the last time they’ve posted anything. There are many big names out there, who are very active on Twitter but don’t use G+, while others have embraced it fully. I know it’s a commonplace, but G+ is what you make it to be :).

      • I don’t agree with this really, many people are extremely active on Google Plus but set their posts to circles or extended circles rather than public, only a fraction of my posts are ever public. However, if the person is followed by a lot of people then chances are (though not always) they are pretty active.

  2. I’ve actually enjoyed Google+ so much thus far because it wasn’t attractive to the “lolz that awkward moment when…” crowd and people who were only there to get backlinks and sales. We all knew it would start trying to attract the latter group however, so it’s not exactly a shock.

    As long as it stays easy to keep the social content and the backlink spammers separate, it’s all good.

  3. I have an account in Google+ and it sucks that I have to add it in my todo list. But you’re right, it’s not like we have a choice on the matter. If I’m not in Google+, a competitor will surely find a way to get there and eventually force me to catch up. Might as well be the one dictating the pace.

    Thanks for the heads up, Agent Smith.

    • Ronald, you hit the nail on the head. People can stomp their feet and make a stand against adding Google+ to their online marketing to-do list, but while they’re “making a stand,” their competitors will be showing up in search and building relationships with their clients. Like you said, you might as well be the one dictating the pace.

      • Gwen, I see this as a situation where we can become market leaders instead of followers. Wouldn’t you have liked to have this insight when Facebook and Twitter first started? I need to remind myself to spend more time on Google+, but I don’t begrudge the time I spend there.

        • I agree Denise. I’ve been using Google+ since it first launched — and more recently for the business. There’s always going to be something new — that’s the nature of web. Early adopters get the worm?

  4. “You’ll only see the Your World aspects when logged into Google”
    Brian, that’s technically true, but there’s another aspect to it. Danny Sullivan showed that even if you are logged out you will still see “related Google+ people and pages” on the right side of results…above the ads!

    Log out and try the search “music” or “seo”

    Google has a link underneath that says: “Learn how you could appear here too”. And the 3 steps they lay out are the new rules of SEo. Here it is, from that page:

    1. Fill out your profile
    Make it easier for people to find you by completing your Google profile. Make sure to have a high quality photo and update your interests.

    2. Post about your favorite topics
    Share and comment on the topics you care about and Google will share your posts and comments with people in your Google+ circles when they’re searching.

    3. Appear in search results
    Once you’ve created a Google profile and engaged with an audience on topics you’re interested in, you’ll be eligible to appear on the right hand side of search results. The more quality content you create and the more people that engage with you, the more prominent your profile will become.

    Read more here: http://www.google.com/insidesearch/relatedpeople.html

    Content is king, once again.

  5. It’s painful to even think about another social platform, but I do “get” the benefits.

    Thanks for the great post. Sharing it!

    - Jennifer

  6. I’d surely love to see more interactions on Google+ and I’ll keep an eye on what they might come up with. My assumption is that people are either too busy to engage there, or they’re just waiting for something much better.. A little competition is normal, so long as it’s healthy, and I think that they should all work together in addressing issues people are having today… and what about SOPA and other issues shaking the very foundation of the Social Web?

  7. I agree with Andy above in a certain way, other than the tech/blogging niches on Google+, the rest is pretty dead when you compare it to Twitter and Facebook, but with time I assume that will change, more and more people will be turning to Google as slowly all their services get integrated to Google +.

    Also, from an SEO perspective, Google + is a must for success down the road.

  8. For our company, Marketing Press, G+ is a different type of engagement. It’s much easier to push out relevant content using wisely crafted circles. Ultimatey, if that assists with search — great, but for us it’s still about pushing out the right message/information to the right audience to gain market position.

  9. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for Google+ a couple of weeks ago. Surprised to say, so far I like it more than Facebook or Twitter. (Not that I actually like either of those services that much.) Yes, it’s quieter, but I don’t mind that. I particularly like that you can put a link in context much more effectively than you can on Twitter. Plus, reading Twitter streams makes me feel like I stuck my head in a blender.

