Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know by now that Google officially opened their Google Plus social network to everyone last Thursday.
For months, it was an invitation-only kind of party, now everyone’s invited.
So the question is…
Should you show up?
What is Google Plus?
For those who don’t know, the Google Plus button is Google’s answer to the Facebook “Like” button. Anytime you “plus one” content or search results, it acts as a vote and shows up in your Google account.
Shortly after the release of the Plus One button, Google introduced their own social network called Google Plus. Members of the network can comment on the content they “plus one” and share it with anyone they’re connected with in the network.
Similar to Facebook pages, you can also tag people, post links, pictures and video.
So What Does This Mean for Your Site?
In the short term, probably very little. However, Google admitted that they are looking into ways to use the Plus One button to influence search engine optimization. So you could interpret that to mean sites that get more plus one votes could see an SEO benefit down the line.
I should also point out that you don’t have to join the social network to get “votes” for your content. If someone “plus ones” your page in the search results, it still becomes a vote for your site — even if you are not a member of the network. Again, the impact of this from an SEO standpoint is still unknown.
Another benefit of using the network is it provides another way to synch your online profile with the websites you own. Anytime you get the opportunity to let Google know the sites you own and improve your “Google Authority” rating, you should take advantage of it.
Marko Saric wrote an excellent article on how to integrate Google Authorship into your Thesis blog.
As he pointed out, the Web is about people and the relationships you build. The days of successful, anonymous blogging and webmastering are over.
The Jury is Still Out
The feedback around the Web seems to be mixed. Some believe G+ will devour Facebook over time. It also doesn’t help that FB seems to be helping out by continuing to annoy their members with random updates and privacy exploits.
Others feel it’s just too much, adding that they are overwhelmed by the thought of having to manage yet another site.
I know how you feel. When the Google Plus One button first came out, I felt the Internet had reached the point of sharing overload. I blogged about that here.
No matter how you feel about Google Plus, it’s hard to ignore a big release like this from The Almighty Google. It’s far too early to tell what impact the G+ network and button will have on our websites, but you just can’t ignore certain facts…
1) It’s Google – the search engine giant. ‘Nuff said.
2) Google admitted they are planning to use this technology to impact SEO.
3) Search AdWords have included the Plus One button since May, and now they are rolling this out to AdSense
4) The G+ social network hit the 43 million user mark last week. It took Facebook 3 years to reach that mark!
My point is, Google has put a lot of attention and resources into this project so it’s hard for me to just blow it off and ignore. If this was Microsoft, I’d be less inclined to jump on the bandwagon. But since this is Google…
I jumped. 🙂
What Should You Do Today?
It certainly isn’t going to hurt anything to add a Google Plus One button to your site. Static website owners can grab the code here. WordPress users have access to several plugins that will get the job done.
As far as the social network site goes, just test it out. Get your feet wet. Take the tour. Read what people are saying about it. Give yourself a chance to formulate an opinion.
Who knows? It could be one of those things that blows over like Google Buzz. However, I think this one might have legs.
A Couple of G+ Social Tips
1) Make sure to complete your G+ profile and add a few posts. There’s nothing worse than a profile with no pictures and information about the person.
2) Tag a few people (type the plus sign and their name — +Lisa Irby, for example) and start a meaningful discussion in your stream.
In today’s world, success is all about the connections and relationships you make online. Most people aren’t going to be interested in networking with faceless folks who have empty profiles.
So what do you think of all this Google Plus noise? Are you jumping on the bandwagon or are you going to wait and see how this all plays out?
By the way, you can connect with me on Google Plus here.
I’ve admired you for a while, you sorta inspire me to earn from my blog actually, even if I may not comment as often. Anyway, I also joined the G+ bandwagon, for myself and my blog as well. I think when you’re in the blogging for money field, it’s important to keep up with all these new trends in social network, and like you said it’s the “big G”! How can you refuse?
