Demystifying The Most-Overlooked Social Network: Google+

“If you ignore Google+, Google Search will ignore you.” - Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page

google+ social network

Social Media Today recently debunked the myths surrounding Google+, which is not just another social network; rather, it represents “the biggest change in [modern] communications since the interactive website.”

Google+ communities have features not found on any other social platform. Facebook or LinkedIn are stand-alone platforms. Google+ is the evolution of Google, and the gateway to Google search.
 
With its latest updates, only 2.5 percent of your Facebook followers are likely to see your posts among the cat videos, baby pictures and memes that increasingly clog the content stream.
 
Now Facebook wants you to pay to promote your posts so more of your fans will see them, in addition to buying advertising.
 
Unlike LinkedIn Groups (where only human users can join groups), Google+ allows organizations to create and join communities and participate in discussions.

Google+ is not a “ghost town,” nor is it a niche community for techies:

300 million active monthly users is a huge population for a ghost town.
 
Google+ hosts communities on business topics ranging from management to technology, small to international business, entrepreneurs to large organizations. These communities provide easy access to connecting with influencers and experts who are important to your business.
 
Google+ allows both public and private communities, making it a great resource for connecting with industry peers, customers and potential customers, vendors and resources.

Privacy and filtering controls allow focused discussion. And Google+ users will attest to the fact that the level of conversation, sharing and willingness to help others in these communities is stellar.

Google+ represents a gateway to the entirety of Google’s overarching network, whereas Facebook has been hiding its data from both Google and Twitter since 2011.  “Many of the tools Google+ provides are unique to the platform and they are fully integrated into and work seamlessly with other Google products, including Google Apps for businesses,” wrote Social Media Today.

So if you want to increase your search rankings, you won’t want to overlook Google+. According to Catalyst, Google+ authorship — which attaches your profile photo to your content in search results — increases clickthrough rates by as much as 150 percent. And because each Google+ post is considered a unique blog post and assigned its own URL, its social component ensures its data figure prominently in Google search.

Some of Google+’s unique features include:

  • Hangouts on Air – a free web and mobile platform for video conferencing, live events, broadcasts and live collaboration. Hangouts are arguably the best video conferencing platform ever, and they are seamlessly integrated with YouTube.
  • Shared circles – You can share a circle of contacts you have created, making networking simple and fast.
  • Live Events – a unique sharing solution that makes interaction easy before, during and after the event. These can be public or private and can allow collaborative sharing of documents, presentations, white boards and much more.
  • Powerful internal search – It’s easy to find content within Google+. After all, it’s part of Google search.
  • Authorship – You’ve probably seen Google search results for articles or blog posts that have small profile photos next to them. Those are the author’s Google+ profile photos.

The Google+ community tends to favor news and branded content. The network recently added an Explore feature, which highlights trending hashtags and makes it easier to access relevant stories. The more Google+ pages you follow, the more likely your Explore dashboard will display things tailored to your interests.

Check out Social Media Today’s full post here, and let us know in the comments how Google+ fits into your overall social strategies.