  10. Jennifer Lachman :

    I find the Google + in my search results and Facebook integration into everything else extremely creepy. I miss the days where I was just another anonymous statistic on the internet.

  11. Great article Brian about G+ and how it has impacted SEO.
    Google understands that the web is becoming more and more social each day and for their search engine to survive and be relevant they had to include social signals into their algorithm. We as professionals in this industry also need to be mindful of this and that the old school method of SEO or should I say SEO Spamming by just slapping up an article and buying or swapping a few links here and there just don’t work anymore. Google and your audience have become wise to this and why it’s important to embrace the social web in your business.

  12. Your World is the thing that made me switch back to Google from DDG. The results are just too good with circles factored in to pass it up. My experience is that my blog went from getting no search traffic to getting tons, and 99% is from G+ search.

    I hope I’m right and it doesn’t shift everyone to Google’s own web, because I like a distributed Internet where no one player holds all the content. That would be bad. Just make sure you’re building your mailing list and profiles on other social media outposts, otherwise you risk coming to depend on Google. :)

  13. This is somewhat good and bad in a sense because as Danny Sullivan pointed out this is why we use the search engines in the first place to find reasonable information outside of our normal circles of searches. But, this is a great feature for online marketers and bloggers because your now going to be able to place your content in front of people that actually want to learn from you.

    One of the first thoughts that came to my mind are the people that create niche sites that rely 100% of their traffic on Google. This is going to be interesting for them because it might not just rely on how many backlinks you can now get to your site anymore. So over the course of this year this should be very interesting to see what happens and how this could shake up the entire marketing world.

  14. As sad as it may seem, an old adage applies here:
    “He who has the gold makes the rules.”
    Right now, Google has the gold if you’re using outside websites (Twitter, Facebook, G+, etc…) to interact with people. So, Google Plus should be one of the tools you’re using for content marketing, yes (for now).

  15. I kinda got the vibe from Google+ that it is a waste of time. When looking at my metrics, I found I have a higher interaction rate from Digg, Twitter and Facebook than Google+. Like upwards of 10 to 20 times the engagement than on Google+. That’s just what I personally noticed on my sites.

  16. Yeah, I know I’ve been avoiding the inevitable. I, personally, don’t want to spend time on another social networking site. But here’s to sucking it up… *raises glass*

  17. I’d like to see Google + come up with a comment system to compete with Facebooks — that would make it easier to get a community to check out the + page.

  18. Thank You Brian.
    I am just new in this content marketing game and I have already opened accounts on other social network platforms, except Google+. This is a very eye opening post and I will immediately ask for an invitation from my friends on there. Being a beginner in the blogosphere, getting targeted traffic from google is something I am really looking forward to.

  19. Great post Brian – thanks for sharing it. I’ve been trying to get the hang of Google + for a while now so this is nicely timed.
    I understand the “big picture” benefit of being there but I agree with Danny Sullivan’s comment about being trapped in a sticky web. I first figured that out when I start appearing as number 1 for certain keywords… YAH! oh… hang on a tick. I guess that’s just a matter of tweaking your search options for the kind of reach you want your search to have right?
    Just like any other platform I play on, the more time I spend the more benefit I get. So I need to keep posting, searching, and engaging with other people and then, well then I’ll be as plus’d up on Google as I can be.

    I do wish I could integrate Google profiles though. I didn’t realise the potential when I dipped my toe in and now I’m left with different logins. BOO.

  20. Brian,
    I agree with you about the inevitability of Google Plus as a content marketing vehicle. The funny thing is business and marketers don’t seem to really care yet. I think there will be a tipping point in the near future though when it becomes to big to ignore. Do a search on “Google Plus for business” or “Marketing on Google Plus” and no one’s advertising (and those searches have amazingly low search volume). I just posted the data on my site yesterday. I was frankly surprised by the lack of interest.

