Does using Google Plus equal higher search engine rankings?
On January 12, 2012, Google began inte grating Google Plus content (your +1s, circles, posts, and pictures) into the larger search environment. Google now calls this functionality “Search + Your World."
While this may seem innocuous and even expected, this has a huge effect on your Search Engine Optimization. Last year, Google (and all the other search engines subsequently), reprioritized social media interaction to have higher priority than traditional PR channels. What this means is that individuals talking about your brand on Facebook has a greater effect than your company getting mentioned in the New York Times.
Now, in order to push the value of the Google Plus network, Google has taken a shot at Facebook and Twitter by only including the Google Plus network social graph. While Google Plus has had a very slow start, this now presents a huge opportunity for organizations to gain ground over their competition.
If you’re not familiar with Google Plus here’s some of the basics that you need to know.
1. Google Plus differs with Facebook on one basic issue: Privacy. Google Plus organizes your relationships into “circles”. This allows you to have a greater degree of control over who sees your content. Facebook has responded with similar features, but fails to have the same degree of simplicity.
2. Google Plus requires you to use your real name. This is a hugely controversial issue, which Google is now taking a few exceptions for nicknames and maiden names. If you’re looking for anonymity, look elsewhere.
3. Google Plus does have a few features that others do not. You can use “Hangouts” to do video conferencing with groups up to 9 people. Looking for a restaurant recommendation? Google Plus allows you to search your social connections to see who’s talking about a particular subject.