Emily S. says
I think that Google Plus will eventually be on par with Facebook for the simple reason that Google will find a way to effectively tie +1s to search rankings. Once they do that, we will all have no choice but to jump over to Google+.
Although i dont beleive it will displace facebook it does offer a great alternative for small buisnesses and plenty more social links for your site, im optimistic
I think you definitely made the case for the use of Google+, and when you are in the web business, you have to adapt and change with the emergence of new technologies. In regards to Google, they don’t invest in something without expecting a good return, so I would think that they will give it their best shot. Thanks for the great information!
Tom Bowland says
I think Google are gutted they got this wrong. It’s my opinion now that if you don’t innovate in the first place then don’t copy in the second place!
Im not if they will have success, but my personal believe is… i like it.
Its much better than other “social networks” and the combination with the social search is a great idear.
Personal Blog Kang Taro Belajar Seo says
How about knol.google.com?
I think I believe the hype. In another point of view, it’s us who needs them, even if they are annoying sometimes they still are a part of our day.
paper shredding new york says
Lisa, this was a really good discussion on Google plus. I liked your comment regarding the obligation to recognize an advent form the “Almighty Google.” 🙂 This is very true! While I am not sure that GooglePlus will supercede Facebook (or other social media), it is certainly worth paying attention to. Thanks again!
Luke - aja web design says
Being rather new to this and the impact it will have on SEO your comment “I should also point out that you don’t have to join the social network to get “votes” for your content.” does that not open it up for misuse?
Also not having them would seem to indicate a lack of credence, given that how would you go about getting them if your in a competitive market like web design?
No, since someone has to be logged into their Google account to vote on your site, it makes it a tad harder for people to misuse it. I’m sure people will find ways to do so but forcing the login does help limit some abuse.
Yes.. the feedback is real, it has been annoying with fb upgrades and operating on googleplus on top of fb is too much for some people, but I have to say that googleplus is a great social site..
Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. I believe “Google+” will be just a nine days wonder. Soon after Google was released to the public, there was a decrease in the number of people active on it (recently read). The more google tries to push something else, the more they will fail..
wholesale electronics says
I am sure in a few year it will be the best one social networking site and beat the facebook too.
Free iphone Apps and Games says
Pretty good post. I just bookmarked your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. I agree with most of the questions that you have said and I’m waiting for new posts.Thanks for Posting.
Roger Carr says
I got on G+ fairly early. It was fun for a while building circles of friends and colleagues, but after the newness wore off I wasn’t that impressed and didn’t understand what all of the hype was about.
I haven’t totally given up on it because of what you already stated. It is Google and it would be foolish to ignore it. It will be interesting to see where it goes over time.
Hannah Irina says
i like google+
I have to say that I would love if ppl stopped using Facebook, and went on Google+. Because FB exploit the users info when they want, and don’t care about them at all. They are just a source for income.
And I join Google+ in the start due to an invite, because og the FB problem but also because as you write Google is gonna use this in the search results.
Pankaj Rattan says
Recently i also get registered on Google+ and when i am start using it i simply start love it. I am sure in a few year it will be the best one social networking site and beat the facebook too.
Filter Press says
Ia it really awesome.
After read this articles, I have found a different ways to add more value to sites, thank you for providing it.
advertising agency says
I too love G+ and think it will devour facebook. Lets hope they keep this undertone of privacy throughout there facebook take over.
I need help…when I switched to Google +1 where did the Google Webmaster Tools, Adsense, Adwords and Analytics icons get relocated to?
When I click on “account settings” in the drop-down meun (top right) everything on the page that opens has changed.
I’ve clicked on the “more” link at the top of the browser, but the icons I listed above are not in the “more” section.
Why would they make things (Adsense, Analytics, Webmaster Tools icons) that were so simple to access before- really frustrating to find now?
at the bottom of the page you’ll find a link to the “old” interface!
Thank you !! Johnny…yes!
Alison Moore Smith says
I’m on G+, but — sheesh! — I want to have a real life more than I want another virtual one. I’ll have to see how it shakes out and calculate the ROI for getting really involved.