  21. It’s funny how second nature building out your presence on Twitter and Facebook has become and many people have no idea how to effectively utilize Google Plus. It”s built so well for consuming and sharing content it’s scary! Plus you don’t have all of the distractions that come with Facebook and Twitter. We cannot wait to see how useful Google Plus becomes with content marketing.

  22. “immerse yourself in the Google+ social ecosystem while continuing to create great content.”

    This is just creepy. It feels cultish.

    I know, I know “Shut up and drink the damn Koolaid already.”

  23. In as much as I would love to use Google +, I can’t because my page is in my native tongue, which is in Pilipino. How can I change it into American English, the language I am more comfortable with?

  24. Noe that you have told us about the importance of google plus. I would really appreciate a blog article that discusses how to effectively use it to drive traffic and increase SEO?

    Any thoughts?

  25. So Brian, what’s the strategy for taking advantage of the rise of Google+? Is it to write content on G+ that is too short for a blog, too long for Twitter, and too meaningful for Facebook?

    • The strategy I think is much like Twitter … curate relevant content alongside sharing your own content. Some people do post content directly to Google+, which I’ve only done occasionally. But since I don’t have (or want) a personal blog, perhaps I’ll throw out some short content that is Google+ only. The other key is to be present for comments and conversation — that’s where Google+ really shines over Twitter.

      • I’m with you on not wanting or having the time for a personal blog, but it just dawned on me that Google+ can be an outlet for content that I’d like to write about but doesn’t fit for my audience.

  26. I had set up a Google+ account as soon as I could (and since I couldn’t get an invite to save my life, that took a little while) and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m finding more and more of the freelancers that I already know on the site and that’s leading me to new networks of people. You’re very right when you say that Google+ is a platform for sharing.

  27. When G+ first came out I saw the writing on the wall that it is a must use platform. It is all about who you follow though. I started following the best photographers I could find and that actually improved my photography skills. I am now doing the same thing with writers.

    I find the quality of conversation 10 times better than facebook and 140 characters just isn’t enough for anything.

  28. Finding a targeted audience using social media is an expensive proposition. There are many social media businesses providing services to help you get there but you better have the budget. I approached a Facebook friend to explore social media assistance (i.e. help me build a targeted audience) and the first question was “what is your budget”. This is from a trusted acquaintance giving me an honest answer. He builds tools which he sells to social media consulting companies who cater to clients needing to build a social media presence.

    • David, the key is to create great content, which is what people in social networks want to spread. This requires a budget if you don’t do it yourself, but beware “social media experts” who tell you that a network can be built without content.

      • Thanks Brian. As I was writing my comments and after, I kept thinking about “content marketing” and what that means. Your comments completed my thoughts. It is the content (or the substance) that needs to be created and shared. I see lots of content, far from being unique, being passed around – I conclude that is not effective because after a while, I begin to ignore the repeated stuff from various people. And I take your caution very seriously, sometimes all the activity is around building the connections with tools and “stock” content to push around.

        BTW, during yesterday’s blackout, I got many notifications about your pages but I could not see them. And I deleted all my notifications! There may be other answers to my comments that I don’t know about.

  29. I’m part of a team that manages social media for a well-known brand. We have over 100k likes on FB and 10k followers on Twitter. I’ve been tasked with growing our brand visibility on Google+, and created a brand page in November, but still have fewer than 500 people in our circles. Any thoughts on ways to grow that following, despite the lack of any G+ promotional tools? Any idea when G+ might roll out some tools for promoting pages?

    • G+ is a community of communities. You have to go out in it and participate.

      • Other than posting content daily and commenting on other pages, is there anything else I can do to grow our following? We had considered doing a giveaway on our Google+ page, but that appears to be against Google policy. It seems there is no way for us to reward people for adding us to their circles, which makes it pretty hard to grow our following in the same way we can on other social media platforms.

