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Do You Believe Me about Google+ Yet?

by Fraser Cain on January 13, 2013

It’s been almost a year since I wrote a rant about how I thought Google+ was one of the most important and exciting topics in SEO (Read, “ Why I’ve dropped everything for Google+“). At that point I dropped everything and invested a tremendous amount of energy into Google+. And I’ve got to say, the results have been incredible:

Let’s go through my reasoning again…

1. Google+ doesn’t suck.

It didn’t suck then, and now it’s had a year of incremental improvements which have made it a stunning service. Instant photo uploads, image editing, Hangouts, Communities, and other features too countless to name. The mobile version of Google+ are gorgeous and easy to use, setting a very high bar for any other mobile social network.

Your friends and family probably still aren’t on Google+, but that’s just around the corner. Google+ is now seen as the cool network, with better privacy and integration with other Google services.

Not many are calling Google+ a ghost town any more.

2. Google is using it to refine its search engine results

Google has been actively experimenting with using the results from the social network to refine its search results. Right now Author Rank will influence the search results for people who have you in circles – this is part of Google Search Plus Your World (Search+ for short). But once they have enough data, Google will be able to take these influences to a wider level, directing search visitors towards credible sources.

Author Rank already gives you rich snippets, with your little picture beside the search results. This is already having a dramatic effect on webmasters, encouraging 100% adoption rate of the service, and creating a whole new value proposition for journalists. Suddenly, becoming a credible source in a niche really matters.

At some point, the hammer is going to drop. Google is going to switch over from a link-based economy to an author rank economy, where the reputation of the author matters as much, or more, than the location of the story. It might not happen this year, but it won’t be long.

3. Google is continuing to make Google+ as popular as it needs to be.

The last year has been all about integration of Google+ into everything. Webmasters need to create Google+ accounts for all their writers and connect them with Author Rank. Local merchants need to set up Google+ accounts and register them to be able to get reviews. You’ll need to provide your full name to be able to make comments on YouTube. You need a Google+ profile to be able to write a review on Google Play. Every Android device comes with Google+ baked in.

It goes on and on. Over the course of the next year, this integration will continue. More of the things you’re going to want to do are going to require a Google+. Oh, and while you’re logged into Google+, you might as well check out what your friends are up to. You’re going to have more and more reasons to log in, and more and more reasons to stick around Google+.

It’s not too late.

If you’re worried that you’re too late to this social network, don’t worry, we’re still in the early stages, and there’s a huge opportunity to get involved.

  • If you haven’t already, create a Google+ account and link it to your website to enable Author Rank
  • Fully complete your profile, with a picture, links to services and details on who you are and what you do.
  • Commit to a regular posting schedule, creating unique and interesting content just for Google+
  • Circle at least 500 people who interest you, and join a few dozen communities that match your interests. +1, comment and share other people’s posts

Check back with me in a year and let me know how it’s working out for you. By that time; however, I’m sure the network will be even more entrenched.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

mrbrown77 January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Fraser,

Great post on Google + and it should not be ignore at all. When they first released it, I was somewhat skeptical just because of the bombs with some of their previous social attempts (i.e. Buzz).

But, after Hangouts came along I new this place was for real. BTW, fantastic job on your hangout shown above; simply amazed by the live scope feed.

fraser January 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm

mrbrown77 I think that people are starting to realize that this network is important. Now they’re trying to figure out how to fit action on this network into their busy schedules. It’s going to be more of a challenge now than it was 18 months ago, but it’s still possible. And the new Communities feature gives people a fresh start.