Claremont homes says
OH! Lisa you are awesome you take a really good thing in mind that if the site has button any of the visitors will vote for the website. and we do not wanted to much more for web promotion automated promotion is owned. thank for sharing that deep facts of Google plus.
Rehan Khan says
I think Google +1 is great but quite difficult for webmasters to get clicks and ranks on that! isn’t ? even Facebook likes are easy to increase!
Definitely not, i do not believe the hype. I am yet to see it reflecting on any of my websites even though i have some high plus 1 sites. LEts see how it goes though. Its even hard getting people to use the button, most of my viewers dont even know what it is for.
I haven’t really tried using google plus but what I read about some forums and blogs that it will really affect SEO ranking. I think it will be a challenge for most SEO people when this happens.
water damage restoration services kansas city
Allen Cerezo says
After having declared by Google that plus one will affect search engine ranking on Google, many services that sell plus one appeared. As webmasters/bloggers, shall we consider buying packages like that? Or just be natural?
I’m always in favor of natural links. Google typically frowns upon buying links and it will be easy for them to sniff that out.
Google can already sniff out link farms so sniffing out G+ farms will be easy, they have the knowledge to do it so if they will integrate it (in SEO), which remains to be seen, buying G+’s is not the way forward.
There is one more issue and that’s the small company versus the big corporate. If Google implements G+ in SEO many smaller firms will get dumped out of their decent rankings. I am not saying Google needs the smaller ones but from a user experience point of view it might have an impact.
Andrew Butler says
I smell HUGE trouble for my website. Most of my traffic comes from my facebook page and google plus might destory facebook. 43 million is a scary number. Hopefully the kids will get over it!
One word, Andrew. D-I-V-E-R-S-I-F-Y. You can do it. 🙂 Look at it as an opportunity to explore new sources of traffic.
Push – Push – Push!
First you pushed me into finally joining the YouTube world. That is going well. Now I have finally added +1 to my running site. I also just built my +1 profile and have one acquaintance, you 🙂
I’ll start messing with it. Maybe I’ll use it for more of my business/internet stuff.
Yep, I saw you! I was going to comment on how nice your pic was but I can’t comment on main profile pics. See ya on the G+!
Any way to connect with your potential clients demands attention of businesses. As a business I look at ways to engage with potential customers in my niche and so should you. At this stage I struggle on G+, will it get better? Maybe and I sure will keep my eyes open.
I think there is not one solution or media for all businesses, we all operate different, have different customers and different strategies. If SEO is one of your strategies so as soon as there is evidence you should probably change strategy.
So in the end, look at your startegy and how you want to engage, then look at the methods and pick the ones with the best ROI for your business.
Great point, Nik!
I like your approach to topics. You give great information and allow people to make educated guesses. I am on G+ because I think in the long run it would be stupid not to. When creative individuals grab a hold of all the features on various social media networks they change the game. I think its the people who use the networks and the way they use them determine its worth. Google is the big dog of the internet and can flip a switch (algorithms) and change how we do business-I don’t think its evil. However, it does keeps us on our toes! :0)
Stephanie, such a great point about the people making the network! Maybe I’m just following some really awesome people but I really love how people are using G+ thus far. Headed over there to connect with you now. 🙂
I am one who believes Google+ will indeed take over FB because it combines the features of 4 popular sites.
Facebook – Twitter – Skype – MySpace (yes-musicians miss this easy music promotional site)
Because of the hyper-commercialism of Facebook recently, the social movement is ready for the controls that Google+ offers through the ‘circles’ feature. I predict the Migration will be complete in less than 3 years.
WP Themes says
You are right. It didn’t strike my mind. The idea of Google Plus is actually the symptom of new social media site Google Plus. Hey thanks for this post!
I just started my Google + last night and already have over 100 people in my circle. This is going to be BIG. Thank for the informative article. 🙂
Interesting post, i think the google plus network won’t beat facebook because facebook is just better.