        • Are the personal accounts for your company doing the same? They don’t have the same restrictions, and people are more likely to follow through to their profiles. Brand pages just aren’t very inviting unless you know the people behind it.

  30. A G+ page is not necessary.
    A working, appealing way to generate leads is. For you, it’s G+, Twitter.
    For me it’s tech blogs.
    We sell different things, and such, but I instigate my relationships and seek the ones I want.

  31. Yes, yes, a million times yes! Lots of ink has been spilled about this development since “Search Plus” was announced, but this is one of the best analyses I’ve read, particularly from the content marketing perspective. My agency has been following G+ since its launch and we also saw the SPYW integration as the tipping point from interesting new network to inevitability. (Our take is here: http://blog.cdginteractive.com/my_weblog/2012/01/ignore-google-at-your-peril.html)

    And yet you have to wonder, is “inevitability for search results” really the best way to encourage a vibrant online community? Right now it feels like people will be on Twitter and Facebook because they want to be, but Google+ because they have to be. It ain’t over yet, that’s for sure.

  32. I would say Google has a stranglehold on me and that is true even before Google+. I use so many Google services that a big void were be apparent if they were to suddenly disappear. I have been on Google+ for a couple of months and I am using it to learn how it works as well as to find new content and people. I have not invited my Facebook friends to move over to Google+ as I reason why bother – we are doing fine on Facebook.

    • I agree with you David, on two points you make. 1) Google has a stranglehold on people – a lot of people. And 2) most online marketers are still doing just fine with Facebook and haven’t see the real reason to get everyone over to Google+ yet.

      I’m pretty sure that it’s time to give in to Google and allow them to tighten that stranglehold by getting everyone you can over to Google+ though. You and YOUR people should be on Google+ before your competition and THEIR people are on Google+.

      • Krysha, I concur with your points. Whereas Facebook may be a social media platform that business interests choose to use, Google+ may become the platform that business interests must use.

        I use my Facebook profile as a mix between personal and business while I have Facebook fan pages set up specifically for my web properties. For my personal Facebook friends, they are not likely to move over to Google+.

  33. Thanks – I have been debating whether if it was worth signing up for G+ – I think I had better get on with it.

  34. That was some powerful information about G+
    Well worth considering :-)

    Thanks for sharing

    “When One Teaches Two Learn”

  35. I’ve been telling my friends, “It’s Google!! Duh!” and they keep giving me critiques of Google + and comparing it to their other social media favorites. And I keep repeating, “It’s Google!” Thanks for spelling it out so well. I’m sharing this article with everyone I know.

  36. I love Google and I love Google+. I think you are dead-on and regardless of how you feel about g+ you need to utilize it. Great article and advice. Thank you for the insightful post!

  37. I agree with you Brian, there is no point throwing a hissy fit about yet another site. If it is going to be there, it is like having a stoplight installed in your neighborhood. Get used to it. You need to abide. But more than that, I have really enjoyed exploring it, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is going to be an empire for marketers and businesses in the future. In fact, just today I made one one teeny weeny remark about being a journalist, and there was a tidal wave–no, more like the white-crested tsunami waves in the woodblock prints of that famous Japanese artist (name escapes, darn middle-aged deteriorating brain cells)–of folks tickling my inbox, coming at me through Google+ mobile messenger, and being downright clownish in their outreach. I am collecting stories of successful business development, and will open the kimono at the right time. Along with an solid understanding of search, manicured writing skills, and a brand that is distinguishable from every other, today’s online strategist NEEDS to be at the Google+ house party.

  38. You had me at “That is the sound of inevitability”.
    But the rest of the article was good too. :-)
    Then, I got to the “Circle me up on Google+ and we’ll observe, adapt, and conquer together”. Done.
    Thanks for everything. Your RSS is first on top of my Reader.

  39. Google+ is still not easy to use. Most internet users can not handle with complicated services. Twitter is the easiest one.

