What is Google +?
It’ll never take off they said. Poor man’s Facebook they called it. But how much longer can we keep on ignoring the increasingly pervasive social networking phenomenon of Google+? Moreover, where is it going and why should the Process Industry join its circle?
So what is Google+? Although visually not unlike Facebook – in that you can post photos, status updates and share content – essentially the scope of Google+ is far more ambitious. Unlike the all-encompassing public nature of Facebook and Twitter, Google’s baby allows you to set up ‘circles’ of friends, family, work colleagues – anything that you consider to be a sphere of interest and influence, with whom you can choose to share your content with. Much like real world relationships. Check out PIF’s Google + profile.
You can also join or create ‘communities’ based on shared topics of interest, for example the ‘process industry.’ That allows highly tailored discussions and sharing forums. ‘Hangouts’ are a space for video chat (much like Skype) for up to ten users and much the same as ‘likes’ on Facebook, content on Google+ is judged by the power of +1s.
Recent advancements with Google +
Great. So what? Well, Google admittedly missed a trick by jumping on the social media bandwagon late. It now needs to catch up and fast. There’s much discussion amongst tech analysts that Google’s intention is to integrate all of its many services with Google+ to the inevitable point that there will be no choice but to sign up for an account.
One divisive example of this strategy happened recently. Users of YouTube (a Google company) were outraged by moves to moderate comment feeds through Google+ profiles. Essentially, to post a comment you now have to to be signed up to a platform that discourages anonymity, in pursuit of a ‘cleanlier’ discussion free from spam.
Is Google + important for SEO?
What if there’s a larger motive at play? How might Google use its social media platform as an SEO leverage tool? According to Moz Blog’s Cyrus Shepard: “It’s no secret. When engineers built Google+, they constructed an SEO juggernaut to dominate search results above all other social platforms. Although Facebook and Twitter are essential to marketing efforts, both restrict Google from accessing much of their data. This limits their SEO effectiveness. Not so with Google+.” In conclusion, Google+ is vitally important for SEO!
Google+ impact search engine rankings
Content posted on Google+ is crawled and indexed far quicker than on competitor sites but to what end? Writing on Search Engine Watch, SEO analyst Eric Enge says: “The most straightforward way Google+ impacts search rankings is with personalisation. For example, if someone is following you on Google+, the chances that they will see your posts in Google’s search results go way up.”
He adds: “If you can build a strong audience of your own, or if major influencers in your market space +1 or share the content, this can get you a lot of exposure to your target market.”
Tech analyst, Martin Shervington adds: “If someone has shared your content on Google Plus, i.e. shared into their network, not only could the person who has shared it see that content appear in Google Search, but also all of those people to whom the sharer has connected. This is great for giving the chance of your information having the furthest reach.”
Google + for the Process Industry
We did a quick search and found that engineering heavyweights Rolls Royce, Airbus and BAE Systems all have Google+ accounts (with varying degrees of usage). As the medium grows in importance it’s vital for process industry companies to write Google+ into their online marketing strategies to make sure that they’re a part of the discussion and not left behind, like Google so very nearly was.
Find out more about Google+
We have selected some videos which we think are useful to learn more about Google + and understand how you or your Process Industry company can use Google + as part of an integrated marketing strategy.
Video: What is Google+ and do I need it?