I admit that since signing up I haven’t used it at all but then again I never had much use for Facebook either. I myself, feel a little bit more secure with Google since hearing about multiple security issues with FB and your private information. Perhaps Google will be my first step into social networking.
Facebook already has an extremely large user base. People of all ages are using the social networking site, which fulfills most of the needs for social networking. I think people will switch to it if they see their friends to it. Right now, it’s not happening for my friends. If a tree falls in the forrest and there’s nobody around, does it make a a sound? Likewise, if you post some information, or statuses, and there is nobody on Google Plus to read it, will there be a point to posting?
Right now, my Facebook friends aren’t going anywhere. If my friends switch to it, I will also. However, I will still use Google Plus and Facebook for marketing.
None of my family members use it and only a few friends, but they are the friends who are already engaged with social media. As I said, right now it seems to be heavily adopted by those already into social media, but not so much by non IMers. I would love to see an official demographic breakdown of the 48 million users.
Personally I’m still not sold on Google Plus. For me at the moment the only reason I’m using it is as a marketing tool. None of my personal friends or family are actually using it, Facebook still reigns champion there.
Most of my friends have heard of Google + but they don’t see why they should switch to it
Tom Parker says
I got in Google+ a couple months ago. I liked it from the get-go but haven’t used it much. Thanks for the info on ‘syncing’ your websites. I didn’t even think of that before. I notice though that you have your websites in both your introduction, and in your recommended links. Which is Google pulling from when they display your links at the bottom of the serp listing? Any idea? Btw, your Google profile listing is at the 9th position for me on a search for your name. I did a screen snapshot if you want to see it.
I agree, Keith that there is room for both. Also, I think people’s opinions of G+ are heavily skewed by the niche they are in. Internet marketers/bloggers love G+ but people in other niches may not be as inclined to join if their peers aren’t there.
I got an invite early and have loved it ever since, especially the fact that I can write much longer posts and opinions there…
In no way do I think Plus will overtake Facebook, there are way too many “everyday people” (you know, non webmastersocialmediatechninjagurus) on Facebook and I am not sure Google can attract that type of audience for a few years…
Flo | PHP Website Templates says
I confess, I got on the G+ bandwagon to get the dofollow links back to my sites 🙂 I am waiting to see how long it will be before Google makes these nofollow like on YouTube.
I see the whole G+ and G+1 buttons affair as another way by which Google messes up organic results. These days I try not to do a Google search when I’m logged on but big G still uses my cookies to tell me “You visited this page” when the page only mentions my searched-for keyword like once 🙂
Yes these heavily influence search results when we are logged on but logged off? not by much. But since it’s only a few people that will be bothered with logging off when carrying out searches, we just have to accept the fact that they do affect search engine results. So I really need to up my game in the “share-nanigans” over there 🙂
These will hit SEOs real hard because if people are getting results based on what their friends shared, then SEO might well be a thing of the past and I don’t know if that is good or bad 😉
On a last note, pls can someone who knows anyone at Google tell them that next time, they should find a better name for their products. Google+ and Google+1 for two different products? C’mon, we’ve not run out on proper nouns on this planet, have we? 🙂
I think we are a long ways away before G+ significantly impacts organic search. Google will have to tread VERY carefully with that move or it would be disaster.
What? Are you for real. The backlinks from the site are DOFOLLOW?
I guess I’ve been living under a rock…”No Way.”
No they are dofollow on the social network. I was talking about the impact on SEO when someone “plus ones” your content on your site. I’m saying I believe that will be awhile before any major impact is realized.
Karla Campos says
I had the pleasure of being invited by Brankica to Google +, and I really like it. I find that the people on my Google + circles actually know what I am talking about regarding social media, blogging & the internet in comparison to a lot of my Facebook friends who have no idea. Have a great day!
