Google Plus is not the first attempt by Google in the world of social networking. Google Buzz failed miserably a few years back. They licked their wounds and decided to learn from their mistakes as only a billion dollar juggernaut could, after not being able to work a deal with Twitter or Facebook for a feed from either of those popular networks.
Google is positive that “the social graph”, ie. cues from public posts on social networks, will be beneficial on the search side of their business. They believe it will enhance the search experience. Whether we agree with them or not doesn’t really matter! Recently we have seen many different “sightings” of Google Plus mashing up with search results. It’s fair to say that Google is going to continue to inject social into search in various ways until they find the one(s) that work for their business plan.
In the past few weeks as the chatter about the implications of Google Search and Social have been thrown about in the search marketing industry, many people ask, why does Google+ seems like a graveyard compared to what is going on at Facebook? We wondered too, so we got to work staking G+ claims for several clients over the past few months and have gained a much better insight into what is the prudent path to take. G+ is not going to be the same as Facebook. Chances are very good your high school buddies and your mother won’t be there any time soon. It is incrementally much harder for a business to gain traction and followers at G+ than on FB or Twitter for a variety of reasons.
When one considers that there may (will) be search implications to what we post on G+ it gives one pause. We treat what we do there much like what we do with blogs and SEO. We feel it is important to stay focused and targeted with our message and where we link.
One of the biggest mistakes we see businesses make in social media marketing is the repeat post. Its very easy to post a tweet and have it automatically dupe post onto Facebook or Linkedin, etc. Its easy, but it is not right. It is lazy, demonstrates disconnect with the audience, and makes the business look amateurish to social media mavens. Now add G+ to that mix. You could surmise that you are covering your bases… but is it effective work and now, worse yet, could it hurt your search results?
Here is the path we recommend that our clients take at this juncture:
1) Install +1 buttons on every page of your site
The +1 button is how GooglePlus users “like” a webpage, product or post
2) Hire us to set up your page properly. Unlike FB and Twitter there are severe implications to setting up a G+ page improperly from a search perspective. Remember, everything you do at a Google property could have search implications now!
3) Hire us to manage your page for at least the next year. That way you will be safe. We will work with best practices to mine the value of G+ and its search implications for you. We are certain that the potential pitfalls and opportunities to be found in Google will become more apparent in the next year.
Our consultancy was correct in its assumptions regarding search back at the turn of the century. We brought pay-per-click to our clients years before their competitors caught on. One thing seems to be fairly certain. Google+ is not going to fail like Buzz did. They built the premise for this network based on the mistakes they made in the past and are putting an enormous effort into fusing search and social together. That is why we are serious about positioning our clients there now.