  40. Google+ is only inevitable if you believe that Google’s dominance in search is inevitable, and its hardly that — at least in my opinion. Google is on very tenuous ground, which is why they resorted to Google+ in the first place. Their search dominance is being chipped away at (not by a search competitor, per say) every day by Facebook, Twitter and Apps (Apple leading the way here).

    Search has gotten clogged up with spammy SEO links and ads. I think people’s reliance on Google for search is going to be on the wane in the next few years – as they use apps or rely on recos from their friends on Facebook.

    Because of this, it is far too premature to say that Google+ is something that content producers HAVE to use.

  41. If you’re into social media, internet marketing, SEO etc, you’ll probably find Google+ very useful, and be able to link up with lots of like-minded people.

    However, if you have a website about cookery, tennis, travel or whatever, you’ll probably find Google+ is quite dead (unlike Twitter).

    As Alte pointed out, Google+ is not simple to use, so people in the latter group probably won’t bother making the effort.

  42. Brian, thanks for weighing in on the topic with your post. Google really are committed to Google+ but so far here in Australia its a ‘ghost town.’ Very very few of the big banks and brands have a decent presence on it. My company is on Google+ but so far its just so we can tick that box. Its a good alternative for people who don’t want Facebook. On the other hand, I love what Bing are doing integrating Facebook data onto their SERPs (see the vdeo on seomoz.org/blog/phoenix-rising-bings-new-webmaster-tools-whiteboard-friday at the 9:00 mark)

  43. G+ changed few things but it is a dead portal (at least I think so). So google’s trying to make people create new accounts- for example changing google places to g+ places. I wouldn’t create my g+ account if this haven’t changed.
    If all the changes are going in this direction we will (marketers, seo’s etc.) have to make and use ours accounts. And I personally don’t like mine, it’s not as clear as fb profile.

  44. Never knew that Google+ was this powerful. The initial feedback was that G+ won’t survive the social media tide along with FB and Twitter. But this is indeed a great news for me and for thousands of other Content Marketers in this world. I am going straight away to G+ create my page. Thanks for this great post.

  45. Wondering how many people will make the effort on Google+ considering it’s ease of use (or lack thereof). We’ve set up Google+ on our site but have yet to set up a Google+ page.

  46. I think Google has done an excellent job of scaring the pants out of everyone with the Pandas, Penguins, Google+, You Tube… It all goes back to them. So we know who is the CEO of SEO… need I say more. Nevertheless, it is clear that in order to increase the revenue stream, you have to know what Google is up to. Still not completely sold on G+ though. I think you can do more with You Tube and a combination of other methods.

    Take care guys.

  47. Hey, should I link my niche website with google+ personal account, or is it ok to create a special google+ for that website, and put the name as in “Website name” ?

  48. The only reason why most people are using Google + is because they need it not like it. I bet, at least 50% of the users are webmasters trying to get a link back (google + is dofollow). Not to mention that in the internet rat race most webmasters own several google + accounts, for the same reason.
    So, I really doubt that these 90 million users are there for the love of Google + .

  49. G+ doesn’t have a buzz yet, as in, Hey, did you see that pic of president shared on twitter? or Someone liked that status update on Fb so many times? Nobody talks like that for G+. Most people seem to use it just to get the SEO points out of it. Remove the name Google from G+, and then see how many people still use it. It doesn’t seem effortless and fun, like many other social media networks.

  50. Google+ is actually pretty nice once you get running with it. The great news is Google just worked with Guy Kawasaki to make his What the Plus! book free. Here is the link to the PDF download (https://ssl.gstatic.com/s2/oz/content/WhatThePlus.pdf). I don’t have any connection to Guy but the book is good, free and if you are interested in Google+ very useful.

  51. Google is desperately trying to force people to use it. Now you have to have an account to leave a review for a local business. They might have a lot of users but the fact is that those users are there because Google is forcing them to be there not because it’s great or awesome. Facebook never forced anyone to sign up for an account. Users came to Facebook because they wanted to.

  52. I find google + so bland and difficult to use.