Is Google Plus a wasteland?
Since its launch in 2011 Google Plus has been perceived by many to be the ghost town of social networks however Google has recently reported that there is over 540 million active monthly users of there ID service logging onto Google services such as Gmail, YouTube and +1 it may not be the barren waste land that we initially thought.
The figure of 540 million users is somewhat an exaggeration as this does include the highly popular services such is Gmail and YouTube be even taking these away Google has stated that there is 300 million active monthly users interacting directly with the Google+ in stream service.
Key Metrics recently announced by Google:
- 2nd Most Actively used Social Network
- 1 Billion enabled accounts
- US Demographics – 60.2% Women – 33.4% Men = Remaining: Unknown.
- 1.5 billion pictures uploaded each month
- 20% increase on videos being uploaded.
The benefits of Google Plus for SEO:
Being on Google+ comes brings with it massive benefits in the area of SEO, content being posted and shared is easily crawled by Google bots therefore improving a sites SEO in turn ranking it higher and making it more likely to be found.
The +1 features are also an important factor in SEO rankings with the higher amount of +1s a website has, has been correlated to higher Google search rankings. Moz’s most recent study of ranking factors confirms that Google+ is playing an increasingly significant role in a solid SEO ranking.
Google+ Authorship is an extremely useful tool that tags each piece of content you create and share and lets Google know that you created it. It credits all the links to you as the author and you profile will be ranked higher for this in return.
One of the major advantages to those searching for a particular brand or business is integration into Google search of the Google+ profile. Company profile, contact details, opening hours and Google map of its location are easily available. Google are doing themselves favors in this regards by pushing users to the Google+ platform but its also benefits the page owners by giving them extra unpaid for exposure on page 1 of Google search.
The Facebook Revolt:
With Facebook consistently making changes that don’t do anything to improve the user or advertisers experience only its shareholders and in particular its changes its algorithm restricting the organic reach of posts for brand pages there seems to be somewhat of reluctance from marketers to invest huge amounts of time or money in advertising in Facebook alone. There is also a view by many that Facebook users are starting to get dissatisfied with their tired old interface and amount of advertising populating their news feeds. Although it is still by far an effective channel to consumers, marketers could be forgiven for spreading their budget across a number of social media channels. With a reach of 300 million and being the 2nd most actively used social network and its fresh user-friendly clean look there is a strong argument for allocating resources to Google+.
Although the demographic is different to that of Facebook there is evidence that suggests that the Google+ user base is a much more committed and loyal audience. This may be due to the age profile of average Google+ audience.
The Google circles feature which for personal users is seen to be one of the most innovate features allows for the page owner to segment their audience and post to a specific audience targeting relevant content towards the relevant audience. This then would in turn have a positive impact on the engagement rates of each post.