<< by on December 6th, 2012
It’s been about a year and a half now since Google+ got started. Today, I’m attending the panel Getting ahead with Google+ to learn about search and brand implications, as well as the sense of community that Google can develop.
Adam Audette, President of RKG, kicked off this session with a story about a magical world called Google Land. Google Land was a happy land of wonder. Google focused on search and they were good at search. Then, along came an evil wizard called Mark. This dark sorcerer came to Google Land to steal the dragon’s fire. Mark was from Facebook. Do you follow?
Google decided to take Twitter and Facebook into Google Land, but they didn’t own this data! So Google+ was born. Google+ was meh at first, but Google was like look what Google+ can do for search! Now 500 million users are on Google+. Google+ has succeeded to understand authors and publishers. They understand relationships and context.
The dangers in Google Land are that Google+ is still learning, they are forcing their hand, and most importantly, this is an inevitable future for brands.
If you are a brand, get on the brand curated page for new Google+ sign-ups. You don’t HAVE to have rel=publisher set up if you get on this list. If you can get on this curated list, Google+ will add you as a publisher and verify your account.
Meanwhile, an evil wizard began to steal data, so not provided increased. Brands are not able to access this traffic, but because the Google+ posts appear in personalized search for people who have circled they know their visibility has improved.
Brands need to get better at becoming publishers, but what we need to learn more about are the different features within Google search. Content type mash-up mixed with knowledge graph and rich snippets.
Next up is Mark Traphagen, Director of Social Media Marketing at Virante Inc. Links between sites were turned into weighted votes, but this has a flaw. Google realizes they needed to diversify how their monitor links, so people don’t cheat the system. RTs and Likes showed Google what counts for users.
Google+ is growing and is here to stay. Google is heavily invested in this product and the bigger your Google+ network is, the more influential you are to search results.
Mark has developed his presence on Google+ and argues that Google+ was named this because the + adds onto everything that is Google. If 30% of your audience has a Google+ account & you effect their search results, why aren’t you on Google+??
Google+ authorship allows you to get:
- enhanced search results proven to increase click-through-rate
- copyright protection – Google can see who posts first and give you protection
- AuthorRank – Google is working on for a while and at some point will use this for search rankings. This is not yet a ranking factor, but is part of social signals that Google uses.
AuthorRank and social will not replace links, but it will be integrated into search!
- Optimize your Google+ page and profile.
- Optimize and connect your content.
- Post, engage, repeat.
The panel concludes with Bob Stanke, Director of Interactive Services for the Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx.
Bob explain’s these sports teams don’t use Google+ for the sheer number of followers. They are leaders in innovation and have had Google+ NBA hangouts before anyone else was doing it!
Access is what drives their fans. Fans want backstage passes and they are on every social channel. But the question arose: how can we get our fans in an inner circle?? Enter Google+.
Reasons to love Google+:
- Photo and video integration is beautiful.
- Hangouts On Air give fans a direct level of access and there is the ability to have a small, focused community to foster and grow.
- It’s an advantage that there is a small audience on Google+. There is a real ability to foster that network and give VIP access.
- Circles have a direct relationship with their business model. Who are their season ticket holders? They can be identified and highlight tiers of membership. If you are really engaged and go to every game, the Timberwolves are going to give you more than everyone else!
As individuals add us to their circles, they spend the time segmenting them into the proper circles and update their CRM record. Then, their content is tailored based on membership level! This is amazing. How can you not love Google+ with this kind of ability to reach the people you care about.. and who care about your brand!?
What do you think?
Do you think Google+ will be a major player in your 2013 social strategy? Is slow, incremental growth frustrating for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. We can’t avoid Google+ anymore, and as a social media manager, I am thrilled that Google+ is starting to be taken very seriously. Comment below or find me on Google+ to chat!