You’ve no doubt familiar with a little social media network called Facebook. Odds are, you’ve also at least heard of another platform called Twitter. But what about Google+? That’s right; everyone’s favorite search engine also has its own social network. And, while it was only launched not even two years ago, it has rapidly climbed up the ranks to become the world’s second largest social network with 343 million active users compared to Facebook’s 693 million.
But the main reason why you and your business should be aware of Google+ has nothing to do with size. It has everything to do with strategy and the way Google has tied its search engine and social network together.
When a person posts on Google+, a few different things can happen. First off, the search engine will take note of the post’s content. In addition, other users who see your post can give it a “+1” or share it to their various friends and groups. Users can also share and comment on search results if they find a particularly good website.
As many SEO experts have discovered, these all factor into how the Google search engine ranks results when Google+ users go online. There’s really nothing nefarious behind this. If a person goes online and searches for strawberry jam recipes in Google, it’s reasonable to assume she would like to know which recipes her friends liked the best. That all translates into greater traffic on the website, which boosts the ranking for users who aren’t logged into Google accounts.
Don’t worry. This does not mean that you need to rush out and open up a Google+ account, start adding friends and posting there as well as on Facebook and Twitter. What it does mean, though, is that it’s vital for your website to have a +1 button on it so that visitors can recommend it and boost it up in the overall search results. In fact, given that Google+ is an open system while Facebook is a closed one (what happens on Facebook stays on Facebook), it could be argued that it’s even more important than a Like button.
Of course, if you truly want to leverage the network to your advantage, then a full Google+ profile, regular posts and the right kind of engagement should be part of your overall social media strategy.