I hate to see Google getting so big and influential that we climb on its bandwagon for fear of being left out of future searches. Although the potential for evil makes me shiver, I put the Google+ button on my sites a while ago and have signed up to the network. Frankly, I’ve been active on Facebook and Twitter for a long time, but I’ve not seen much advantage in terms of additional traffic to my sites. So far, the only thing that has worked has been straight-forward SEO, and my guess is that Google+ will not change that. Thanks for your insights!
I joined as soon as I saw it is out and I have exactly the same opinion about it. I remember people saying it will just go away, but my first thought was “It will affect SEO”. It is Google after all.
Since the last updates on Facebook I am spending much less time and much more on Google+
Another thing, most of G+ users are in the same industry as I am which makes them even more targeted market for me than majority of my friends on Facebook.
I got a lot more “followers” on G+ in short amount of time than in a year on Twitter, although Twitter is my primary.
I believe that in time if Facebook keeps doing what they are doing and G+ stays as simple as it is, that people will migrate. Even our grandmothers 😉
You do have quite the following Brankica! But I’m not surprised. People love you and you are definitely a social butterfly! You have definitely made a dent in the social media world. 🙂
How did I ever miss this comment of yours? You know I am printing this out and framing it on my wall, right…? 🙂
Tita Buds says
Long-time subscriber, first time commenter here. 🙂
I got into G+ early, too and found it to be way easier to use (everything seems to need just a click) and more aesthetically-pleasing than Facebook. The Circles feature and the fact that one contact can be in several circles makes for better targeted posts. I sometimes write posts in a language other than English (Filipino and the Bikol dialect) and I’m able to avoid clogging the stream of my English-speaking contacts with posts they won’t understand.
So far, the one thing G+ does have going against it though is that most of my friends are still on FB only (most are not even on Twitter). I hope that changes soon.
Oh, and Kiesha is right about that Mute button. Discreet and very useful. 😉
Well I certainly appreciate you taking the time to comment! Welcome! 🙂 I do agree that G+ it much cleaner and I really dig the circle feature.
I had to try it out and was lucky enough to get in early. I immediately fell in love with it. I don’t feel compelled to compare it to Facebook – I don’t believe that one has to destroy the other in order to exist. Each have their usefulness.
I think what I like most, is how easy it is to regulate what you share with whom. I like being able to have a Friends Circle as well as a Family Circle. I’ve heard that FB had a similar feature, however, I was never able to figure it out. So I guess it’s the ease of usability that’s got me.
Oh yeah, and the MUTE feature is priceless… Ever joined a conversation on FB only to be bombarded with countless replies from people you don’t know? Hated that! Google let’s you listen in as long as you want and then when you’ve grown tired of the conversation, just MUTE it and you no longer receive notifications without having to jump through major hoops to unsubscribe, etc.
I don’t know what the future holds for G+, but I’m enjoying it right now.
I didn’t know about the mute feature, Kiesha!! Thx for sharing. 🙂
I’m an early adopter of Google+ and more people have me in their circles than are following me on Twitter already. That’s saying a lot, since Twitter is my primary social network. I like Google+ way more than I do Facebook and I’m spending more time there lately too.
FYI – when I clicked your Google search link, the first thing that came up was your website, next your blog, and a few images before your Google+ account showed up. Probably because I interact with you a lot, but I’m not sure about that. You’re in my circles now 🙂
You and Brankica are my social media heroes. You two definitely know how to work it! I’m always a late adopter as I like to sit back and investigate. Not as much into the whole social media scene as others. But I do like G+. It’s growing on me!
Interesting about the search. Yeah it probably does have to do with how you interact with me.
no, I think it´s like this:
when you perform the search your are logged in into your Google Account, and then Google “feels” this when you perform a search, and adapts the search result according to this fact (that you´re logged in, that is).
So it´s only you who will see results like that – if you don´t give us your login details 🙂
You keep rock’n lisa! Thanks for such an amazing article on Google Plus, and thanks for all the cool facts posted!
long before I stumbled upon this article, I connected with you on Google Plus, as you are one of the best form of quality information on the internet today! Take Care!
Wow, that’s one heck of a compliment. Thanks Brigitte!